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Aloha Marine Lines launches new barge built by Gunderson Marine & Iron

Wed, Mar 27, 2024

barge_launch_amlAloha Marine Lines has added a new barge to its fleet to serve customers in the Seattle to Hawaii trade lane. The Makani Loa was constructed at Gunderson Marine & Iron in Portland, OR, and launched there on March 2. The Makani Loa is a sister barge to the Kamakani and Namakani barges which were added to the fleet in 2020. Together, they represent Aloha Marine Lines’ family of Makani Class barges that will continue to maintain regular, bi-weekly barge service between Seattle and Hawaii.

“Providing reliable, efficient and safe equipment to serve our customers is extremely important to us,” said Aloha Marine Lines President Jason Jansen. “We take pride in working with a premier partner like Gunderson on the construction of the Makani Loa. Their skilled and experienced people are the best in the industry, and the reason our relationship has spanned decades.” 

“Of the 34 barges that we own and operate, 26 of them were built by Gunderson,” said Lynden President and CEO Jon Burdick. “The craftmanship of Gunderson employees, and their skill in welding and shaping steel, results in a superb vessel that lasts.”

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For decades, Gunderson has been a staple in the maritime community. Operating the largest side-launch shipyard on the West Coast, the deep-water facility is fully equipped to craft and construct a wide range of river and ocean-going vessels. “The Makani Loa is the first launch by Gunderson Marine & Iron since acquiring the company in 2023,” said Dee Burch, President of Gunderson Marine & Iron. “The long tradition of building state of the art barges for Lynden is alive and well.”

The Makani Class barges are 438 feet long, 105 feet wide with a deadweight capacity of 16,900 tons. They are fitted with high binwalls which help to keep freight secure while minimizing the amount of lashing needed for each voyage. 

The barge design was completed by Hockema Group, Inc., an independent, full-service naval architecture firm primarily involved in commercial and government projects in various sectors of the marine industry. Hockema Group has worked for decades with Gunderson Marine and Lynden designing and providing construction support on many successful deck cargo barge projects, including most of the Aloha Marine Lines and Alaska Marine Lines fleet.

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