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1966 Aero Marine 304'


$ 950,000

Sahara is a Aero Marine 304' Ex Oceanographer listed for sale with United Yacht Broker United Sales. United can be reached at to answer any questions you may have on this boat. United Yacht Sales is a professional brokerage firm that has experience listing and selling all types of Motor Yachts and similar boats. With over 165 yacht brokers worldwide, we have the largest network of boat buyers and sellers in the industry.

M/Y Sahara (formerly: ‘Protector’ and before that: ‘Oceanographer’) was built by the Gibbs-Jacksonville Shipyard under contract with Aerojet General for the US government. It would eventually be the flagship of the NOAA fleet and travel more than 2 million miles through all of the earth’s oceans during her 30 years of service as a research ship.

Sahara was decommissioned in 1996. A $50 million superyacht conversion was started a few years ago but circumstances changed and now a new owner can pick up this gorgeous ship along with the in-progress works and choose their own plan for completion.

Several designs have been drawn depicting her proposed conversion into an exquisite global luxury yacht / small cruise ship. Contact the broker to explore options for the development of the vessel into a seagoing hotel or a bespoke luxury superyacht. Various intriguing superstructure design plans and GA drawings are available.

Sahara is a beautiful vessel, with excellent bones. The boat was built to withstand the toughest seas for her scientist crew. She was built to the most rigorous ‘ice class’ standards and reproducing her would likely cost between two and three hundred million dollars today. This translates to an enormous value for a discerning buyer who wants to shave several million dollars and many months off the process of the construction of a beautiful and rugged expedition vessel. 


  • Price USD:$ 950,000
  • Builder:

    Aero Marine

  • Model:

    Ex Oceanographer

  • Location:

    Cruising, Mexico

  • Type:

    Power Yacht

  • LOA: 304 ft in
  • Display Length: 304 ft
  • Beam: 52'
  • Yacht Category

    Motor Yachts

  • Water Capacity: --
  • Fuel Capacity: 320000 gals
  • Engine Details: Fairbanks Morse 33D8
  • Engine 1: 1966 0.00 HRS 1500.00 HP
  • Engine 2: 1966 0.00 HRS 1500.00 HP
  • Engine 3: 1966 0.00 HRS 1500.00 HP
  • Engine 4: 1966 0.00 HRS 1500.00 HP
  • Engine Fuel: Diesel

I have walked this ship and am impressed with her unique combination of spacious style and handsome ruggedness. If you’re considering the best path to develop a world class expedition vessel or a small cruise ship, you should consider starting with this amazing structure and have our conversion shipyard partners produce plans for her completion.

The company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change or withdrawal without notice.

Engine hours are as of the date of the original listing and are a representation of what the listing broker is told by the owner and/or actual reading of the engine hour meters. The broker cannot guarantee the true hours. It is the responsibility of the purchaser and/or his agent to verify engine hours, warranties implied or otherwise and major overhauls as well as all other representations noted on the listing brochure.