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.

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