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Seized 37m motor yacht Kahu to be sold at 24-hour auction

11 April 2022• Written by Katia Damborsky

The 37 metre motor yacht Kahu is to be sold at auction later this month after she was seized by British authorities in September 2021 as part of a drug trafficking operation. 

The online auction is being managed by Belfast-based auctioneer Wilsons Auction on behalf of the National Crime Agency. No reserve has been set which means Kahu will sail away with the highest bidder.

The online-only bidding will open on Wednesday, April 27 at 3pm GMT and close at the same time the next day. 

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.

Wilsons Auctions’ government contracts manager, Mark Woods said: “We are delighted to manage the sale of this high-profile asset. The online element of the auction is extremely convenient for bidders around the world to register and get involved. This will be an exciting one to watch.”

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.

Bidding will be open to the general public and will begin on Wednesday, April 27. The yacht, which is currently berthed in Torquay Marina, will be open for viewings on April 20.