M/V Spirit of Kona
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. 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:
- 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.
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.
M/V Spirit of Kona Amenities
Amenities include large his and her restrooms, fully stocked bars on each deck, buffet bars on each deck, 3 sound systems, entertainment stage on the lower deck, table and chair seating on the upper deck, padded stool seating on the outer rail and bench seating around the glass bottom wells on the lower deck. Two large glass bottom wells with built in titanium lighting for nighttime marine viewing. (This lighting is the same type used on research submersibles for the clearest color realization) The Glass bottom wells can be closed off and used for table seating for special events. Video or power point demonstrations for meetings or special events can be displayed on both decks.
The Spirit of Kona has two reverse transom hulls with built in stairs descending down to the water for easy water entry and exit by swimmers. (Snorkeling and diving tours are reserved for large private charters)
The fully equipped wheel house has Radar, port and starboard hull depth sounders, GPS, computerized engine monitoring systems, 3 sound systems, hydrophone system, emergency lighting system, electronic hull monitoring system and more.
10' Loading Ramp with one step up and one step onto boat.
Upper Deck set up for large conference group.
Lower Deck Glass Bottom Wells covered for more table space.
Lower Deck with glass bottom wells open for viewing.
Lining up for our Blue Sea Cruises specialties from the bar on the upper deck.
Dining on the Upper Deck at Sunset...yum!
One of the many great Hula costumes and dances on the Dinner Cruise.
We've just repainted the Spirit of Kona during our 2 year dry dock inspection. We did some remodeling to operate with better fuel consumption too during this April 2013 pull out. Here are some photos of our crew on the job in the boat yard under the Spirit's hull.