HMQS Mosquito

Mosquito in 1901
Several ships on the Brisbane River in 1889. Mosquito is near the bottom edge of the image


Following the Jervois-Scratchley reports the colonial governments of Australia restructured their defence forces. One of the outcomes of the report was the formation of the Queensland Maritime Defence Force. To equip the new force two gunboats and a torpedo boat were initially purchased. That torpedo boat was Mosquito.


Constructiongalvanised steel hull
Length63 feet 19 metres
(width at widest point)
7.5 feet2.3 metres
(depth in water)
Displacement12 tons
PropulsionExpansion Steam Engines

Expansion Steam Engines

Fuel Capacity (coal)
Max. SpeedDesign: 21 knots

Actual: 17.2 knots

Actual: 31 kph
Armamenttwo sets of dropping gear for 14-inch torpedoes
Manufacture date
Manufactured by Thornycroft

(John I. Thornycroft & Company Limited)
Manufactured atChiswick, England
Cost 3,500 pounds sterling
Launched16 July 1884
Completed 1885
In service1884 – 1910
Arrived Brisbane 1884

top speed of 21 knots; however, was only able to achieve 17.21 knots during trials.

Service and Disposal

Mosquito was transported to Australia as deck cargo by an East India Company steamer.

She was based at facilities constructed at the bottom of the cliffs of the western side of Kangaroo Point, on the Brisbane River.

She was never commissioned but simply placed into service when required, as she had no crew accommodation facilities, and therefore spent much of her time out of the water.

Following Federation in 1901, Mosquito was transferred to the new Commonwealth Naval Forces and was employed as a training vessel until she was paid off in 1910.

Her fittings and engines were removed before she was abandoned in Boggy Creek near Pinkenba.

Parts of her hull were discovered in January 1966 and an archaeological survey of the remains was conducted in 2009; the stern casemate was recovered and is in the collection of the Queensland Museum.

(text source, modified from wikepedia)