If you are a fan of the Michael Bay Transformers film franchise, then you are used to seeing cars, airplanes, and boats, transform into giant robots. In a real-world “transformation” that could be equally miraculous, an Australian company has announced plans to turn a former Irish navy vessel into a luxury motor yacht.

In what may turn out to be one of the world’s most complicated and expensive refits, the company has drawn up designs to convert one of Ireland’s former Naval Service patrol ships, the Aisling, into a luxury “superyacht.” All tolle, the refit will probably cost over 10 million dollars. However, once completed, it will significantly increase the value of the former 210-foot patrol boat. The de-commissioned naval vessel was sold at auction to Dutch shipbrokers, Dick van der Kamp, back in March 2017, for about $130,000 US, where she remains, and has been renamed Avenhorn.

According to a recent article in the Irish Times, the proposed superyacht transformation was presented to van der Kamp by Sabdes Design of Sydney. Among amenities in the proposal are two options for refit in a “modern classic style,” allowing for “ample leisure facilities” and a “helicopter pad on deck.” The designers with Sabdes point out that the ship is in “very good condition” and “offers a rare opportunity to create a yacht based on a strong naval platform”.

Speaking to the Times, Irish Shipbrokers and Chartering Ltd director Glenn Murphy, said it wasn’t an unusual conversion plan as many vintage vessels such as naval, research and offshore vessels, find a new life as a private yachts. According to Murphy, a new superyacht or megayacht, over 100ft, typically costs millions per foot to build, so to “build and fit out a very high specification yacht in European shipyards, new ships the size of the Aisling could cost over $60 million.”

“A conversion project, depending on the specifications of the refit, could be anywhere from a couple of million upwards to $10 million to achieve the high end luxuries that the super-rich market desires,” he added.

According to the Irish Department of Defense, during its 36 years of service, the Aisling was involved in the apprehension of ships that were smuggling guns for the IRA. And, in 1985, the ship’s crew recovered 38 bodies from the wreckage of the Air India plane which was blown up in a bomb attack off the Irish coast, with the loss of all 329 passengers and crew. She was decommissioned in June 2016.

Will the vision of transforming the celebrated naval vessel into a state-of-the-art superyacht ever be realized? That remains to be seen. But when and if the project moves forward, you can be sure to read about it in Refit News!

Upgrade or Refit Your Luxury Motor Yacht

Keep watching these pages as we bring you news of some of the world’s most amazing refits and yacht transformations. And, if you are ready for a refit or upgrade of your own, remember, our refit specialists are here for you. We can modernize all of your yacht’s critical systems, from the electronics to her engines, as well as make any interior or exterior repairs, making her as good, if not better, than the day you bought her!


Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.