Back in 1993, the short-lived action-adventure TV series “Thunder in Paradise” showed us what it would be like if you gave a pair of former Navy SEALs (played by Hulk Hogan and Chris Lemmon) a stealthy tactical boat with which they could conduct their mercenary operations. As a series, the concept fizzled out after just 22 episodes, but in today’s world full of special operations veterans taking contract work all around the globe (for better or worse), that seemingly over-the-top premise may not be all that crazy after all—especially with the Navy putting a Mk V Special Operations Craft (SOC) up for sale at just a fraction of the original sticker price.
Although the Mk V SOC may have been stripped of its weapons and classified technology, it’s still one hell of a vessel. Its two MTU 12V396 TE94 diesel engines and its pair of Kamewa 50-511 waterjets are said to be able to propel the 82-foot-long craft to speeds in excess of 57 miles per hour (50 knots). In order to keep all that power under control in choppy ocean waters, the main cabin also comes with shock-mitigating seats, making for a comfortable ride even in turbulent (or explosion-ridden) seas.
The boat can comfortably accommodate six crew members while still leaving room for 16 fully loaded Navy SEALs, or roughly one complete Mardis Gras party, depending on your weekend plans. It also has a relatively low profile for such a sizable vessel, making it tough to spot from a distance while traveling at low speeds—perfect for a celebrity who wants to keep a low profile or for your run-of-the-mill “Oceans Eleven”-style caper. If your budget is big enough, the boat breaks down perfectly to fit inside a C-5 cargo plane for rapid deployment at any of your favorite party spots or piracy havens, and the ramp on the back is perfect for launching armed rigid inflatable boats or for water skiing—whichever you prefer.
Of course, we are talking about a special operations water craft previously operated by the Navy’s elite Special Boat Teams as a quick and capable means of insertion or extraction, so there are some dents and dings to worry about, and while the listing says the engines are operational, it also offers the qualifier that they may not be, meaning this spec ops addition to your local yacht club may be a bit of a fixer-upper.
But with an original sticker price of around $3.7 million and the current bid at only a bit north of $52,000, you’ll have plenty of money left over to equip your own MK V SOC with all the high-tech doodads your heart desires. Back when these boats were in production, the U.S. Navy received a total of only 20 of them, meaning there’s very little chance you’ll bump into another boater with the same rig at your local marina.
Check out the listing for this unusual vessel here.
Feature image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons