BUILT AT: West Bay City (MI)



CONTRACT PRICE: $53,325 ($213,300 for 4 ships)


DESIGN: Steel hull & fastenings; 2 masts with lantern galleries; stack ahead of mainmast; forecastle deck extending to approx amidships; hawsepipe thru stem, aligned with centerline of vessel

LENGTH: 118'l0" (loa); BEAM: 26'9"; DRAFT: 12'; TONNAGE: 375 displ

PROPULSION: Steam screw single compound non-condensing engine, 14" & 24" bores x 16" stroke; 135 HIP; 2 scotch boilers 8'dia x 9'lg; max speed 6 knots; coal capacity 52 tons; also rigged for sail carried on spencer masts

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: 2 lights; each a cluster of 4 gimballed electric lens lanterns; each cluster rated at 4000cp; occulting; backup oil lamps also fitted

FOG SIGNAL: 12" steam whistle; hand operated 1000 lb bell


-First US lightship with all-steel hull and fastenings
-First US lightship built with electric illuminating apparatus. Permanently fixed at each masthead was a cluster of 4 gimballed lens lanterns, each lantern fitted with a 100 candle power incandescent lamp, which acting thru the lenses, gave the cluster a combined equivalent of 4000cp. Occulting device provided a 12 second light and 3 second eclipse repeated 4 times/minute. Power was provided by two engine-driven generators; 1 on line, 1 standby. Backup oil lamps were also installed in each lantern housing to show a fixed white light of lower intensity in the event of electrical failure
-One of a group of 4 lightships to first have the hawsepipe through the stem and aligned with the centerline of the vessel
-1906 Equipped with submarine bell signal

1892-1894: Cornfield Point (CT)
1894-1908: Sandy Hook (NY)
1908-1919: Relief, 3d district

(1892: Dec 15, Cornfield Point position moved 5/8 mi, S 5/8 W)

-1892: Jul 26, delivered to Staten Island (NY): illuminating apparatus installed and tested; fitted out and supplied
-1892: Dec 15, placed on Cornfield Point (CT), positioned 5/8 mi, 5 5/8 V of former station position
-1893: Oct 20-Nov 1, off station for repairs
-1894: Dec 6, transferred to Sandy Hook (NY), showing a single white light occulting every 15 sec (3sec eclipse) "in marked contrast to the feeble red rays of the former flashing oil light" (by LV 48) It was reported that ocean steamers could now sight the lightship 5 to 10 minutes after picking up the Navesink Light
1896: May 10-Jul 8, relieved (by LV 16) for repairs; difficulties anticipated with corrosion and requirements for frequent bottom painting "have disappeared"
-1897: Jun 15-Jul 10, Relieved (by LV 16) for hull painting and boiler repairs. Coal consumption averaged 30 tons/month and was cited as a problem in scheduling tenders for resupply
-1898: Jul 12-Oct 13, withdrawn for extensive overhaul
-1899: May 15-Aug 23, relieved (by LV 11) for replacement of generators and their driving engines

More notes: LV 51

-1900: Sep 3-Oct 15, relieved (by LV 16 for repairs; hauled & painted
-1901: Apr 30-Oct 15 Relieved (by LV :16) for boiler work; smokestack replaced:
lightning arrestors installed
-1902: Apr 7, in collision with scow under tow, damaging frame and plating near
starboard bow; relieved (by LV 16) for repairs two days later
-1903: Oct 17-Nov 19, withdrawn for repairs

-1904: Oct 27-Jan 4 1905, withdrawn for repairs
-1906: Jun 9-Jul 25, off station for repairs; "is equipped with submarine hell
signal sounding number 22"
-1903: Withdrawn and assigned Relief duty
-1914: Sep, transferred temporarily to 5th District, returning Jan 1915
-1916: Feb on loan to 5th District during part of the year
-1919: Apr 24, rammed and sunk on station while relieving Cornfield Point station


SUBSEQUENT DISPOSITION: 1919 Apr 24, rammed and sunk on station while relieving
Cornfield Point (CT). Struck by Standard Oil Co barge under tow; ship went down
in 8 minutes; crew picked up by tug, saving only the log and fog signal book.
Damage compensation from Standard Oil paid for later construction of LV 111


1891-1892: Nelson J Huntley, Asst Keeper
1893-1894: John A. Beebe, Mester
1894-1896: David H Caulkins, Master
1894-1896: Henry Harrison, Mate
1896-1907: Nelson J Huntley, Master
1905-?: Frank E Seastedt, Mate
?-1914 William H Hunt, Mate
1914-1915: William H Hunt, Master
1915-1918: Arthur Daunt, Master
1917-1919: Emil C Ness, Mate
1918-1919: Ernest W Borgstrom, Master
1918-1919: Paul E F Overbeck, Mate

Ambrose Channel Lightship Station History

Copyright 2003  United States Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association INC. All rights reserved. Copyrights also protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
Revised: 10/23/06.