State transportation officials have officially put the 140-year-old Falls of Clyde up for auction.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation today issued a notice of auction for the Falls of Clyde docked at Pier 7 at Honolulu Harbor. The ship is being sold as is.
Potential bidders must have a performance bond in the amount of $1.5 million guaranteeing removal of the vessel from Honolulu Harbor within 60 calendar days from the bill of sale. The Friends of the Falls of Clyde, the Honolulu nonprofit group that is the ship’s current registered owner, may also put in a bid, with proof of a bond, state officials said today.
The state is offering potential bidders an opportunity to inspect the vessel and its contents at their own risk at Pier 7 starting at 9 a.m. on Feb. 15. Sealed bids must be received no later than 11 a.m. on Feb. 28. A public announcement of the bids will be made later that day.
The state Harbors Division, which impounded the ship in 2016, had given the Friends of the Falls of Clyde until Wednesday to remove her from her berth at Pier 7. If not, the state was going to move ahead with auction proceedings.
The Scotland-based group Save Falls of Clyde International had announced plans to bring the ship — the last surviving iron-hulled, four-masted vessel — back to her birthplace of Scotland in December 2017. But a plan for a lift ship to transport her back to Scotland fell through last summer. Another previously scheduled lift on Feb. 3 was canceled due to logistical problems.
On Jan. 30, state officials noticed the ship was taking on water and got an emergency procurement to make repairs. The leaks in the ship have since been patched up.
The state Harbors Division said it has supported the Friends of Falls of Clyde by not charging any rent or fees for the use of Pier 7 since April 2009.
“We’ve given 10 years to the process and repeatedly we’ve heard the same thing — we just need time,” said Transportation Department spokesman Tim Sakahara. “There’ve been numerous attempts at fundraising and removal, and all have been unsuccessful. Given the current state of this ship and continued deterioration, it needs to be moved now. We’re moving forward with the next step, which is the auction.”
Built by Russell & Co. in Port Glasgow, Scotland, in 1878, the Falls of Clyde is believed to be the last surviving ship of a fleet named after Scottish waterfalls.
In retirement at Honolulu Harbor, the ship became a museum and hosted weddings, funerals, parties, military re-enlistment ceremonies and even a re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party. It survived Hurricane Iwa and two previous attempts to sink it. Bishop Museum, its previous owner, was going to scrap it, but the Friends purchased it for $1 in 2008.
Notice of Public Auction FOC by on Scribd