High-speed cat to travel between Florida and Cuba

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Kona Catamaran signed a deal with CubaKat to build three high-speed catamarans that will operate between Marathon, Fla., and Havana.

The ferries will be designed to make the trip in less than three hours and will have the ability to carry as many as 149 passengers each. The first catamaran should be operational by April 2013.

The boats will be designed by Boksa Marine Design, of Tampa, Fla., and Noah Thompson Design of New Zealand. They will be constructed by Kona Catamaran in Titusville, Fla., at Vectorworks Marine and will feature FPT engines with HamiltonJet Drives installed by Hugo Stamp Inc.

CubaKat is seeking licensing through U.S. and Cuban agencies for its ferry operations. Full licensing, completion of the first catamaran and initial operations should be ready by April 2013.

“We’re pleased to be part of such an historic project that will change the lives of so many people. This project has the potential to create over 200 jobs between Mobile, Ala.; Titusville, Fla.; and the Florida Keys. This will be the start of a great venture using our high-speed catamarans in Cuba,” Kona Catamaran CEO Brian Hall said in a statement.


11 comments on “High-speed cat to travel between Florida and Cuba

  1. mdsf32

    I thought it was illegal to travel to Cuba. Am I missing something here? Did Islama Obama give something else away?

  2. Netssa

    Desination Havana Cuba
    Island of Cuba is pristine and exotic, hiding many secrets, warm climate and vibrant nightlife. Cuban culture is very unique in Latin America.

    http://www.Netssa.com it covers all the popular tourist destinations and attractions in Cuba, as well culture information, fashion and artistic events. Online booking for: hotels all over the Cuba, cars rental and flights to and in Cuba. Plenty of info for US Citizens how to legally visit Cuba.
    The website has plenty of historic info about Havana, also all the Havana’s attractions and events.
    So if you are planning to visit Cuba, or are just looking for information about Cuba you should check on http://www.Netssa.com

  3. John McAuliff

    An important initiative. Let’s hope OFAC has the good sense to treat a catamaran the same as an airplane, or is instructed to do so by the White House.

    Obviously no one will be boarded who is not licensed to travel to Cuba and most of the passengers will therefore be Cuban Americans.

    It’s a pity the White House is still intimidated by the hard liners. It should end Jim Crow discrimination and open travel for the rest of us.

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

  4. Captain Tom

    I believe these boats would carry all those who currently travel legally to Cuba by air, and also anticipates the lifting of the embargo for the rest of us. I am unclear as to what the gentleman below means by giving something else away, as it is a US company constructing these vessels. Also, Mr. Obama’s first name is Barack; sorry that the Soundings editors missed the writer’s error.

  5. NPV

    Cuban law does NOT allow Cuban Americans to enter the island by sea. the legislation was established in 1960. Perhaps that might change in the future. Those planning on ferry-like transportation for Cuban Americans ought to talk to Cuban Immigration.

  6. KonaCat

    Thanks for the comments!

    We are working with MTSA and the State Department to get our permission to operate. This is our biggest hurdle. We also have a team working with the Cuban Officials, and so far, everything is positive. We are also hoping for changes in policy after the Pope’s visit to Cuba in March.

    Also, CubaKat will be hiring Cubans to work on the boat and also at the Havana terminal. It will be awesome to be able to bridge these two countries together again by ferry.

  7. 2:18

    I Came accross the small(-ish) busy-ness Co. looking to build the boats and make them faster… As an Artist and designer I have allways Loved Cat-Boats :^) Darn shame the troub. they R running N2 …perhaps they could test the engines and designs via traveling elsewhereZzzzzzz in the mean time, Heck,even tually I could even see them helping a few folks get back N forth to american islands —while waiting to reach their set goals…
    I see where both sides are coming from,and its a shame to see a good design (“faster -better -stronger -design —have to go through so much Red (and blue((and orange))Tape)) ….. /// ^

  8. John

    This project will NEVER get off the ground as the Cuban government will NEVER give you permission to enter, unless you are going to show up a see what happens.

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