by Jeni Bone
This is your chance to buy a piece of maritime history for a fraction of its worth, as MV Flamingo Bay goes to auction, Monday 7 October at Southport Yacht Club, on Queensland's Gold Coast.
Flamingo Bay - a piece of maritime history
This one of a kind Adventure Ship would cost around $20m to build these days and owner, Captain David Tomlinson, who has spent the past 13 years living and working onboard, is serious about selling.
'I have other projects I want to pursue, and family that I want to catch up with in the Bahamas. The time is right to sell her and auction is the way to get the people who have expressed interest, and attract potential buyers around the world, and motivate them to make a decision.'
Flamingo Bay is truly unique. There was only one ever constructed. 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, Flamingo Bay was originally built for coastal patrols and rescues in the treacherous North Sea.
Intended as an 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.'
He continues: 'She has saved many ships and lives during her earlier life as the Belgium government’s ice-breaking rescue tug. I found her 13 years ago in the Caribbean and brought her back to Australia. Since then, we have created the perfect ‘get away from it all’ platform.
'She’s ready to take anywhere on the planet safely and comfortably. This ship is a mixture of classic and modern. Tough as they come with all the comforts: wool carpets, air conditioning, TV network, wood-trim everywhere, leather lounges, teak deck and outside aft-deck cinema! Just a few of her comforts.'
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.
'She possesses the best of both worlds, historic and modern,' explains Tomlinson. 'Everywhere you turn she’s tough and refreshingly beautiful.'
In her present form, she 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. 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.
'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.'
Full of character and retaining the original Flemish features such as timber panelling, teak decks, beautiful finishes and attention to detail, she also boasts air conditioning throughout, 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.
Auction 7 October 2013, 1100hrs EST at the Southport Yacht Club, Main Beach, Gold Coast, Australia.
Registered buyers can bid during the auction either personally, via phone.
All enquiries and more information www.swansuperlines.com