A hard worker in remote waters
Come aboard the hard-working patrol boat HMAS Advance, commissioned in 1968 and serving out of Darwin until 1977.
Commissioned in 1968, the hardworking patrol boat HMAS Advance served out of Darwin until 1977. In that time it helped shadow a Russian fishing boat suspected of spying, expelled illegal foreign fishing boats, weathered Cyclone Tracy in 1974, and assisted with hydrographic surveys of Australia's north-west coast. It even featured in the popular ABC-TV series Patrol Boat.
Advance was one of 20 Attack class patrol boats built for the Royal Australian Navy between 1967 and 1969. In the 1960s, Australia became more closely involved in events in the Asia-Pacific region. This led to improved surveillance and control of our enormous coastline, especially the northern approaches. HMAS Advance, the third of the class, was built by Walkers Ltd of Maryborough, Queensland.
Patrol boats controlled illegal fishing, smuggling and immigration, search and rescue, and occasional inshore survey work which is continued by the Armidale class of patrol boats today.
Explore the danger and drama of life on board Advance in Action Stations, our immersive experience.
Open daily, 9.30am–5pm (last boarding at 4.10pm)
Buy a Big Ticket online or when you arrive (see our Admissions page for prices and to book your tickets).
Our Plan Your Visit page has everything you need to know about a trip to the museum.
Become a Maritime Museum Member and receive FREE or discounted entry to all our events and exhibitions, as well as many other benefits.
Receive our e-newsletters for the latest news including special offers, advance bookings, sneak previews and more.
Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and to join the conversation.
Advance's hull is steel and the superstructure is aluminum. It is armed for small-scale encounters, with one 40-mm single Bofors gun and two 0.5-inch Browning machine guns to fire warning shots across the bow of a suspect vessel.
The Attack class patrol boats followed British and US designs with a quintessentially Australian modification - using easily available commercial components in some of the fit out. That's because they operated in remote northern waters, far from military bases, and their best supply source might be an isolated coastal town's hardware store!
When the Attack class was replaced with the larger Fremantle class patrol boat, Advance became a Naval Reserve training ship. Decommissioned in 1988, it was transferred to the museum in operational condition and is still used in maritime events.
We offer a truly unique excursion experience for students and teachers alike.
Destroyer: HMAS Vampire
Submarine: HMAS Onslow
Tall Ship: James Craig 1874
Extended to 6:00 pm in January
Last boarding time for Submarine and Tall Ships – 4.10pm
Closed Christmas Day 25 December.
+61 2 9298 3777
Sign up to our newsletters
© Copyright 2013
Australia National Maritime Museum
Every day 9.30 am - 5 pm
Extend to 6.00 pm in January
Closed Xmas Day 25 Dec.
2 Murrey Street
sydney NSW 2000, AU
+61 2 9298 3777