Delivered in fall of 2007, the Spirit of Kona was designed and built to enhance our Eco tour experience. Designed to allow maximum viewing of marine life above and below the surface of the ocean. It features 360-degree walk around viewing on both decks with 2 large glass bottom viewing wells. The Spirit of Kona is a 70 feet long 28 feet wide 150 passenger vessel weighing 78 gross tons. This wide heavy platform makes for a comfortable and stable ride. Its slower cruising speed not only saves on fuel consumption but allows for more safety for those marine animals that are subject to boat strikes.
The Spirit of Kona is fully state of the art utilizing the latest power and equipment to make it the most Eco friendly vessel operating on the Island. It features the latest generation of computerized diesel engines that are IMO compliant with virtually smoke and soot free operation. Blue Sea Cruises is the only marine operation in Kona that utilizes Bio Diesel to further reduce emissions and help reduce our dependency on foreign oil. State of the art engine mounts and shaft mounts are used to isolate engine vibration from the hull reducing sound penetration into the surrounding water. Additional hull insulation and an oversized engine muffler system further reduce mechanical sound penetration into the water column.
During the design phase of the M/V Spirit of Kona over 100
years of scientific data on vessel vs. marine life collisions was studied and
considered. The following are just
two facts that resulted in design modifications:
Unlike outboard motors and out drive systems that inject 100% of an engines noise and exhaust directly into the water, the Spirit of Kona's exhaust system expels zero exhaust and very little engine noise into the water. The total of all these systems allow the Spirit of Kona to project the least amount of noise possible into the surrounding water. Less noise in the water means less adverse effects on the marine environment.
- Of vessels less than 100 feet in length, vessels
27 foot or less have the greater number of incidents of collisions with surface
marine life. (I.e. Whales, surface
feeding animals like manta rays, turtles, whale sharks etc.) Utilizing this data, the Spirit of
Kona’s underwater lighting and glass bottom wells were designed to be over 27
feet away from propellers and rudders.
- With the increase of vessel speeds since the
advent of steam power through internal combustion engines, data studied shows
that during speeds over 12 knots per hour the probability of collisions with
surface marine life (i.e. Whales, surface feeding animals like manta rays,
turtles, whale sharks etc.) increases
exponentially. Utilizing this
data, Blue Sea Cruises limits all its vessels speeds to less than 12 knots per hour.
The Makai was the perfect choice for Blue Sea Cruises manta
ray snorkeling tours. The
Makai has tunnel drive, which means the propellers, and rudders are tucked up
in to the hull. This is an
important feature for mooring in manta ray areas, as mantas are known to swim
along boat hulls attracted by the minimal deck lighting. The Makai’s deep draft of 5 feet non-only
allows for a more stable ride and comfortable sit at moorings. It also allows for a deep reaching dive
ladder that does not protrude below the hull into the water column. This is an additional safety feature
for manta rays that can collide with dive ladders not protected by the boat