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MV Bass at Ballast Point.jpg
MV Bass moored off Ballast Point in 2012
Builder: Walkers Limited, Maryborough, Queensland
Laid down: May 1959
Commissioned: 15 November 1960
Decommissioned: 17 December 1982
Out of service: 1994
Status: Active in civilian service[citation needed]
General characteristics
Class and type: Explorer class general-purpose vessel
  • 207 tonnes standard
  • 260 tonnes full load
  • 90 ft (27 m) between perpendiculars
  • 101 ft (31 m) overall
Beam: 22 ft (6.7 m)
Draught: 8 ft (2.4 m)
Propulsion: Diesel twin screw, 342 shaft horsepower (255 kW)
Speed: 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph)
Complement: 14
Armament: .50 cal machine guns fitted as required

HMAS Bass (GPV 902) was an Explorer class general-purpose vessel of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), serving in a range of capacities from 1960 until 1994.[1]

Design and construction

The Explorer class was a two-ship class of general-purpose vessels built for the RAN.[2] The ships had a displacement of 207 tons at standard load and 260 tons at full load.[2] Bass was 101 feet (31 m) in length overall, had a beam of 22 feet (6.7 m), and a draught of 8 feet (2.4 m).[2] Propulsion machinery consisted of GM diesels, which supplied 348 shaft horsepower (260 kW) to the two propeller screws, and allowed the vessel to reach 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph).[2] The ship's company consisted of 14 personnel.[2] The ship's armament of light weapons (two .303 Bren guns) were only fitted as needed.[2]

Bass was laid down by Walkers Limited of Maryborough, Queensland in May 1959.[3] She was commissioned into the RAN on 15 November 1960.[3]

Operational history

From 1963, Bass operated with the coastwatchers organisation.[2]

By July 1967, the ship had been assigned to Hobart for hydrographic survey duties, and for service as a training vessel to the Royal Australian Navy Reserve Port Division based there.[2] She continued in this role until June 1982, when she was replaced by the patrol boat HMAS Ardent.[4] In July, Bass relocated to HMAS Waterhen, to provide navigational training to personnel at that base.[2]

On 17 December, Bass was formally decommissioned, but remained in service as Waterhen's training vessel.[2] In October 1985, Bass was reassigned to the Darwin Port Division of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve.[2]

In 1994, Bass was paid off and sold.[1] The vessel entered civilian service as MV Bass.[citation needed]

Civilian owners include Sydney Harbour and foreshore identities, Jeff Devine, Danny Black and John Giddens.


  1. ^ a b Wilson, Royal Australian Navy 21st Century Warships, p. 37
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gillett, Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946, p. 46
  3. ^ a b Gillett, Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946, p. 47
  4. ^ Gillett, Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946, pgs. 46, 86
  • Gillett, Ross (1988). Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946. Brookvale, NSW: Child & Associates. ISBN 0-86777-219-0. OCLC 23470364.
  • Wilson, Michael. Royal Australian Navy 21st Century Warships: Naval auxiliaries 1911 to 1999 (including Defence Maritime Services). Profile No. 4 (Revised ed.). Marrickville, NSW: Topmill Pty Ltd. ISBN 978-1-876270-72-8. OCLC 223731505.

External links

  • MV Bass - Website following the restoration of the vessel