by Jeni Bone
The Flamingo Bay Adventure Ship would make a great explorer vessel, a whale watching tourism boat, hospitality for events or ‘trip of a lifetime’ getaway craft for the discerning buyer. The good news is, her owner is serious about selling, dropping the price by 50% to $2.2m + GST, which is a steal when you consider building her today would be a $20m project.
Flamingo Bay Adventure Ship
At 36m and with 56 years of history in her sturdy superstructure, Flamingo Bay boasts the solid construction and spirit of yesteryear, with all the mod cons.
Skipper and owner, Capt David Tomlinson, has lived aboard Flaming Bay Research for the past nine years and says Flamingo Bay possesses the best of both worlds, historic and modern.
Built by Belliard Creighton for the Belgian government in 1956, the product of two years planning and designing and two years construction to the highest specifications, she was originally built for coastal patrols and rescues in the treacherous North Sea.
As an accomplished ice breaker, her engineering is second to none. 'This is the boat you want to come rescue you if you’re in trouble anywhere at sea,' says David. 'I’ve seen 20ft waves in this and she hasn’t missed a beat.'
Flamingo Bay is truly unique. There was only one ever constructed.
Says David: 'She is as tough as they come and capable of exploring the world in safety and comfort. She’s one of the classiest little ships you will ever find, in full USL 2B survey for 12 passengers and up to eight crew, a total of 20 all up.'
She has the original Flemish features, timber panelling, teak decks, beautiful finishes and attention to detail, with all the modern features. Fully air conditioned, she boasts diesel/electric power, water maker, plenty of electricity, diving compressor, crane and helipad facilities on board.
There are 11 cabins, with 20 berths total. Each cabin has its own air conditioning system, bedside reading lamps, externally sullied fresh air, intercom, and remote controlled TV- an audio /video network circulates the ship. There are four showers and two heads.
David bought the boat 12 years ago and modernized her to become one of Australia’s finest charter explorers. She is a mixture of old world charm and modern technology, big, tough, stable and a stand out where ever she goes. As its proud owner will tell you, he has over-equipped her with the latest navigational technology and systems for self-sufficiency, ensuring she’s up to the unlimited usage her new owner may have in mind.
'I have added AC electricity throughout, generators, high-tech navigational equipment, water systems, air-conditioning and TVs and entertainment systems.'
Run by two massive diesel electric engines, known as a ‘Siamese gearbox’, and a single shaft, she is power personified, but rarely uses both engines. In fact, as David reveals, when there's a technical issue with the engines, he is more likely to consult Queensland Rail than the local marine engineer.
The perfect mother-ship, dive platform, scientific platform, research, training, resupply, surfing safaris, exploration, eco charters, TV and Film productions or your own maritime office, the editing suite also doubles as a surveying room for geographical projects. There are laundry facilities, commercial galley/kitchen plus cool room and freezers.
'We hold 35,000 Litres of fuel, which can take us 5,000 miles without slowing down,'says David. We also carry 18,000 Litres of water and can produce 6,000 per day with two desalinators.'
In the past 29 years, she has operated as the sea platform for NOAA’S leatherback turtle satellite tagging program, in the Solomon Islands. In 2005, because of her abilities to maintain slow consistent speeds in rough seas she was contracted to assist in the survey of Nautilus’s Deep Water mining site outside of Rabaul.
She was the support resupply ship for Willis Island, numerous reef trips, filmed numerous whales plus visited a myriad of dive sites.
Most recently, Flamingo Bay has been run as a research and exploration vessel, also popular with tourists as a whale watching boat, and in demand for her striking stature for film and TV productions.
'Now it’s time to hand her on to a new owner who will love her as much as I have,' says David, who never tires of telling the passersby and interested boaties who congregate at her berth at Southport Yacht Club on Queensland's Gold Coast to hear all about her, but who is looking forward to new challenges.
'There are 50 more years in her yet and plenty more adventures. There will never be another boat like this built, so for the right person, she’s a gift.'
All enquiries should be directed to Ian Swan, Tel: (07) 5538 1857 or 0416 110 466 email: ian (at) swansuperlines.com
The full colour brochure and details are available at www.swansuperlines.com