Monday, November 17, 2014

Nantucket Lightship in Newport Harbor

1 March 2010 Nantucket Lightship

BOAT: Nantucket Lightship
OWNERS: Bill and Kristen Golden
DESIGNER/BUILDER: United States Coast Guard, Curtis Bay, MD
LENGTH: 128 feet [39 meters]
YEAR: 1950
HULL: Steel
Originally built as lightship WLV612 San Francisco, the Nantucket Lightship has had an interesting career indeed. Before the advent of unmanned automated lighted buoys, lightships were the primary navigational aids to seafaring vessels.
 As lightships were phasing out, WLV612 moved where needed.  She stayed at anchor off the California coast for 21 years before transiting the Panama Canal to serve as “The Portland” [Maine] from 1971-1975. After that, she went 45 miles southeast of Nantucket Island where she stayed on until 1983 as the last lightship in the U.S.- riding out some very nasty weather and sea conditions in the process.
After decommissioning in 1985, the boat had several owners before winding up on E-bay. In 2000, the current owners bought her with the goal of preserving an American maritime icon. For generations of inbound European immigrants, the Nantucket Lightship was the first glimpse of America after crossing the Atlantic. It was a beacon of safety and hope, for the ancestors of many Americans today.
 Now exquisitely renovated into an elegant destination for weddings, special events, and charters, the Nantucket Lightship continues to shine as a beacon of hope to those seeking to preserve and reuse historic ships.
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