Forceful (tugboat)

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Forceful docked at the Queensland Maritime Museum in 2008
Forceful docked at the Queensland Maritime Museum in 2008
Operator: Queensland Tug Company
Builder: Alexander Stephen & Sons Ltd, Govan, Scotland
Launched: 20 November 1925
In service: 7 March 1926
Out of service: 1942
Homeport: Brisbane
Status: Requisitioned by RAN
Commissioned: 16 February 1942
Decommissioned: 11 October 1943
Honours and
Fate: Returned to civilian owners
In service: 1943
Out of service: 28 September 1970
Homeport: Brisbane
Identification:IMO number5117559
Status: Museum ship at the Queensland Maritime Museum since 10 June 1971
Notes: Currently awaiting refit in order to return to service
General characteristics
Displacement: 288 gross tons
Length: 36.88 m (121.0 ft)
Beam: 8.26 m (27.1 ft)
Draught: 4.08 m (13.4 ft)
Propulsion: 1 triple expansion steam engine with 3 cylinders, 2 single ended boilers each with 2 furnaces, 1050 IHP
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Armament: One Oerlikon 20 mm cannon, one Vickers machine gun (RAN service only)

Forceful is an ocean-going tugboat built for the Queensland Tug Company. Forceful was built by Alexander Stephen and Sons Ltd in Govan, Scotland. She arrived at her homeport of Brisbane, Queensland on 7 March 1926. While she spent most of her career operating along the coast of Queensland, she was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy during most of 1942 and 1943 as HMAS Forceful (W126).

During her war service she was based at Darwin and operated mainly in northern Australian waters. She received two battle honours for her wartime service: "Darwin 1942-43" and "Pacific 1943".[1][2]

Forceful was retired from service in September 1970 and was handed over to the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane on 10 June 1971. The vessel was kept operational and used for trips along the Brisbane River and to Moreton Bay until 2006, when a hull survey revealed that the tugboat was not safe to operate, and required extensive repairs.

Following a number slippings of the vessel at the Brisbane slipway in order to preserve her in a safe condition, Forceful now has several repairs on her hull in order to keep her watertight and is currently being maintained as a static exhibit at the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane. But age and lack of funding was taking its toll. In June 2012 Forceful was at risk of being condemned for scrap as a small leak had developed in the vessels stern. Forceful was given a deadline to be out of the water and repaired by Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ). With no funds available, the outlook was not good. Media attention by television and radio networks as well as maritime newsletters and social media ended up with an anonymous donation being made to facilitate the repairs Forceful needed. She came out of the water in June 2012 for repairs and returned to the Queensland Maritime Museum in July 2012.


  1. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  • "Forceful". Queensland Maritime Museum website. Queensland Maritime Museum. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  • "SS Forceful". Historic Naval Ships Association website. Historic Naval Ships Association. Retrieved 1 December 2014.

Coordinates: 27°28′52.82″S 153°01′36.97″E / 27.4813389°S 153.0269361°E / -27.4813389; 153.0269361