Type :
Wooden screw steamer
Launched  :
Builder :
NSW Government Dockyard
Newcastle, NSW
Gross weight :
447 tons
Dimensions :
182.60 x 36.10 x 11.70 (feet)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
12 knots

Kuttabul and Koompartoo were the two largest inner harbour ferries. Kuttabul had the highest passenger carrying capacity of any ferry on Sydney Harbour, capable of carrying 500 more people than even the Manly ferry South Steyne.

After the bridge opened, Kuttabul was then considered too big to be of any further use as a ferry and operated as a concert boat. She remained in this role until the Royal Australian Navy requisitioned her for use as an accomodation ship in November of 1940.

31st of May 1942 saw war come to Sydney Harbour. A Japanese midget submarine fired a torpedo at the USS Chicago tied up near to Kuttabul. The torpedo missed and instead exploded under the ferry, rupturing her hull plates and sinking her instantly. Nineteen naval men asleep on board at the time were killed.

The Garden Island base is now named HMAS Kuttabul in commemoration of the event. Her wheelhouse is now on display at the parade ground of the base.