eBay Aircraft Carrier Still Available

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In case you missed it on eBay, you still have the opportunity to own a (mostly) functioning aircraft carrier, if you have more than $6 million, a place to park a 665-foot-long ship and can afford the three tons of oil per hour it burns. As AVweb reported last week, the decommissioned carrier turned up on eBay and was reportedly attracting bids of upward of $100 million. But according to Renming Cheng, a Norwegian ship broker who set up the online posting, eBay, without explanation, cancelled the auction and none of the hundreds of bids panned out. So now it's back to the drawing board for him and two other brokers who are trying to find a buyer for the historic ship to save it from the scrap yard. A British nonprofit group is also trying to save her.

The ship was commissioned HMCS Vengeance when the British built her at the end of the Second World War. After a stint with the Royal Australian Navy, it was bought by Brazil in 1956, re-commissioned the Minas Gerais and was the Brazilian Navy's flagship until 2001 when Brazil replaced her with a former French carrier. It's now anchored in Rio de Janeiro. Martin Holt, a broker for French Creek Boat Sales in Parksville, British Columbia, said the owner, Philip Bush, a Swiss man living in London, would prefer to sell the ship intact but has a tug already en route to tow it to an Indian scrap yard. The scrap deal will be sealed by the end of January if a more lucrative offer isn't found. He said there are some legitimate potential buyers, including a movie company that wants to use it as a mobile studio and a Chinese company that would turn it into a floating resort (it sleeps 1,300) in the Philippines. He said the ship is in overall excellent condition (the catapult works and it has relatively new navigation gear) but would need asbestos removal and some boiler work to make it seaworthy. All weaponry has been removed. A third broker, Jeremy Shaw, of Maine, said the ship is a steal for the right buyer. "You can easily spend $6 million on a 100-foot yacht," he said.