First cable ship designed specifically for the GPO. Fitted with three cable tanks, two forward and one aft. No 1 tank measured 28 ft. in dia by 5 ft high with a coiling capacity of 3890 cu ft. No 2 tank was 28 ft. in dia by 10 ft. high with a capacity of 6600 cu ft., and No 3 tank was 25 ft. in dia by 5ft. high having a capacity of 2730 cu. ft. The cones in the tanks were used to store fresh meat and water. Storage for grapnels, ropes etc was provided forward of No 1 tank.
Johnson & Phillips designed and installed the cable gear which consisted of a combined paying out-picking up machine which had two 6 ft. dia by 2 ft 4 in. wide drums of which the port one could lift 30 tons at ½ knot or 10 tons at 1½ knots while the starboard one could lift 15 tons at 1 knot. Each drum was provided with its own brake so picking up and paying out could be carried out at the same time.
In service until 1915 when sunk either by a mine or torpedo off Folkestone.