Here's your chance to own Navy stealth ship
The Navy test craft Sea Shadow performs in the Sea and Air Parade in San Diego in 2005.
May 3rd, 2012
10:48 AM ET

Here's your chance to own Navy stealth ship

You've got about 24 hours to get your bids in on a piece of super-cool Cold War hardware - a stealth warship the government no longer wants.

The General Services Administration is taking bids on the U.S. Navy's Sea Shadow, built by Lockheed Martin in 1983 for the Navy to test radar-evading capabilities and other weapons systems. The ship has outlived its usefulness, and the Navy is trying to unload it to avoid maintenance costs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"It is not cost-effective for the Navy to maintain the ship in an inactive condition any longer, and the ship no longer serves any operational or research purpose," Navy spokesman Christopher Johnson told the Times. "Our only disposition option is dismantling and recycling."

Which means if you submit the highest bid, you won't be taking the 118-foot-long, 499-ton Sea Shadow for a three-hour tour with Gilligan and the Skipper.

"The ex-Sea Shadow shall be disposed of by completely dismantling and scrapping within the U.S.A. Dismantling is defined as reducing the property such as it has no value except for its basic material content," read the conditions on the GSA auction site.

That seems to have dampened the interest of evil madmen bent on world domination. (The Sea Shadow is said to be the inspiration for the villain's vessel in the 1997 James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies.")

The GSA website reports only 10 bidders so far, with the top bid at $139,100. Bidding started at $10,000.

The winning bidder will have to pick up the prize from the Maritime Administration National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California.

The Sea Shadow comes complete with a covered barge/floating dry dock, so once you bust it up you will have a keepsake to remind you of what could have been.

Bids are due by 6 p.m. ET Friday. Good luck.

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Filed under: California • Military • U.S. Navy
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. barryblessing

    Let's get this straight.

    I can bid for the privilege to watch my money's prize dismantled into basic metal scraps which will be melted for resale? Why would anyone pay for that? No cruise around the harbor? Can't be my new houseboat to live out my Miami Vice fantasies? What's the point of the story, anyway? If all you can do is scrap it, why sell it? Is the Navy trying to recover the future expense of dismantling by selling the privilege of having paper ownership of the ship?


    May 4, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • zooni

      The article like most CNN articles is dishonest. You will not own a stealth ship, you will own a bunch of metal.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • no yes no

      This is a very convoluted action. Most people are assuming the ship has high value of metals, but it has in it's construction many collections of odd materials, including plastics and experimental composites that were found to be unviable and some are actually dangerous. Anyone that buys this scrap is going to have a rough time sorting out unknown materials and keeping the people sorting safe from toxic dust. Any profit is likely to never happen for the bidder. Even bet the US government will require review of the process. Sending the scrap to China to recycle would be the only way to make a profit, but wanna bet the US government will not allow these materials to leave the country? Pity the fool that buys this hole in the water as it will need to be filled with cash.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeeingMoreClearly

      They're bidding for the right to scrap it. It's pretty common with old ships. Google it.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • USA401

      Reselling scrap is dirty work. But it can be very lucrative for a well established seller.

      May 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Barry......why would someone pay for that? Well.....for profit, of course.

      The trick is to NOT bid such a high price as to eat up all your profit when the metal is sold for scrap.

      May 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. steve

    The intresting thing it NOT the Sea Shadow, but the barge. Its the HMB-1, from project Azorian. Wikipedia HMB-1 and you will find it. The HMB-1 was used to move the claw that picked up the Russian submarine K129 into the Glomar Explorer.

    May 4, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. William

    have one, don't need another.

    May 4, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Luis

    As tax payers...didn't we already pay for it? Makes a great underwater reef.

    May 4, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Bikebrains

      Breaking ships provides employment at a time of high unemployment. The breakers can isolate the dangerous materials and dispose the "hasmats" according to federal law.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Luvvy Duvvy

    Why the hell doesn't the navy just dismantle it themselves?

    May 4, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim456

      Because it may cost a fortune

      May 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jason Gore

    Looks like the Confederate ship the Merrimack.

    May 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. YHW

    GSA to auction off Navy steath ship after blowing it all at Vegas.

    May 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul Fretheim

    If only the people in the Defense Department would show the same sort of sane reasoning regarding nuclear weapons, the B2 bomber and most of the other monstrosities that are threatening life on Earth and setting a terrible example for the entire planet.

    There are threats that need to be addressed. Climate change is probably number one after the abolition of nuclear weapons. Population is out of control. The Oceans are dying. And tanks and fighter planes can't save us from those things.

    May 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Well, the tanks and planes can help with the population thing.

      May 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anarkist4d2

      Did I miss something? I could have sworn the article was about scrapping a ship, not tree hugging activism.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frangible

      You need to make up your mind. Climate change and overpopulation are the problem, and you want to get rid of nuclear weapons?

      May 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    No free shipping, are you kidding??

    May 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RexRiley

    I already own one but can't find it. That's the danger of buying a stealth boat.

    May 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rambo

    i want to buy it and sell it to the chineses goverment for $50,000,000

    May 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rob2tall

    Ever been to that mothball fleet? There are many ships there with far greater value to scrap-but they just sit there for decades-much like the mothball yards in the desert in Arizona and Nevada filled with military gear we dont use-we are a wastefull country.We ought to recycle all the materials from all these ships,subs,tanks,planes etc..reuse the materials.

    May 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mikrik13

    Another colossal example of waste, fraud, and abuse in our military.

    May 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Greg

    So does the buyer have to scrap the ship? Or can they just use it within US waters as their personal yacht? If the former, that is pretty absurd – I'm surprised anyone wants to bid on it. If the ship no longer serves any purpose, why would it have to be scrapped?

    May 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Anarkist4d2

    Will it pull a wakeboarder?

    May 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
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