Nantucket Lightship LV-112
February-March 2012

In this issue
LV-112 restoration update
Nantucket/LV-112 featured on television
USLM educational programs
LV-112's weather and oceanographic observation history
LV-112 student volunteer pursues maritime career
Help save LV-112
Limited edition print is available




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Marine Coatings Division
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USLM is a Member of the Following Organizations


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Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 Restoration Update

LV-112 in dry-dock at Fitzgerald Shipyard, Chelsea, MA, with USLM volunteer Ron Janard in foreground

As of mid-February, LV-112 is in dry-dock, nearing completion of Phase 1 of hull restoration. The crew at Fitzgerald Shipyard are doing a great job and progressing well. The historic ship now has several coats of high quality two-part epoxy industrial marine coatings painted on her hull's exterior. Before applying the coatings, LV-112's hull was cleaned, sandblasted, inspected and repaired. Most of the marine coatings were generously donated by Sherwin-Williams/Seaguard Marine, Industrial Marine Coatings Division. John Bouthillette, the dedicated marine representative from Sherwin-Williams, was a tremendous help in securing this donation and guiding the process for preparing and applying the coatings. Phase 2 of LV-112's restoration, to be performed by Amex, Inc., of East Boston, will be the entire weather deck, deck houses and superstructure. We hope to have this portion of the ship's exterior completed by summer 2012. An additional $140,000 must raised to complete Phase 2. For a scrapbook of historic and contemporary LV-112 photos, go to Facebook.
Nantucket/LV-112 Featured on TV
Channel 5Once again, Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 was a featured segment on ABC-TV Boston affiliate, WCVB's "Chronicle HD" (2012). This TV news magazine, which airs each weekday evening, primarily features stories on New England events and places. LV-112 was included in a segment about the City of Chelsea. A section of Chelsea is on the Boston Harbor waterfront and is home to the historic Fitzgerald Shipyard. In the TV segment, LV-112 is shown in dry-dock at the shipyard, undergoing the first major phase of her restoration.

Nantucket/LV-112 always operated out of Chelsea/Boston from 1936 until her decommissioning in 1975. For the first three years, her homeport was the U.S. Light House Service (USLHS), Second District Depot. The USLHS merged with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in 1939, with Boston as the USCG's First District Headquarters.

LV-112 was previously featured in 2010 and 2011 on "Chronicle HD" in a segment about the Boston Harborwalk, where the city meets the sea, and is open to all: 39 miles of waterfront access that can be explored by foot and transportation alternatives.

USLM Educational Programs 

East Boston students
Fourth-grade students from Curtis Guild School, East Boston, in the pilot house of LV-112


The long-term goals of our organization, the U.S. Lightship Museum (USLM), are twofold. First and foremost, we aim to preserve and protect the structural integrity of LV-112, the largest and most famous U.S. lightship ever built, consistent with its use as a commissioned U.S. Coast Guard lightship vessel, based in Boston and stationed on the treacherous Nantucket Shoals from 1936 to 1975. The ship will be shared with the public as a floating learning center, including exhibits to illuminate the importance of the U.S. Lightship Service and its historic relevance to transoceanic commerce and transportation, maritime history, culture, arts and the marine sciences.  

Black and white
LV-112 on Nantucket Shoals
Station, 1946


In addition, this 150-foot living museum will be a catalyst for people to gain a broad understanding of maritime history and marine sciences including engineering, navigational, environmental and weather sciences. We will offer engaging hands-on interactive programs in collaboration with educational institutions, maritime and marine-science organizations. The museum will reach out to diverse populations of all

ages. Instructors from 

New England Spiny Sunstar
New England Spiny Star

learning institutions and youth groups will coordinate with the museum, utilizing it as part of a customized curriculum for their students. In addition, the museum will serve as a resource and field-trip destination for groups such as special-needs individuals, inner-city children and senior citizens. A long-term goal of the USLM is to provide impetus for the establishment of a maritime museum for Boston Harbor.


Hull MA
Using an HAUV, a Bluefin Robotics staff member performs underwater tests on LV-112 for the U.S. Navy, 2011

Since LV-112's arrival in Boston Harbor, the ship has been open for tours by appointment (while undergoing restoration) and has hosted maritime groups, a photography club, and students from local schools and marine research institutions. Our educational and research programs also will carry on LV-112's tradition of serving as a vessel that reported oceanographic observations while at sea.

LV-112's Weather and Oceanographic Observation History
Nantucket Shoals Station
LV-112 on Nantucket Shoals Station during storm, c. 1940

Most offshore lightships made regular weather reports every six hours to the National Weather Service (NOAA) via Coast Guard radio stations. These included wind direction and speed, barometric pressure, humidity, cloud cover, sea temperature and wave heights. In addition, select lightships made and reported oceanographic observations. These varied between locations but usually included seawater samples and subsurface temperature measurements. On the East Coast, these were coordinated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Cape Cod), and on the West Coast by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla).

Because of its offshore oceanic location, Nantucket Lightship participated in frequent marine science programs. These included net tows for biological sampling and bathythermograph (BT) casts. The BT is an instrument, which when lowered into the sea, produces a plot of temperature vs. depth. Developed during World War II, the BT was attached to submarines' hulls and used to achieve greater sonar accuracy; the BT also could be adjusted to disguise the ship's position, protecting it from enemy attacks. Peacetime research applications are global climate, fisheries and ocean currents. The Nantucket Lightship made BT observations to measure night/day and seasonal changes. These results were transmitted to the National Oceanographic Data Center by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
LV-112 Student Volunteer Pursues Maritime Career
Troy DeJesu

Troy DeJesu is a testament to Nantucket/LV-112's guiding light in helping today's youth navigate towards a solid career path that holds their passion and interests.

Between December 2009 and May 2010, Troy, along with his father, Ken, joined a team of volunteers who helped prepare LV-112 for transport from Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY, back to her homeport of Boston. 

He proved to be a valuable asset to our efforts. Even during bitterly cold working conditions, Troy was there to pitch in. In addition to offering his mechanical skills, he worked as a tour guide on the ship during the eight years LV-112 was berthed in Oyster Bay.

Since graduating from high school, Troy is pursuing his passion in the maritime field at SUNY Maritime College in Throggs Neck, NY. We have no doubt that Troy DeJesu will be an exceptional student and will succeed in his career pursuits.


Help Us Save LV-112 with a USLM Membership

Group photo


When you become a member of the U.S. Lightship Museum (USLM), you will be helping rescue and preserve Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and precious treasure that is an important part of our nation's maritime heritage and culture. Plus you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are a contributing partner in the legacy of the world's most famous and largest U.S. lightship ever built. The USLM is a member of the Council of Maritime Museums (CAMM) and the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA). All USLM members will be granted reciprocal privileges (free admission) at participating CAMM institutions. For more information about the benifits and the USLM Membership program, click on USLM Membership.


Nantucket/LV-112 and SS United States: Limited-edition Fine Art Prints Available 


This recently completed watercolor, painted by award-winning marine artist Gerald Levey, depicts Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 anchored on Nantucket Station in 1959, with the SS United States heading for Europe. The SS United States is the largest passenger ocean liner ever built in the United States and still holds the westbound transatlantic speed record. Also, LV-112 is the largest U.S. lightship ever built. The primary goal of creating this painting is for LV-112 fundraising efforts. Bob Gubitosi, a crew member on LV-112 from 1957-61, inspired the painting. Also, Bob was the cook on LV-112 for four years, serving longer than any other crew member. Below, is an account of his experience taking photographs of the SS United States from LV-112 with a Kodak Brownie camera. Bob is currently a LV-112 volunteer and donor.


Bob Gubitosi
Bob Gubitosi on top of fellow crew member on LV-112 foredeck, 1959

"I have enclosed three photos I found, two of the United States and one looking down from the mast onto the deck and smokestack of LV-112 WAL-534. All three pictures were taken in 1959 while on Nantucket Station by myself from the top of the mast. It was a calm day and I had no problem climbing the mast. Getting down however, was something else. It took them over an hour and a half to talk me down. The SS United States passed so close that I was waving to the folks on deck. After it passed, the screws caused a wake from the great ship that rocked the little lightship to the point that I thought the mast was going to touch the water. I wrapped my legs and arms around the mast, and it seemed that the ship was going to rock forever. A brief thought went through my head to jump into the water. Thank God, I didn't. I was 19 years old at the time, and I never climbed the mast again."


-- Bob Gubitosi


Limited edition print of Nantucket/LV-112

The original watercolor painting of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 has been reproduced by a professional printmaker with many years of experience utilizing state-of-the-art Giclee printing techniques. The prints (14"x21" image area) are individually handcrafted and carefully reproduced from the original, using high-quality archival dye-based inks that are fade-resistant. The printing process is transferred onto an archival acid-free paper stock.


The Giclee fine art prints of LV-112 are a limited edition of 150, each personally signed by the artist, Gerald Levey. These prints can be purchased for $95.00 each (unframed, plus shipping costs). You can also receive a free print as a gift for a $1,000 or more, directed to the LV-112's restoration project. In addition to the print, you will become a Life Member of the USLM (membership details). For more information, please contact the United States Lightship Museum.


The United States Lightship Museum 

The U.S. Lightship Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue and preservation of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark. LV-112 is a museum and floating learning center, open to the general public - a place for people of all ages to learn about our nation's seafaring history and the technologies that advanced the nautical and marine sciences.