State scrapping Navatek, but boaters might be on the hook to cover costs
The state is finally dismantling and removing the Navatek II, a derelict catamaran, from the gateway of Waikiki where it has sat since May.
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The state is finally dismantling and removing
the Navatek II, a derelict catamaran, from the gateway of Waikiki where it has sat since May.
The state Department
of Land and Natural Resources said disposal of the vessel, which is also known as SKYE, began Wednesday and should take about a week. DLNR said it is paying Close Construction Inc. $48,700 for the disposal. However, DLNR will attempt to charge the disposal fee and other fees that were incurred to the owner of the vessel, Miraclei LLC, a trust that includes local businessman Shane Lawler.
Costs have mounted since the 85-foot vessel
exceeded its temporary permit at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor. DLNR impounded the vessel in March and in May, after the vessel began listing in the water, the state paid $35,000 to move it ashore to a lot across from the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, where it still sits.
Lawler, a local entrepreneur who has worked with dive boats in the Bahamas, said he had only intended to leave the boat at the Ala Wai harbor temporarily, until slips at Kewalo Basin were renovated, but those renovations took longer than expected.
Previously, Lawler said he had big plans to restore the vessel, which was in the opening scene of the movie “Jurassic Park II.” He had anticipated investing
$3.5 million to $4 million to turn it into a high-end attraction called Skye Yacht, which would provide luxury sailing charters, dinner cruises and special events to 40 to 80 passengers.
But not even Lawler bid on the vessel when the state tried to sell it at auction in June for a minimum asking bid of $20,000. Lawler couldn’t be reached for an immediate comment.
DLNR said so far Miraclei hasn’t made any attempt to repay the state, which will “try and recoup all costs at the end once the boat has been disposed of.”
If Miraclei doesn’t pay, the state will have to cover the outstanding tab by dipping into the special boating fund, which is made up entirely of fees individual boaters pay for the use of slips and moorings, and live-aboard privileges.
“Unfortunately, when boat owners do not keep up with their obligations or lack enough insurance to salvage their inoperable vessels, the burden falls to every boater in the state, and it cuts into money that we can make available for harbor improvements,” Meghan Statts, assistant
administrator for DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, said previously. “It’s frustrating when the owner should be the one who is responsible.”
In the seven or so months that the saga has dragged on, some boat lovers have expressed sorrow at seeing what they say is a unique and historically significant vessel disposed of.
However, plenty of complaints have come from the harbor and nearby businesses, which say the Navatek II is an eyesore.
“It’s been a nightmare of visual proportions. The ugliness is unprecedented in Waikiki,” said Waikiki resident Dave Moskowitz, whose home overlooks the lot where the Navatek II sits. “It’s great that they are finally moving it, but now everyone is going to have to live with the noise. It should never have gotten to this point.”