After suffering a boiler tube leak that put it out of service in 2001, the ship remained idle at Throsby Wharf for 4 years until it was taken from the water in 2006.
Owner Newcastle City Council decided that it was unviable to complete repairs to return the ship to service. Attempts to sell the ship were unsuccessful so it was decided to cut it up. A small group of past volunteers (who believed it was possible to repair) approached NCC and offered to take over ownership and to restore it to operating condition. After a lengthy tendering process, a new incorporated association “William the Fourth Inc” was formed and took ownership in September 2008.
Difficulty in raising the minimum of $150,000 funds required resulted in restoration being delayed until 2013. With the support of local business leaders providing cash and in-kind services, a new diesel engine, generator and related machinery was installed progressively over 4 years.
Many companies provided valuable technical as well as financial support including Varleys, TW Woods, Teterin Engineering, Bloomfield Collieries, International Marine Paints and Port Waratah Coal Services. Hull restoration was completed by expert shipwrights but most restoration was completed by a small team of dedicated volunteers.
The work was completed without incurring debt. Hunter Development Corporation provided a berth with a subsidised lease.
In May 2017 the ship was launched by crane as no slipway was available at that time. Final fit-out, machinery trials and commercial survey were completed and the ship commenced operations in November 2018.