She was of all-welded steel construction, and with two General Motors diesel electric engines, she was designed to maintain a towing speed of 10 knots in fair weather towing a 10,000 ton vessel. She was capable of a top speed of 14.3 knots
Until transferred to the RAN, Sprightly, flying the Australian Red Ensign under Commonwealth Salvage Board control, was engaged in salvage operations in northern Australia and New Guinea waters.
On the 23rd of February 1944, she was commissioned at Brisbane as HMAS Sprightly, under the command of Lieutenant George Duck, RANR(S).
She has a displacement of 800 tons, was 143 feet long, had a beam of 33 feet 1 inch and a draft of 14 feet 7 inches. She was armed with one 3-inch HA/LA gun and a 5-inch machine gun. She also had two 20mm Oerlik cannons.
Sprightly served as a naval tug in New Guinea and northern Australian waters from May 1944 until July 1946, when she returned to Sydney.
She paid off to Reserve on 23 December 1946.
On 23 November 1953 Sprightly recommissioned at Sydney under the command of Lieutenant Commander Leslie Morison, RANVR. She remained in service until 31 March 1958 when she again paid off to Reserve.
In December 1961 Sprightly was leased on charter to the Pacific Tug and Salvage Corporation for a period of two years. On reverting to naval control she was placed in Reserve and was classified as a Submarine Rescue Ship.
On 29 August 1969 Sprightly was sold to T Korevaar and Sons Pty Ltd, Williamstown, Victoria.