After being decommissioned, the submarine was acquired by the „Kuratorium zur Förderung des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums e.V.“ and the „Förderverein des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseum e.V“.
In 1983, the newly founded Verein „Technikmuseum U-Boot Wilhelm-Bauer e.V.“ took over the boat and refurbished it as a museum ship at considerable expense.
Thanks to the initiative of many volunteers and the financial help of many companies and banks as well as the support of the maritime city of Bremerhaven, the submarine "Wilhelm-Bauer" could be opened in the museum harbor in Bremerhaven on April 28, 1984.
Since then, the Museum of Technology has financed itself entirely from its own income and enjoys a high number of visitors.
The income is used for the further restoration and maintenance of the submarine.