Setting Sail Again: Luxury Yacht Returns to be Sold at Wilsons Auctions

Sold to the highest bidder in April 2022 by Wilsons Auctions, the 120ft expedition superyacht MY Kahu is back on the market.

The luxury yacht originally arrived to auction after being seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act last April. Now after the current owner has carried out a series of engineering works that make the vessel seaworthy, and due to a change in circumstances, the superyacht is ready for a new home.

Presented in Wilsons Auctions’ Online Prestige Auction, this auction will follow a timed online format with online bidding only. Bidding for this auction will start on Wednesday 29th November at 11am GMT with potential bidders having a 24-hour window of opportunity to bid online before the auction begins to timeout from 11am GMT on Thursday 30th November. Bidding will be open to the public.

MY Kahu is 120 ft/36.58m expedition yacht that was built in 1979 for the Royal New Zealand Navy by the Whangarei Engineering and Construction Company, to be used as a dive tender. Formerly known as ‘HMNZA Manawanui’, she participated in the exploration and salvage work of the MS Mikhail Lermontov in 1986. In 1988, she was recommissioned as a training vessel for the Royal New Zealand Naval College, being renamed to Kahu in the process. 


Kahu subsequently underwent a major revamp with Fitzroy Yachts of New Zealand, extending her length from 92 to 122 feet. The bulwarks were raised up forward and the whole superstructure was replaced. In addition, a sewage treatment plant, water makers, stabilisers, bow and stern thrusters, an anchoring system and upgraded electronics. 

She was converted in 2010 into a pleasure craft and has since travelled the globe including making multiple transpacific and transatlantic voyages. 

Since being bought in 2022, a full list of works has been completed on the vessel based on the survey provided when purchased. The yacht is ready for basin trials and a methodical systems commissioning following on from the works including:

  1. The Bilges in the engine room generator flat workshop and steering flat have been emptied and cleaned.
  2. Removed main engine and generator globe valve bodies to find they had the actual had the Valve internals removed. TN has machined replacement units.
  3. Repaired an electrical connection and lowered the anchors and chain to the dock bottom for inspection.
  4. Steering flat cleared out, rudders removed, service, new packing hydraulics reconnected and tested.
  5. Both stabilizers fins damaged and water ingress through shaft. Both fins have been repaired and new seals and bearing fitted throughout.
  6. There is a new set of batteries and a charger fitted.
  7. Both engines had been repaired and she arrived in Gloucester under her own power. TN has removed the Freshwater cooler the gearbox cooler and the oil coolers and sent them of for reconditioning and pressure testing.
  8. Yanmar Hydraulic Power pack- this engine required replacement.
  9. The batteries appear in good condition with a new charger.
  10. The Port & Starboard engine start battery banks - these have been replaced and maintained with a separate charger.
  11. The engine room, generator room & steering flat spaces have been cleaned.
  12. There was considerable corrosion on the tank tops of the freshwater tanks under the forward guest Cabins. This was traced to the FURUNO sonar unit which could be retracted into the hull. The unit has been removed and fitted a blanking flange. The rust was scaled back and treated.
  13. Both shaft lines have been removed from the gearbox aft with new Bulkhead bearing, shaft bearings and Tides marine seals fitted.

The interior of the super yacht still features a large main salon, a galley and five staterooms for guests. She also benefits from additional accommodation and space for four crew members.  

Located at the prestigious T Nielsen & Co Ltd, specialist yard in Gloucester, an open day for viewings will be held on Tuesday 28th November. Strictly by appointment only, viewing is highly recommended to all potential bidders. To arrange your viewing please contact Warren Boyd via or by calling 02890969008. T. Nielsen has interest to execute, and has prepared a budget, for a full renovation of the interior of the yacht to the highest standard, or any other specification desired by its new owner.

“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,” explained Warren Boyd from Wilsons Auctions.

“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!” he concluded.  

More details about Kahu are available by clicking here  
To register for this auction click here 

As the largest independent auction company across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland, Wilsons Auctions conducts over 3,100 auctions annually with over 85 years of experience. More than just an auction company, Wilsons Auctions manages the whole asset realisation process for private and public sector and over 40 law enforcement agencies across Ireland and the UK.

The Asset Recovery Department works with 17 countries worldwide realising an array of assets and in recent years has realised over £150 million worth of seized assets for government agencies, law enforcement agencies and insolvency practitioners.

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