Submarines: Another eBay Bargain


December 9,2008: Yet another submarine has shown up on eBay. This one is a retired Australian Oberon class boat. The city of Hastings, in Victoria state, got this Oberon (the former HMAS Otama) six years ago for use as a museum ship. But not enough money could be raised to carry out this plan. So the charitable group that owns the Otama is auctioning the boat off, in the hope that it will find a good home, and the money obtained will pay off some of the debts incurred in trying to build a museum facility to house the Otama.

The 27 Oberons were built in Britain during the 1960s, The first one of these 2,000 ton diesel-electric boats entered service with Royal Navy, while fourteen were exported (to Australia, Canada, Chile and Brazil). The last of them (the Otama) was retired in 2000.

All weapons and military equipment are removed, but otherwise the boat is afloat and could be restored to a seagoing state. It requires a military crew of 62, but a smaller crew (about 30 qualified submariners) would suffice for civilian use. The boat is 295 feet long and 26.5 feet wide. With the torpedoes and military electronics removed, there would be quite a bit more room available for the owners pleasure. The asking price in the auction is $2.1 million, and the boat is not expected to sell at this price.


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