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Warship On Trade Me (Torpedoes Not Included)

Tuesday 19 July 2005

Warship On Trade Me (Torpedoes Not Included)

In what is believed to be a world first, the contents and fittings of the navy frigate HMNZS Wellington are being auctioned off on Trade Me, starting tonight.

The ship, bought for $1 by Wellington’s F69 Trust, will be sunk in November off the South Coast as a dive attraction. But before it goes under the Trust are selling everything removable on Trade Me.

Tonight the three month process gets under way with the first 20 auction items from the warship being offered up. The list includes the two tonne aluminium funnel, shells for the 4.5 inch turret gun, blueprints for the ship and the red emergency telephone used by the captain to report damage under fire.

Also in the first lot is the control panel for the ship’s torpedo tubes (torpedoes not included), a veritable steal at just $1000 reserve.

“We were stoked to be approached by the F69 Trust,” said Trade Me manager Sam Morgan.

“We’ve made some inquiries and to our knowledge it’s the first time a warship has been offered up, in part or whole, on an online auction site.”

As well as the expected interest from militaria collectors, the auctions are expected to get strong interest from designers, restaurateurs and former servicemen who served on the leander class frigate during its 30 year commission.

The frigate is the latest in a long list of curious things offered up on Trade Me in 2005 including a bucket of water, the grandstand at Ericsson Stadium and a cigarette butt that sold for $7500.

F69, a batch 3 leander class frigate, spent 12 years in the British Navy as HMS Bacchante and 18 years in the NZ Navy as HMNZS Wellington, before being decomissioned. It will be scuttled on 12 November, 2005 (or the next calm day).

The latest Neilsen//NetRatings figures show Trade Me had over 2 million unique NZ visitors in June. It has over 1 million New Zealand members and 420,000 listings every week.


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