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Photographer:Tobias S. Holland [View profile]Title:SEALIONAdded:Mar 16, 2016
Captured:January 16, 2016IMO:UnavailableHits:1,066
Location:Wellington, New Zealand
Photo Category: Work Boats
SEALION seen at Queens Wharf, Wellington, New Zealand. 16/01/2016

This vessel was initially intended to be a general purpose stores lighter for the Royal Australian Navy when construction commenced on her during WWII. This had never eventuated as the war had ended before her completion.

After her wooden-hull was completed in 1946, she was laid up in an incomplete state for 10 years at her builders’ yard (McFarlane & Sons) in Port Adelaide, Australia.

In 1956, the vessel was purchased by the South Australian Department of Marine & Harbours for the purpose of lighthouse and buoy maintenance duties. For this service, she was completed with a steel superstructure at her builders’ yard in 1958 and given the name CAPTAIN W.F. BADDAMS in honour of the Port Adelaide harbourmaster.

In 1981, she was purchased by Sea Lion Industries Pty. Ltd. of Hobart, Tasmania. She then sailed to Hobart where she spent her time moored at Victoria Dock until August, 1983, when she subsequently moved to Lindisfarne Bay in Hobart. During this time, some conversion work had taken place on the vessel to suit her for squid fishing in the Bass Strait. After completion, she was renamed SEALION and leased to four different operators in subsequent years for squid fishing, long-lining and seining in Tasmanian waters.

In September 1990, she was purchased for use as a private vessel, and after three months in Hobart and two aborted attempts, she sailed for Wellington, New Zealand, where she arrived on 15th of December, 1990. After arrival in Wellington, she underwent a refit for use as a private cruiser. After completion, the vessel now had accommodation for 12 passengers in 6 cabins. She was used for private cruises that mainly operated around Wellington Harbour.

According to SEALION’s visitors’ book, past guests on board have included American singer Eartha Kitt, professional sailor Grant Dalton and the Rt Hon. Bill Birch (former New Zealand politician).

Since January 2000, SEALION has been sold several times and is currently undergoing maintenance in Wellington.


1946-1958: MSL 708
1958 -1983: CAPTAIN W.F. BADDAMS
1983-Present: SEALION

Type: Workboat | Present Use: Private Launch
Flag: New Zealand | Port of Registry: Wellington
Owner: Ian McIntosh
Year Built: 1946/1958 | Country of Build: Australia | Builder: McFarlane & Sons | Location of Yard: Port Adelaide
Construction Materials: Keel to Waterline: Karri | Topsides & Deck: Oregon | Superstructure: Steel
Length: 25.91 m | Beam: 6.22 m | Draught: 2.67 m
GT: 100 | Loaded Displacement: 88.7 tons
Fuel Capacity: 6,000 litres | Cruising Range: 1,300 miles
Main Engine: Detroit diesel | Power: 170 hp
Speed: 8.5 knots
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