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 Light-Vessels 
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Post Light-Vessels
I came across an entry in UNITED SERVICE JOURNAL, No.13, Jan 1830


" ....COAST OF THE UNITED STATES

The Light-vessel formerly stationed off New York, is now moored off the Capes of DELAWARE, on the S.W. edge of the five fathom bank, in seven and a-half fathoms water; Cape May Lighthouse bearing N.69º 30'W. distant fifteen and a-quarter miles; the centre of the shoalest ground on which is found fourteen feet water, bears N.28º E. from the Light-vessel distant two and three-quarters miles. It extends N. by E. ½ E. and S. by W. ½ W.three-quarters of a mile; and is half-a-mile in breadth, and very bold on its eastern edge, as there are twelve fathoms to the eastward of the shoal-water. Vessels coming from the northward should not run for the Light-vessel while bearing between N. 14º E. and No.41º E. In a S.E. direction, three-quarters of a mile from the Light-vessel, there are five fathoms water...... "



These are “foreign� parts to me, never having been to that part of the United States. It would be interesting if there is a lighthouse/vessel there now and if anyone can find a link to post so that we could see it.

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Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:31 pm
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Mary, I found some information for you.

First, sadly, the last US Lightship was de-commissioned on March 29, 1985.

There were actually two lightship stations that could have been the one described in the USJ. The two stations were called the "Brandywine Shoal" and the "Upper Middle" stations, both near the Delaware Bay. The first had a lightship during 1823-1850. It was replaced by a lighthouse. Click here to see it.

The second station had a lightship from 1823 to 1875 but I could not find what replaced it.
I found this comment: In many cases lightships were replaced with "Texas Tower" type offshore light platforms, other fixed structures or large navigational buoys, all offering considerable savings in manpower and in construction and maintenance costs.

Don


Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:59 am
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Thanks, Don, appreciated. Somehow I knew you'd get your teeth stuck into that one for me. :)

If I find any other references to navigational aids on your shores, I'll post them. It's good to have some US stuff on here.

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Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:39 pm
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From James Horsburgh's The India Directory (1852):

"The Owers Floating Light is bright and fixed, and may be seen 3 leagues in clear weather; the light-vessel is moored in 11 fathoms water, and a gong is sounded every 10 minutes during fogs. When ships are seen approaching danger, a gun is fired, and the flag lowered half-mast until they alter their course."

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susan


Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:40 pm
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Lightships in the U.S.

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susan


Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:41 am
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Post Re: Light-Vessels
I was reading the description of the Leman and Ower (as discussed in the thread on odd place names) Light Ship in John Greaves Nall's Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft (1866). He writes:

"...its upper light is a bright light, revolving once in four minutes, showing a flash every minute..."

I was curious as to the mechanism used to turn the light. Does anyone know how it worked?

This is also rather worrying if you are relying on the light ship to guide you:

"In heavy weather the floating light dips, and occasionally disappears when the vessel rolls in the sea."

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susan


Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:36 am
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