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|
|Class and type:||Explorer class general-purpose vessel|
|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)|
|Armament:||.50 cal machine guns fitted as required|
The Explorer class was a two-ship class of general-purpose vessels built for the RAN. The ships had a displacement of 207 tons at standard load and 260 tons at full load. 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). 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). The ship's company consisted of 14 personnel. The ship's armament of light weapons (two .303 Bren guns) were only fitted as needed.
From 1963, Bass operated with the coastwatchers organisation.
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. She continued in this role until June 1982, when she was replaced by the patrol boat HMAS Ardent. In July, Bass relocated to HMAS Waterhen, to provide navigational training to personnel at that base.
On 17 December, Bass was formally decommissioned, but remained in service as Waterhen's training vessel. In October 1985, Bass was reassigned to the Darwin Port Division of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve.
Civilian owners include Sydney Harbour and foreshore identities, Jeff Devine, Danny Black and John Giddens.