Nantucket Lightship LV-112
January-February 2013

In this issue
Happy New Year!
Berthed with "Old Ironsides"
2012 Achievements
Students Sell Toys to Help Lightship
Critical Needs in 2013
Boy Scouts Earn Merit Badge on Ship
Become a Member

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Note Cards Hot Off the Press!


Now available for purchase are colorful LV-112 note cards,  featuring a stylized illustration of LV-112 and other notable Boston landmarks. These new cards are packaged in a gift box of 10 with matching envelopes. The cards measure 4.5" x 6" (folded) and include a brief history of LV-112 on the back. Volunteer Susan Oliveira initiated the design of the cards with a local graphic artist and with her husband, Fred, generously donated the production costs.


As the primary purpose of the cards is for fundraising, we are requesting a donation of $20 per box, plus $5.35 for shipping and handling. To order, please make checks payable to:  


USLM-Nantucket//LV-112 and mail to USLM, P.O. Box 454, Amesbury, MA 01913. 



 We Salute Our Donors 


Amex Industrial Services, Inc.
Bluefin Robotics

Boston Harbor 

Shipyard & Marina
The Boston Foundation

 Cameron International Corporation


Claflin & Son

Nautical Antiques


Crandall Dry Dock Engineers


Donahue, Tucker &

Ciandella, PLLC


Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation 


Fitzgerald Shipyard


Foss Maritime


J. Hewitt Marine

Electrical Services


The Lenfest Foundation 


National Trust for 

Historic Preservation

New England 

Lighthouse Lovers


New London Maritime Society and Custom House Maritime Museum 



Industrial Marine Coatings Division
T & M Services


Town of Oyster Bay, 

Long Island, NY

U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association 


West Marine 


USLM Members 


Individual Donors








USLM is a Member of the Following Organizations



CAMM Logo 


HNSA Logo 







Happy New Year from

Nantucket Lightship/LV-112  

Lightship in winter wonderland, c. 1935: USLHS Buoy & Lightship Depot in Chelsea, MA, with Brenton Reef Lightship in foreground, old Andrew McArdle Bridge in background. The site is now a commercial storage facility for road salt. Photo credit: Lighthouse Digest
In welcoming the new year, we are pleased to remember making many new friends in 2012 from all over the world including guests from Great Britain, the Yukon Territory, Australia, Russia, Canada and states across the nation. In addition, we hosted students from Boston-area schools and Connecticut, Boy Scouts, and groups from the New London Maritime Museum and the New England Lighthouse Lovers (NELL). With winter now upon us, we are closed for the season and will resume our regular Saturday visiting hours on April 6. But we are available for special tours by appointment throughout the year. To schedule a tour, call 617.797.0135 or send us an email.
Nantucket/LV-112 visits the Charlestown Navy Yard
LV-112 and "Old Ironsides" berthed next to each other at the historic Charlestown Navy Yard, October 2012.
Nantucket/LV-117, the predecessor of LV-112, in dry-dock at the Navy Yard with the USS Constitution in the foreground, c. 1930.
In October, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) and the National Park Service/Charlestown Navy Yard hosted Nantucket/LV-112 for a special introductory event at the Commandant's House for USLM and NTHP associates and members. Berthed next to the USS Constitution for one week, LV-112 was open to the general public and generated a lot of interest. U.S. Navy personal assisted in docking LV-112, and Foss Maritime generously donated their towing services for LV-112's transport to and from East Boston and the Navy Yard.
Boston Lightship in dry-dock, being serviced at the Charlestown Navy Yard, c. 1917.
While an active shipbuilding and repair facility, the Charlestown Navy Yard serviced many U.S. Lightships. At one time, the Boston Naval Shipyard complex consisted of several other facilities throughout Boston Harbor, including Bethlehem Atlantic Works and the Navy Fuel Pier, formerly located in East Boston at the current site of the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina, where LV-112 now is berthed.  

Our 2012 Achievements 


Through countless volunteer hours, retired shipyard electrician Jim Hewitt has restored nearly all of LV-112's lighting and continues his efforts to restore the remainder of LV-112's electrical power systems.

In the past year, we accomplished the following key tasks toward preserving Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, an irreplaceable floating lighthouse and National Historic Landmark. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of donors and the efforts of dedicated volunteers from all parts of the nation.

  • In February, Nantucket/LV-112 emerged from dry-dock after undergoing a comprehensive marine survey and hull repairs at the Fitzgerald Shipyard in Chelsea, MA. The ship is now stabilized from further corrosion, and her newly painted red hull with large white letters Nantucket again beams brightly.
  • LV-112 returned to her East Boston berth, where the historic vessel's weather deck, deck houses and superstructure were restored by Amex Industrial Services in East Boston. The ship's exterior now looks brand new.
  • The National Trust for Historic Preservation designated Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 a "National Treasure" one of 32 historic U.S. sites selected for this prestigious distinction. Though not associated with a monetary award, it has raised nationwide awareness of the importance of saving LV-112 (visit Savings Places website).
  • Over 95 percent of LV-112's shipboard lighting and communication systems have been reactivated by volunteer Jim Hewitt, a retired shipyard electrician, who also recently ungraded LV-112's shore power systems. Funding for electrical supplies was donated by Capt. Robertson Dinsmore (USCG, USMS, Ret.)  
  • During ongoing restoration, we reopened LV-112 for tours to the general public, school and youth groups on a limited basis. Focusing our educational programming initiatives on underserved communities is one of our primary goals. Among our long-term objectives is to provide overnight accommodations for youngsters to experience lightship life.

Students Sell Their Toys to Help Restore LV-112


At their school's store, fourth-graders are selling their own toys to help raise money for LV-112's restoration.
For two years in a row, fourth-graders from the Curtis Guild School in East Boston have visited Nantucket/LV-112 for class field trips. Their teacher, John Rogers, has folded LV-112's legacy into a curriculum of maritime history, developing a comprehensive study plan that 80 fourth-graders already have completed. To travel to LV-112, the students walk from their school to a subway station, take the subway to Maverick Station in East Boston, then walk nearly a mile to the ship.
East Boston fourth-graders in LV-112's pilot house, holding shark jaws found on the ship. While on Nantucket Lightship Station, a favorite pastime of crew members was fishing for sharks, creating a special meal.
By the time they board the ship, they are amazingly knowledgeable. Th
ey even have written and performed a song about LV-112. It is inspiring to witness young people having so much fun on our floating "time capsule," ringing the loud fog bell, talking to each other on the ship's original communication systems and traversing the catwalk above the ship's massive diesel engine. The youngsters even have decided to become engaged in LV-112's restoration by selling their toys at their school store, to date donating $144 and still actively fundraising!

2013 Critical Needs: Save the

"Statue of Liberty of the Sea"


Nantucket/LV-112 guides the RMS Queen Mary safely into New York Harbor from Europe, c. 1950. Illustration by Gerald Levy.

Anchored off the perilous Nantucket Shoals, the Nantucket Lightship was the first symbol of America seen by international vessels, earning it the nickname "Statue of Liberty of the Sea." Decommissioned in 1975, LV-112 receives no government funding. All support to date for this magnificent ship's rescue have been made by individuals, lighthouse and maritime history enthusiasts, private corporations and foundations, and committed volunteers.

As a result of donations to date, LV-112 is now in stable and sound condition, but more essential restoration work lies ahead. To provide educational programs throughout the year, it is crucial to restore LV-112's plumbing and heating systems. Presently they are not operational, which severely limits our capabilities to serve schoolchildren, college students studying marine/environmental sciences, tourists and other groups. We need to immediately raise $170,000 for this key goal.

We are a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the ship's preservation as a floating learning center. For photos and video footage of LV-112's restoration, please visit our website, or log on to our Facebook page.

Everyone who donates $25 or more becomes an automatic member of the U.S. Lightship Museum and receives membership privileges to other Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM) as well as our periodic eNews. You may donate by credit card via PayPal (click "Donate" button at left), tax-deductible in 2013. To donate via check, please make payable to "USLM-Nantucket//LV-112" and mail to USLM, P.O. Box 454, Amesbury, MA 01913. Thank you!

Boy Scouts Tour Floating Lighthouse Fulfill requirement for Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

A group of Boy Scouts from Sudbury Troop 60 recently toured the Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 in Boston Harbor. They fulfilled a requirement to visit a National Historic Landmark as part of their Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge. While visiting the ship, the boys had the opportunity to assist in removing the gangway and releasing dock lines to help prepare the ship to be moved to a safer location before Hurricane Sandy hit the area. 

Become a USLM Member Today
For a gift of $1,000 or more, donors will receive a limited-edition, fine-art print signed by marine artist Gerald Levey.
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 National Treasure that is an important part of our nation's maritime heritage. 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.

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 and a National Treasure. 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.