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Seized 37m motor yacht Kahu returns to the market in another 24-hour auction

28 November 2023 • Written by Katia Damborsky

The 37-metre motor yacht Kahu will be sold at auction on Wednesday, 29 November, at 11 am GMT, with 24 hours for the public to place online bids. Kahu returns back under the hammer after being sold to the highest bidder at the first auction in April 2022.

Previously listed for auction, she was seized by British authorities in September 2021 as part of a drug trafficking operation. Belfast-based auctioneer Wilsons Auction is managing the online auction on behalf of the National Crime Agency. As per the last auction, no reserve has been set, which means Kahu will sail away with the highest bidder.

Built in 1979 by Whangarei Engineering Co. for the Royal New Zealand Navy, Kahu was converted into a luxury yacht in 2012. She underwent a full-scale refit that left her with a brand-new aluminium superstructure and near ice-class specification.

She has proved herself as a capable explorer since, with a remarkable range of 7,000 nautical miles that has taken her around the South Pacific and Hawaii.

Since being bought at the first auction in 2022 the current owner has completed a comprehensive list of engineering works, including the repair of stabiliser fins, installation of a new set of batteries, the repair of both engines and removal of tank corrosion.

Wilsons Auctions’ government contracts manager, Mark Woods said: “We are delighted to manage the sale of this high-profile asset again. The vessel has benefited from a great amount of works completed since we last saw her. This gives the potential new purchaser a blank canvas to customise the yacht as they like.”

“The online element of the auction is extremely convenient for bidders around the world to register and get involved. I hope it will be as exciting as the last time,” Woods concluded.

Kahu offers accommodation for up to 16 guests in six cabins, alongside crew accommodation for four. She volunteers plenty of alfresco living spaces, with generous aft decks and a spacious top deck.

Her interiors are clean and fresh and the saloon is bright and airy thanks to huge windows that drench the space in natural light. Pale woods and nautical themes contribute to the refined onboard ambience.

Online bidding will be open to the general public and will begin on Wednesday, 29 November at 11am GMT and will end at the same time the next day. The yacht, which is currently berthed in T Nielsen & Co Ltd, in Gloucester, will be open for viewings on November 28.

More about this yacht

Whangarei Engineering Co.   37.19 m •  1979

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