to the wma

The Williamstown Maritime Association (WMA) is a not-for-profit body that was set up to establish a working maritime precinct, Seaworks, on the old Port of Melbourne Authority site in Melbourne’s historic port of Williamstown.

The WMA established the famous Pirates Tavern in 2004 when a small band of maritime enthusiasts from the Shenandoah Society met to discuss holding a wooden boat show at the site.

With Parks Victoria approval, a massive volunteer clean-up effort took pace. The first Boat Show took place in early 2004 under the leadership of Leigh Goodall.

Then-Premier Steve Bracks gave his endorsement to the event, and encouraged Parks Victoria to work with the WMA. A second Boat Show followed in 2005, for which the WMA transformed a derelict shed into the fully licensed Pirates Tavern, built entirely by volunteers. Over one hundred thousand dollars had been raised for improving the site.

The WMA has proven itself to be a unique community asset, locally as well as to Melbourne itself.

The Seaworks Foundation was initiated by the WMA to oversee management and development of the site, and the WMA works closely with the Foundation.

To this day the WMA still promotes the vision set out a decade ago for the development of the site. Our aims and objectives are as relevant today as they were then.


The general area where the Pirates Tavern resides has a long and storied history dating all the way back to 1856 when the Colony of Victoria decided to construct a large slipway at Williamstown to provide ship repair facilities. 

The Pirates tavern and surrounding buildings were still involved in the construction and maintiance of ships untill 1996 when the managment of the area was handed over from the Port of Melbourne Authority to Parks Victoria. 

One of the aims of the Williamstown Maritime Association since its inception has been to preserve the part Williamstown played in the maritime history of Victoria and Australia for future generations.

If you visit the Pirates Tavern you will see photos and artifacts from the original workshops and you can learn more about the history of the area.




If you would like to support the Williamstown Maritime Association then please consider joining as a member. For a small yearly fee you not only receive exclusive discounts as the Pirates Tavern, you become part of a community engaged in the history of Williamstown.

Become a Member and receive


  • 10% discounts on ALL alcoholic drinks (excluding private functions)
  • Free or discounted entry to Pirates Tavern events
  • Membership nights &
  • Members only cash draws
  • Monthly Newsletter
  • No SIGN IN required


82, Rear of, Nelson Pl, Williamstown VIC 3016.


0403 702 734


Fridays: 1.00pm onwards 

Saturdays: Closed 

For private functions call Wendy on 0403 702 734

Sundays: 1.00pm onwards

Tavern Manager: Wendy Pelns 0403 702 734
Email: wendy@piratestavern.com.au

Band Enquiries: David, Music Coordinator

Email: music@piratestavern.com.au

Address : Rear of Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place Williamstown.

Access from Nelson Place is down the lane between the Williamstown Police Station and Seaworks.

Access via Ann Street (the entrance gate is on the left hand side) Pass through the middle set of gates and the Tavern is to the left.