VESSEL REVIEW | Amelia and Johan – Purpose built cats boost Hawaii’s scuba diving charter industry

A pair of new tourist scuba dive vessels Amelia and Johan, 9.8- by 4.0-metre high-tunnel catamarans, recently arrived in Honokohau Harbor, Hawaii.

Owner Aquatic Life Divers selected Armstrong Marine to build the two vessels in 2018. It required that the vessels be built for divers and snorkelers and for the warm Hawaiian weather.

According to the owner, vessels that have a COI in Hawaii are hard to come by, and if are for sale, are in poor condition. This allowed Aquatic Life Divers to custom build its own COI vessels from the ground up.

The owner wanted to accommodate as many divers comfortably as possible in the allowable LOA for its commercial slips. Having more than six passengers per charter greatly improves profitability.

Twin Yamaha 300hp (225kW) outboards, paired with SeaStar steering, power each sister ship. Aquatic Life Divers wanted a vessel that would be fast enough to reach dive sites that are less frequented, so it could offer charters that its competitors do not. Ease of replacement if one engine were to break down was also an important factor in engine choice.

The 16-passenger USCG Subchapter T dive boats also feature fly bridge helm stations, dive tank racks, head packages, fresh water showers, Garmin navigation, and eye-catching vinyl wrap.

In order to accommodate divers with underwater cameras, a custom camera table was made especially, which also contains weight storage at the bottom for the best use of space.

The boats have shade over the entire dive platform providing coverage from the hot Hawaiian sun. They are outfitted with an air ride captain’s chair for the captain’s comfort, and feature a filtered water fill station on board, eliminating the use of plastic water bottles on any of the charters. The bow viewing area is over-sized giving the perfect platform to enjoy whale and dolphin watching while underway.

In addition to providing scuba and snorkel charters, Amelia and Johan will support coral reef conservation research work in the region.

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Amelia and Johan
Type of vessel: Tourist boat
Classification: USCG Subchapter “T” for 16 passengers + captain
Owner: Aquatic Life Divers, USA
Builder: Armstrong Marine, USA
Construction material: Aluminium
Length: 9.8 metres
Beam: 4.0 metres
Main engines: 2 x Yamaha outboards, each 225 kW
Steering: Seastar hydraulic

Garmin 7612xsv

12″ chartplotter



US G2 charts

Radio: Garmin VHF 210
Radar: GMR 18HD+ 4kW radar w/18″ HD dome, 36nm range
Compass: Ritchie Explorer B51 magnetic
Anchor: Danforth
Fuel: 1,100 litres
Freshwater: 260 litres
Black water: 57 litres
Storage: 34 scuba tanks
Paints/coatings: Sea Hawk
Decking: 5mm SeaDek
Exterior wrap: Avery Supreme

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