Nantucket Lightship/LV-112
October, 2014

In this issue
Steaming into fall
Boys & Girls Club visits Nantucket/LV-112
LV-112 restoration and
waterfront berth update
A tribute to U.S. Coast Guard Lightship sailor veterans
Filming of major motion picture,
"The Finest Hours"
Nantucket/LV-112 broadcasts
and listens to the world
Donor Spotlight:
ship model
and transport vehicle donated
Become a Member




All electronic donations will be processed by PayPal.



   Subscribe to me on YouTube 





Proudly made in USA


Lighthouse Lovers!


Brant Point LIghthouse

If you love lighthouses and want to learn about these guiding lights and navigational aids all over the world, then The Lighthouse Directory is the website for you. It provides an astounding amount of information, linking to more than 17,200 of the world's lighthouses. Russ Rowlett, Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, compiled the directory with the assistance of hundreds of lighthouse fans around the world who have enriched this site with their own information and suggestions. For a long time, Rowlett tried to maintain a list of lighthouses from his many friends and contacts, but it had grown too long (and too out of date) to display on the comprehensive site. Rowlett offers special thanks to Michel Forand for his suggestions and editing, touching essentially every page of the directory, and Jeremy D'Entremont, Ted Sarah and Klaus Huelse, each contributing in vital ways.

The Maine
Lighthouse Museum

Another unique educational resource for U.S. Lighthouse history, Lifesaving and Lightship Services is the Maine Lighthouse Museum (MLM), located in Rockland, Maine, the heart of the Midcoast. Last October, the U.S. Lightship Museum presented a PowerPoint presentation at the MLM about U.S. lightships and Nantucket/LV-112.

The mission of the Maine Lighthouse Museum is to educate the public regarding the longstanding traditions, heroism and progress of America's Lighthouse and Lifesaving Services and the U.S. Coast Guard through the conservation and interpretation of the nation's most significant collection of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts. From sparkling lenses to heartwarming stories of the keepers and their families, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is truly America's lighthouse museum. For more information, log on to the Maine Lighthouse Museum or call 207.594.3301.  



We Salute Our Donors


Amex Industrial Services, Inc.
Association of Public Safety Communications Officials - Atlantic Chapter

Bluefin Robotics

Boston Forge & Welding Corp. 

Boston Harbor 


Shipyard & Marina
The Boston Foundation
ThreeBees Fund

California Public Safety Radio Association 

  Cameron International Corporation


Claflin & Son

Nautical Antiques


Crandall Dry Dock Engineers


Capt. Robertson P. Dinsmore Fund

Donahue, Tucker &

Ciandella, PLLC 


East Boston Foundation


BAE Systems   


Eastern Bank Charitable

Fitzgerald Shipyard


Foss Maritime


J. Hewitt Marine

Electrical Services 


Kelly Automotive Group   


H.F. Lenfest Fund


McAllister Towing &
Transportation Co.


Joe and Pepette Mongrain

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    

U.S. Lighthouse Society 

 USLM Members  

Verizon Foundation


Zuni Maritime Foundation

USS Zuni / USCG Tamaroa  

 Individual Donors




USLM is a Member
of the Following Organizations


CAMM Logo 


HNSA Logo     


The flag of the United States Lighthouse Service



What did lightship sailors eat at sea in the
19th century?

LV-1 (Nantucket New South Shoal No.1), 1891

"Forward on the berth-deck is the cooking-stove and beyond it is the mess-table. The lightship version of "dinner under difficulties," familiar to every ocean traveler, is, if anything, a little livelier than the original. The method of keeping the table service in place is, however, somewhat more primitive than that in use on the ocean greyhounds. There are holes in the table into which pegs are fitted, and around each dish and cup is a little fence of these pegs. Sometimes, however, a plate will clear the fence on a running jump and deposit its contents in a dish of quite a different character, the result being a conglomeration mysterious enough to puzzle even a person who has solved the most profound problems of the culinary art.




The mainstays of life aboard a lightship are scouse and duff. Scouse is a wonderful commingling of salt beef, potatoes, and onions, with varied trimmings. Duff seems substantially like dumplings served in Yorkshire pudding with a sauce of melted brown sugar. Plum-duff-with-raisons is a great luxury; but often the plums are nothing more than "Nantucket raisons"-- in plain English, dried apples. Now it is easy to imagine the result if a rolling sea causes the scouse and the duff, with its sugary sauce, to fraternize. The cook's duties on the South Shoal are performed under similar difficulties..."


"Life on the New South Shoal Lightship," The Century IIlustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume 42, 1891

Teach children about lightships with the book,


Editorial From School  
Library Journal 

Kindergarten-Grade 2: Lightships were anchored where lighthouses could not be built. They protected our ocean harbors as well as points along the Great Lakes. The last one (Nantucket/LV-613) was decommissioned in 1983, so this fascinating picture book is a piece of nautical history. Brian Floca's watercolor drawings depict daily life aboard one of these vessels, cooking, sleeping, working, all the while rolling with the rhythm of the waves. Many hazards were involved. Big ships came too close, anchors lost their mooring, and weather caused many problems. But when the fog rolled in, the lightship sprang into action. Lights flashed and horns sounded, allowing ship traffic to make it "through fog and night, past rocks and shoals, past reefs and wrecks, past danger." The drawings are very detailed. Some pages are collages of small scenes. Many are full spreads. The sailors' facial expressions are amusing to watch, and the resident cat appears on almost every page. The front and back endpapers show a cutaway view of one of the vessels. This fascinating, little-known slice of history should prove interesting to every child who loves big boats.
-- Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI (review originally published by Reed Business Information, Inc.) 

The book Lightship, by Brian Floca, can be purchased on For more information about lightships, click on Brian Floca's blog.


Steaming into fall
Family from Hong Kong, China, visiting LV-112
As we steam into fall, leaving summer behind as just another memory, restoration work and educational programs will carry on throughout the fall and winter (BRRRR!). This past summer season, we had many visitors including local East Boston and Greater Boston area residents, out-of-state tourists from all parts of the U.S. including Alaska, and many international visitors coming from far-away places such as India, China and New Zealand. Maritime special-interest and youth groups also visited including 40 members of U.S. Lighthouse Society, based in Hansville, WA, a flotilla from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxilliary, the West End House Boys & Girls Club, youth scouting groups, and members of the USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild and the Merrimack Valley ship modelers club. In addition, a group from the Beverly Community Access Media (BevCam) came to LV-112 to videotape and interview USLM volunteers and former LV-112 crewmembers to be used for a production about lighthouses.


On July 4th, we had our annual Boston Harbor/USS Constitution turn-around fundraiser on board LV-112. Albeit a soggy day, we watched "Old Ironsides" cruise past LV-112 with a terrific view of the world's oldest commissioned Naval warship firing her deck cannons in celebration of our nation's birthday. This was the last time the famous warship will be seen in the water until 2018, when her dry-dock restoration work will be completed. In addition, we set up an exhibit booth at the annual Antique Classic Boat Festival, held in Salem, MA, and also at a fundraising event held at West Marine's Grand Opening of their new store in Braintree, MA.  

USLM/LV-112 exhibit booth at the West Marine store in Braintree; in addition to boating equipment and marine hardware, they also sell active-wear apparel
Members of U.S. Lightship Society
Attendees celebrating during July 4th
"Old Ironsides"/LV-112 event
Nantucket/LV-112 will be open for tours through November 8, Saturdays, 10am to 4pm. Reservations may be scheduled for all other days throughout the year to accommodate individuals, group tours and private functions during the restoration process. Please call before planning your visit. Due to LV-112's ongoing restoration, the ship may be occasionally closed for tours on Saturdays. Thank you for your interest and understanding. For more information, log onto our website:

Boys & Girls Club visits Nantucket/LV-112

West End House Boys & Girls Club in LV-112 pilot house

This past August, children from the West End House Boys & Girls Club in Allston, MA, visited LV-112. It was exhilarating to interact with these curious young children as they explored the lightship, a new environment for learning and having fun at the same time. 


In memory of Dawnn Jaffier, of the
Boys & Girls Club

Boys & Girls Club staff member Dawnn Jaffier in LV-112 crews quarters, posing with mako shark jaws
Days after the Boys & Girl Club visit to LV-112, the life of their staff member, Dawnn Jaffier, was taken away with a senseless act of street violence. All of us at the U.S. Lightship Museum-Nantucket/LV-112 are shocked and saddened by the loss of this lifetime member of the West End House. She was a gifted, kind and compassionate young woman. Her connection to the West End House started more than 15 years ago when she attended their program each day after school. Dawnn knew early on that her life would be committed to helping children. Click here to learn more about Dawnn.

LV-112 restoration and waterfront berth update

Volunteer Jim Hewitt in LV-112 auxiliary engine room
Jim Hewitt working on LV-112 main electrical control center
Flying bridge deck railings undergo welding repairs, donated by Boston Forge & Welding in East Boston
Nantucket/LV-112's restoration and preservation continues with the dedicated help of our volunteers. Approximately 50 percent of LV-112's restoration is completed, but we still have a long way to go. Remaining restoration involves interior structural, electrical, cosmetic and mechanical systems. In addition, maintenance is a perpetual activity. Boston Forge & Welding Corp., a third-generation family commercial welding business in East Boston, is a new donor to LV-112's restoration and preservation project. Thank you for your generous support!
Volunteer Michael Mannino suits up with safety harness to climb LV-112's 68-foot main light beacon mast to take structural measurements
In preparation for restoration, Michael climbs to the top of the aft mast to measure the radio beacon antenna support frame
We are always looking for volunteers who are willing to get their hands dirty and help us with administration and historic research. If you enjoy learning about unique maritime history, meeting new and interesting people, or working on mechanical and electrical systems, please give us a call. There's no doubt that involvement with
Nantucket/LV-112 can be an educational, cultural and interactive social experience.


This summer, the USLM acquired a Navy breasting barge donated by NAVSEA and the GSA. The barge was one of two bresting barges used alongside the ex-USS Saratoga, berthed at the Newport Navy Yard in Newport, RI. The Lightship Group, a ship-repair company, originally made us aware that the bresting barges were not needed after the Saratoga is removed to be scrapped at Esco Marine, a ship-recycling company in Brownsville, TX. The USLM started the inquiry process for the barges last April and was awarded one barge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) requested the other barge for conversion to an artificial island for wildlife to be anchored in the vicinity of the Connecticut River.  

Ex-USS Saratoga with bresting barges (not in view), berthed in Newport, RI
The breasting barge we received is in very good condition with built-in fender systems. It is scheduled to replace the deteriorated barges used as LV-112's present berth. Dan Noonan, owner of the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina, is donating the services of the shipyard to convert the new barge to a replacement berth for LV-112. Dan also donated the towing services of the tugboat company that transported the barge to Boston Harbor. The Saratoga was transported to Texas in August.


The generosity and commitment of Dan Noonan and the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina to our cause have made it possible for Nantucket/LV-112 to return to her original homeport of Boston and remain on the East Boston waterfront as a museum. Presently, Nantucket/LV-112 is East Boston's only museum.

A tribute to U.S. Coast Guard Lightship sailor veterans

The U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association International (LSA) is a unique organization with an honorable and worthy mission: To assist in the preservation of all existing lightships, to preserve the history of lightships and the sailors who sailed on them, to honor those lightship sailors that have perished in the performance of their duties (LSA Mission Statement). Lightship duty often was a horrific experience and extremely hazardous. The floating lighthouses were anchored at sea, many miles off the coast, and always had to remain on station with their crews, regardless of the weather and time of year.
Ron Janard
Photo credit: LSA


The lightship sailor veterans who comprise most of the LSA membership (285 members) live all over the U.S. and were assigned on many different lightship stations on the Atlantic/Pacific/Gulf coasts and Great Lakes. They are an active, charitable and educational organization. In addition, they hold an annual reunion of their membership at various U.S. locations that have historic maritime significance. This is the last group of surviving lightship veterans. The U.S. Lightship Service was part of the U.S. Coast Guard and was discontinued in 1985. It is the end of an important era in our nation's maritime history. So, needless to say, they are seeking new members. USLM Director Ron Janard is also the Membership Director of the LSA:
USCG Lightship Sailors Association members and local volunteers on foredeck of LV-112 during January deep freeze in 2010, Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY
The LSA was instrumental in helping the USLM prepare
Nantucket/LV-112 for transport to Boston in 2010. When LSA President, Larry Ryan (Blunts Reef lightship veteran, USCG) learned that the USLM had assumed ownership of
LV-112 and had initiated a campaign to rescue and preserve LV-112, Larry sent an S.O.S. message to the LSA membership and they rallied from all parts of the U.S. to Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY, during a deep freeze in January, to help prepare the historic Nantucket/LV-112 for a trip back to her homeport of Boston. We sincerely appreciate all the good work that the LSA accomplishes, their support and generous contributions that they have committed to Nantucket/LV-112 and our cause. For more information about the LSA, click here.


Filming of major motion picture

'The Finest Hours' begins


Disney Studios recently started filming scenes in a temporary movie studio at the former Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, MA, and will be filming in several coastal locations including Chatham, MA (release, fall 2015). They are building boats again at the Fore River Shipyard, except now they are for the Disney film.


"In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the U.S. Coast Guard (Bernie Webber and three other crewmen) set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly sinking vessel. 'The Finest Hours' is the story of their heroic mission, which is still considered the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history."

(Michelle McCue, 9/9/14)


Bernie Webber (later served on Nantucket/LV-112, 1958-60) and the three other crewmen were awarded the coveted USCG Gold Lifesaving Medal for their heroism in what is considered by maritime historians to be "the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history." You can listen to the historic radio broadcast interview of Bernie's harrowing rescue experience at sea. Mr. Webber, who was a member of the USCG Lightship Sailors Association, was extremely helpful in assisting the USLM-Nantucket/LV-112 compile research information and historic documents about LV-112. He was a pleasure and honor to work with. Bernie passed away in January 2009. He was considered "A Real American Hero" and is dearly missed.


LV-112 quote from Bernie Webber  


"I was stationed aboard LV112/WAL53 (Nantucket/Relief) from 1958-60 as Chief Executive Petty Officer. Let me say this: It was the best Coast Guard duty I had. The lightship, at the time being steam powered, had the largest crew of any lightship and ratings like Machinist Mates that the other lightships didn't have. The Nantucket Station was 100 miles offshore from Woods Hole, MA, 45 miles southeast of Nantucket Island at the time, and was the easternmost navigational aid all shipping would make (Nantucket Station) before branching off to New York etc. However the station was in various locations during its history. As a Relief Lightship, it relieved stations from Portland, Maine, to Brenton Reef, Rhode Island, and was at the entrance to the harbors or right in the shipping channels. Having spent some 45 years on the water, it's difficult to think in terms of most pleasurable or terrifying (experience). However, on LV112/WAL534 Nantucket/Relief, my most pleasurable was the day when Captain Robert J.W. Collins received a message while we were on Nantucket Station (100 miles off-shore from Woods Hole, MA) that we were being relieved and brought in to become a Relief Lightship. The only terror I felt was when on Nantucket Station in rough foggy weather, a radar target would be observed headed directly towards the lightship; as it got close you could hear its engines and soon out of the fog, so close you could spit on it, would come one of the great liners sailing the seas at the time, like the S.S. United States or S.S. France." -- Bernard Webber, former LV-112 crewmember, 1958-60

Nantucket/LV-112 broadcasts and listens to the world

Bob Burbank (LV-112, USCG-1959), Mike Rioux and Bob Reiser in LV-112 radio beacon room during ILLW-HAM radio event

In August, the USLM and LV-112 participated in the annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend, as it has since 2010. More than 450 lighthouses and lightships in some 50 countries around the world participate in this event each year. Open to the public, HAM radio operators from the USS Cassin Young's HAM radio group operate from LV-112's radio room, utilizing the ship's radio antennas to broadcast voice as well as transmit Morse code. LV-112's call sign is W1NLS and since 2010, we have established 299 international HAM contacts from all points of the globe. The USLM/LV-112 also participates in the annual Museum Ships Weekend in June. This is another international HAM radio event that included 104 ships this year, located in more than 10 countries.

Donor Spotlight:

Nantucket/LV-112 ship model and transport vehicle donated

Capt. Robertson Dinsmore with Nantucket/LV-112 model in LV-112 galley

Volunteer and USLM Board member, Capt. Dinsmore (USCG, USMS, Ret) generously donated a replica ship model of LV-112, in its original 1936 configuration. Bob commissioned BlueJacket Shipcrafters, Inc. from Searsport, ME, to build the model with a display case. The LV-112 model and display case are actually unassembled kits that can be purchased from BlueJacket. Bob also built a protective traveling case for the LV-112 model. The model has been extremely useful to the USLM, especially when transporting it to off-site venues to be used with our PowerPoint presentations to schools, special-interest groups and events where the USLM sets up an exhibition booth.

GEM electric 4-passenger vehicle

Kelly Automotive Group generously donated a GEM electric 4-passenger vehicle to the USLM to transport handicapped passengers to and from LV-112 on the end of the pier to the shipyard parking lot. Ron Janard, a USLM Board member, facilitated the donation with Brian Kelly, President of the Kelly Automotive Group, founded in 1965 and based in New England. Kelly Automotive Group owns new and pre-owned auto dealerships. The USLM is sincerely grateful to Brian Kelly and the Kelly Automotive Group for their support and generosity.

Become a USLM Member Today
For a gift of $1,000 or more, donors will receive a limited-edition, fine-art print of the SS United States passing Nantucket/LV-112, 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 benefits and the USLM Membership program, click on USLM Membership.


All electronic donations will be processed by PayPal.




We thank all our volunteers and contributors for their commitment and support 

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.