- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- History - general, Ship histories and stories
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Seal, HMAS Porpoise
- March 1990 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Finding a new home for two Royal Australian Navy minesweepers caused a few waves at a Sydney auction recently.
More than 320 tonnes of steel and maple went under the hammer in just nine minutes of frantic bidding.
An eager crowd of 30 turned out to wharf 10, Pyrmont, for the sale of the RAN ships the Seal and the Porpoise. After anxious bidding by four parties, auctioneer George Miller declared the ships sold. Both vessels were purchased by semi-retired businessman Denis Geary for $140,000.
A jubilant Mr Geary said he would devote the next 12 months to refurbishing the vessels at his home on Hamilton Island, North Queensland, before turning them into “profitable propositions”.
The Porpoise, which sold for $90,000 will become Mr Geary’s new home. The Seal, which was damaged in heavy seas in July last year will be converted into a diving vessel for use by tourists in Whitsunday Passage.
Mr Geary, a sports car racer of the 1960s, said he was pleased with the purchase. “I had no problems getting planes from Hamilton Island to Sydney but getting a cab – well that was impossible. I arrived just in time for bidding.
“But I’m happy with the purchase. It’ll take 12 months of hard labor to refurbish the boats but it will be worth it, especially with the way Japanese tourists have taken to scuba diving and snorkelling.”