Brisbane, Qld

The nucleus of the Queensland navy is now anchored in the Garden reach. She is a nuggety specimen of those naval warriors so inalienably associated with English naval history. To an eye possessing any regard for symmetry or grace, the Gayundah is not particularly attractive; she looks anything but that meek and mild and peaceful “painted ship upon a painted ocean.” Making allowance for the want of paint consequent upon a long sea voyage, the Gayundah presents the appearance of any other gunboat—a rouse-me-if-you-dare kind of look; possessing a bow, across the nose of which is stamped “audacity.” A stern part, expressing ” I’m ready to bless with a parting shot at any time,” and a tout ensemble of cool indifference, great determination, and a general thicksetness.

The boat was built by Sir W.G. Armstrong, Mitchell, and Co., Newcastle-on-Tyne, to the order of the Queensland Government, and was launched in May last. Her dimensions are as follow: Extreme length, 120 feet; breadth, 26 feet; draught of water, 9½ feet. She has a displacement of 360 tons, and is fitted with horizontal direct acting compound engines of 400 indicated horse power. She is built to attain a speed of 10 knots per hour.

Her armament consists of two powerful guns, and two Nordenfelts. The most powerful engine of warfare is in the bows, this is an 8 inch 12 ton Armstrong gun, which is sighted to carry 11,000 yards. In the stern is a 6 inch 4 ton gun, a Wavaseur’s patent, made by Armstrong, Mitchell, and Co. This is protected by an armour-plate screen, which, with the gun and all its apparatus, will train half a circle, so as to be able to fire at objects either on the port or starboard side. The missiles from the 8-inch gun will pierce 16-inch armour plates, and the other will penetrate armour 11 inches thick. Both are manipulated by machinery which is perplexingly intricate to an ignorant onlooker. The Nordenfeldts are fixed near the port and starboard bulwarks aft. These are five-barrelled death-dealing machines, which appear to possess terrific repelling powers against a boarding enemy. We welcome the Gayundah with pleasure, and also Captain Wright, her commander.

The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 – 1934)  4 Apr 1885  Page 7