Cyclops was built in 1915, during the First World War. She was constructed here in Portsmouth Dockyard’s Boathouse 6 (the brick building on the opposite side of the Mast Pond to Boathouse 4). She is a 42-foot open rowing launch, the largest type of boat which served naval ships of that time and would have had two men to each of the 18 oars.

It is believed that Cyclops served the Dreadnought battleship HMS Royal Sovereign.

After her Navy career, Cyclops served as a ferry on the west coast of Scotland, fitted with an engine from a combine harvester. She also serviced moorings in Crinan Harbour, for which purpose a sewer-cleaning winch was mounted to her foredeck. She is currently being restored to her original condition and will be displayed afloat and occasionally used for rowing demonstrations.