Search for the perfect ship

Low carbon, cost-effective

This is Part 1 of a 3-part series on sustainable sea transportation for the Pacific. We talk to the experts, turn to the past and explore ideas and designs for answers to the future of inter-island shipping, the key to our trade and lifeline of island economies.

WHENEVER the SV Kwai appears on the horizon,islanders of the remote atolls from Hawaii, Kiribati’s Line Islands, and the Cook Islands celebrate a much-anticipated meeting at the waterfront.

This is their lifeline to the world, bringing much-needed supplies and and engaging them in trade. Without this, the the islanders’ ability to purchase stores brought from Hawai’i and carried on the inter-island freighter is severely limited.

Built in 1950 and owned by Island Ventures Ltd, which operates under a business model that recognises the need for trade for the survival of these people. it makes up to four trips a year and does charters in between.

Over the years the former fishing boat was converted and retrofitted with soft sails, the wheelhouse moved to allow for a mizzen mast, giving it the potential for further savings from additional voyages. Profits from the voyages paid for the conversions. 

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