Superferry’s remnants on auction block

State-owned equipment left behind by the now-defunct Hawaii Superferry will be auctioned off at a fraction of its cost during an online auction beginning Tuesday.

An opening bid of $250,000 has been set by the state for the barges, loading ramps, miscellaneous equipment – some designed specifically for the ferry. Around $40 million was spent on equipment and improvements to the harbors to accommodate the interisland ferry that mostly traveled between Oahu and Maui during its sporadic 18-month run. It had also made some trips between Kauai and Oahu.

Bidding increments are set at $25,000. The auction by the state Department of Transportation Harbors Division will be conducted by Rosen Auctions, which has drawings of the barges and ramps available by request.

The auction will begin at noon Tuesday and end at noon July 25.

The three barges, three vehicle-loading ramps, miscellaneous cables, light bulbs, pallets and sealed crates will all be sold as one lot.

Steve Rosen, owner and chief executive officer of Rosen Auctions, said most of the items are on Oahu.

However, a shore-side barge ramp used for cars boarding the ferry is still on Maui, DOT officials confirmed.

Rosen said that he has had inquiries from within Hawaii as well as from Canada and the Mainland.

State DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said that the upset price was set by market conditions.

The Hawaii Superferry suspended its operations in March 2009, after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that a state law allowing the ferry to operate without a complete environmental impact statement was unconstitutional.

While in operation, legal protests over the environmental impact statement as well as protests by residents on Kauai delayed the ferry’s run.

The first of the two ferries, the Alakai, made the initial trips. The company had hoped to have a second ferry in operation and also provide service to the Big Island, but it never happened.

In 2009, a Delaware Bankruptcy Court allowed the company to abandon the two ferries. The ferries were later bought by the U.S. Navy.

For more information call Rosen Auctions at (808) 537-2728.