SS Forceful departed Glasgow on her delivery voyage December 21, 1925, arriving in Brisbane on March 7, 1926.
Some ocean towing and rescuing stranded and crippled vessels on the Queensland coast varied her river tows and harbor berthing routine of 40 years.
Chartered by the British government for Middle East service, Forceful was transiting Fremantle in January 1942 when the Australian Government withdrew approval. Commissioned the next month, HMAS Forceful worked around Fremantle until sailing for Darwin in October.
More port work and lighter tows to Thursday Island and Merauke, New Guinea, followed. On 4 November she rescued the crew of a U.S. B-26 which crashed off Bathurst Island.
In August 1943 she towed a landing ship which had its stern blown off to Brisbane. There she was paid off in October 1943, and returned to commercial service.
In 1964, SS Forceful became the last coal-burning tug on the Brisbane River. Her towing career ended in September 1970.
She was presented to the Queensland Maritime Museum in June 1971. With hard work by Museum volunteers she made a trial run in August 1971. She continues to be maintained by the volunteers. Frequent public and charter steamings each year took thousands down the river to Moreton Bay.
At present Forceful is laid up.
Type: Ocean-going tug
Launched: November 20, 1925
At: Alexander Stephen & Sons, Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland
Commissioned: February 16, 1942
Length: 121 feet
Beam: 27 feet, 1 inch
Draft: 13 feet, 5 inches
Displacement: 288 tons
Armament during commissioned service: One 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun and one Vickers machine gun