Culture Victoria

Bay Steamers Maritime Museum

19 South Wharf Docklands Phone: 0407 232 987 Visit Website

Our Collection

This collection consists of items related to Australian steam vessels with a particular focus on Steam Tug Wattle built in 1933. The collection was officially created in 2011 however the items have been gradually amassing since the origins of the BSMM in 2003. The photographs, documents, maps and charts, books, artefacts and ephemera relate to the different stages in ST Wattle's life starting off as a navy tug in Sydney in the 1930s-60s, then as a tourist vessel in Melbourne in the 1970s-90s and concluding with the current restoration phase. Plans of the vessel and documents relating to her construction are the oldest collection items along with old technical manuals from past crew members. Ephemera and log books record her life as a tourist vessel along with many photographs of holiday makers on board. Maritime fiction books and other ephemera preserves the experiences of the many volunteer crew that have been welcomed on board over the years. The most recent additions to the collection are fragments of the ship, removed and replaced during the restoration project. A comprehensive photograph archive of the restoration process completes this unique collection.

The Bay Steamers Maritime Museum collection is of historic, research and social significance. It is of historic significance for the comprehensive collection of documents and photographs relating to its construction and multiple restoration jobs which also makes it of research significance for the information recorded in these documents. It is of social significance as it records the beginning of the volunteer based maritime restoration movement and also because the ST Wattle has social significance as a Sydney based vessel that was welcomed into the Victorian public psyche and placed on the National Trust (Vic) Heritage Register.

Restoration Photographic Collection 2009-2012

A detailed photographic record of the current restoration of the Steam Tug Wattle starting in 2009 and continuing through to 2013. Photographs document the tasks undertaken and the volunteers completing the work. A modern record of historic style restoration works.

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