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Vessel Number: HV000177
Date: 1925
Vessel Dimensions: 36.88 m x 34 m x 8.23 m x 4.06 m, 588 tonnes (121 ft x 111.55 ft x 27 ft x 13.32 ft, 597.41 tons)
Registered Dimensions: 288 tons
Classification:Vessels and fittings
FORCEFUL was built in 1925 in Scotland and is a rare example of a coal-fired steam-powered tug still operating in 2008 with its original engine.

It has had a long association with Queensland, first as a working tug for nearly 50 years, and then as a museum ship.
DescriptionFORCEFUL was built by Alexander Stephen & Sons at their Govan yard, on the River Clyde in Scotland, and launched on 20 November 1925. The 36.88 m (121 ft) long vessel has a riveted steel hull, a steel and iron deck, and a wooden-planked wheelhouse with iron frames. This construction is typical of late 19th and early 20th century designs.

The tug has a 19th century machinery arrangement with two single-ended fire-tube- type boilers, each with two furnaces, providing steam to a three cylinder, triple-expansion reciprocating engine. The original steam engine from 1925 is still in use after more than 80 years service. The single propeller has four blades and is some 2 metres (6.5 feet) in diameter.

FORCEFUL's primary role was towage duties and was fitted with a towing hook located amidships, near the vessel's centre of gravity. For most of its working life it operated in the Port of Brisbane, with its final towage duty on 28 September 1970.

It was also involved with a number of salvage operations on the Queensland coast. In 1926 it attempted to rescue COOMA stranded on North Reef, Heron Island. In the same year, working with CORINGA, it towed RIO CLARO off Scott's Reef near Cairns. In another famous incident, FORCEFUL battled enormous seas to salvage ARAFURA, which had been disabled by a cyclone near North Reef.

FORCEFUL's war service was relatively brief. In late 1941 it towed a floating dock to Darwin from Brisbane, assisted by the tug BEAVER. On 4 December 1941 it was chartered by the British Government, intended for use in the Middle East. But in January 1942, after the Pacific war broke out, and while in Fremantle, approval to leave Australia was withdrawn. FORCEFUL was then commissioned into the RAN on 16 February 1942, and went to Darwin in October 1942. Its last duty for the RAN was in August 1943, towing a landing barge to Brisbane. FORCEFUL was paid off in October 1943.

After the war it resumed towing operations in Brisbane. In 1971 FORCEFUL was transferred from private ownership to the Queensland Maritime Museum, where it is maintained by volunteers.

Between 1988, when it ran river excursions during Expo 88 and 2006, FORCEFUL carried about 30,000 passengers. In 2008 the tug remained in operational condition.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:steel/iron
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Deck layout:multiple decks
Deck material and construction:steel/iron
Hull material and construction:steel
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Motor propulsion:screw steamerSSsteam launchsteam shipsteam yachtsteamersteamshipSY
Motor propulsion:steam reciprocating
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:other
ship:Byzantine ships:ships:ships:wheelhouse
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 3811QD

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