Irish Naval Ship Avenhorn Available for Conversion

Yacht owners yearning for an unusual opportunity, take note. Avenhorn, lauded as Ireland’s most famous naval vessel, is for sale. What’s more, two different proposals exist for transforming her into a rugged superyacht with a softer side.

The 214-foot (65.2-meter) Avenhorn launched in 1980 as LÉ Aisling (below), an offshore patrol vessel. According to Irish news reports, at launch she earned the nickname “Last of the Mohicans” for being the last of her type built at the shipyard. During more than three decades of service, the patrol vessel put nearly 630,000 nautical miles under her hull. That’s about 32 circumnavigations. Among her many duties for the Irish Naval Service, two particular events stand out. First, in September 1984, Aisling intercepted and detained a ship carrying seven tons of arms for the IRA. Then, in June 1985, she was among the first vessels to arrive where Air India flight 182 went down off the Irish coast.

LE Aisling Averhorn superyacht conversion

PHOTO: Brian Clayton/Flickr

Now renamed Avenhorn, the vessel is for sale via Dick van der Kamp, head of Dick van der Kamp Shipsales in The Netherlands. His company acquired her specifically for resale, in fact, having specialized in this over the years. Van der Kamp points to the successful superyacht conversions of Sherakhan and Legend, adding that Avenhorn’s condition makes her well suited for similar treatment. “My opinion is that the unique thing of such vessels is the base,” he explains. “They are very good seagoing ships, one of a kind.” Specific to Avenhorn, he adds, “It has a history, it has a story which a new owner can proudly tell his friends and passengers.”

Scott Blee of Australia-based Sabdes Yacht Design has two different conversion proposals for an owner to show his friends, too. Both pay homage to her rugged original appeal, yet add a contemporary, go-anywhere-yachting spirit. Note, for example, helicopter operations taking place on the foredeck. The primary differences between the two are the extra deck level above the bridge, and the helicopter deck aft. Compare the first proposal (top) against the second (below). 

Avenhorn superyacht conversion Sabdes Design profile 2

Because Avenhorn will be a custom conversion, all on-deck and interior arrangements are open to owner imagination. For reference, she still has her original 31 cabins. Beam is 34’5” (10.5 meters), and her gross tonnage is a voluminous 995. Her decks will handily accommodate modern megayacht amenities like cinemas, saloons, and more.

Also because she will be custom converted, the asking price of €685,000 (about $816,500) does not take into account the refit works.

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