Registration number 144
Status Registered

Previous names

  • 1914 LV 78


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Light vessel
Location Southampton
Current use Museum based
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No


Builder Thornycroft, J I & Co Ltd, Woolston, Southampton
Built in 1914
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Propulsion Towed
Primary engine type None
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
20.00 feet (6.10m)
10.00 feet (3.05m)
Length: Overall
84.46 feet (25.76m)


LV 78 was built in 1914 by J Thornycroft of Southampton for Trinity House. Her hull is made of iron and she was built for service at Calshot Spit at the entrance to the Port of Southampton where it acted as a floating lighthouse at the entrance to Southampton Water, guiding flying boats into their terminals and warning ships of sandbanks.  Six crew lived in cramped conditions keeping the light and foghorn operating and recording shipping movements and was replaced by a buoy in the mid-1960s.

She became familiar to generations of ocean travellers entering and leaving the port and, after service, she was transported by road to Ocean Village, Southampton Docks where she was an exhibit on dry land at the entrance to a dock redevelopment between 2010 and 2019.

On the 12th December 2019 she was moved to the Solent Sky Museum in Southampton where her restoration is to be completed and she is due to become part of a museum cafe.  The operation to move the lightship saw it travel 1.2km out of the docks and along to the museum on self-propelling rollers. 


Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, pp139, Edition 2, 1993
Williams, Peter, Leading Lights: Light Vessel Directory, Peter Williams Associates, pp57-60, Volume 1, Edition 3, 1995 

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