Histoy of the vessel

Construction of the hull began during WWII in Adelaide, to be fitted as an army supply vessel. Due to the cessation of the war, the hull wasn't launched until 1950, when it was sold to the South Australian Harbours Board, who fitted it as a lighter (light service vessel), naming the vessel “MV Captain W.F. Baddams”.

In October 1958 the boat began work servicing lighthouses and navigational aids along the coast of South Australia. For the next 20 years, the Capt. W.F. Baddams serviced navigation aids, as well as aiding in the dredging and the towing of dump barges. Later on in this era the boat was also used for wharf construction.

Due to the changing nature of lighthouses, the decision was made to sell the vessel and in 1981 the boat was sold to a construction company in Hobart, who refitted the vessel as a dive training/support ship and renamed it the “Sealion”.

In the mid 1980’s the vessel was purchased and fitted for squid fishing in the Bass Strait, it was leased to several operators for fishing and long-lining.

In 1990 the Sealion was purchased and crossed the cook straight after 2 aborted attempts. The boat arrived in Wellington on the 15th December, after 6 days at sea. In the following years the boat was refitted once more, this time as a pleasure craft, and began operating as an entertainment/charter boat in and around the Wellington area.

After several more changes in ownership the boat came into private ownership in 2004, becoming a family home.

Over 2016-18 a local street artist known as D-SIDE repainted the boat with its now infamous birds.

In June 2020 the boat was sold again, and in August 2020, The Sealion began operating as a community space.