A 16-year-old Australian schoolgirl whose yacht collided with a cargo ship off the southern Queensland coast said she remained confident of becoming the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

Jessica Watson left Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast Tuesday on a 10-day preliminary solo journey to Sydney in her boat, Ella's Pink Lady.

But her yacht crashed into a cargo vessel Silver Yang in a busy shipping lane 15 nautical miles east of North Stradbroke Island's Point Lookout.Speaking to reporters after arriving under water police escort on the Gold Coast, she said she felt fine despite lack of sleep.

"The whole incident gives me confidence — wow, I can actually handle this," she said. "It could have happened to anyone ... I'm unlucky I suppose, but you also learn from it."

Watson, who was below deck at the time of the incident, was not injured and there was no major structural damage, although it is understood the yacht sustained some damage to the mast, rigging and hull.

"All things considered, the boat did come up well," she said.

"The big thing for me is I came through the whole thing feeling confident ... it was a pretty scary incident."

She said she had no idea when she would restart the journey to Sydney.

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