The museum is attractively and aptly situated at the Pilot Station, in the residence built for the Devonport Harbour Master in 1920. It has a view of Bass Strait and the restored pilot signal mast which stands at the entrance to the Mersey River. This was used to communicate with ships until quite recently.
Tasmanian and Local maritime history is illustrated by an extensive collection of flags, paintings, charts and photographs. A feature is the collection of photographs of warships with Tasmanian association. In one room, a display outlines the development of the Bass Strait roll on roll off ferry service.
Other rooms have exhibits of ropework, ironwork, diving dress, whaling gear and machinery etc. The variety of nautical equipment would interest all sea lovers. However, pride of place goes to the model collection ranging from 1830 to modern passenger ships.
There are half models from Harry Woods Shipbuilding yard at Devonport. Also, models ingeniously made with plates cut from jam tins and models over two metres long. Also a special display of the Titanic as it is now after almost 80 years on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
Stained glass windows depicting local history and maritime themes are featured.