Registration number 2330
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Light vessel
Location Gravesend
Current use Community Vessel
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions No
Web address


Builder Philip & Sons, Dartmouth
Built in 1963
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Number of decks 2
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
26.50 feet (8.08m)
12.50 feet (3.81m)
Length: Overall
133.00 feet (40.57m)
Tonnage: Gross


Launched in 1963 Light Vessel 21 is a unique 40 metre steel-hulled lightship, the last of the renowned Philip & Son’s ships to be commissioned by Trinity House. LV21 saw most of her service off the Kent coast on the Varne, East Goodwin and Channel stations.

In 1981 she was involved in the worst Light Vessel collision in which the Lightvessel had survived, when the ORE METEOR, which was being towed by the tug SUZANNE M, struck the LV21.

She was retired from service in 2008 and was acquired by her current owners the following year.  She is now used as a maritime heritage facility, as well as an art, culture and performance space.

In June 2023, LV21 was awarded the title of NHS-UK's Static Flagship of the Year, in recognition of a year of planned celebratory activities to commemorate the 60th anniversary of her launch, including public open days and a creative new learning package.

Key dates

  • 1962

    Ordered by Trinity House, London

  • 1963

    Launched on 16 September

  • 1963

    Handed over to Trinity House in December

  • 1976

    Stationed at East Goodwin station, on the East Coast

  • 1980

    Stationed at Varne station, southwest of Dover

  • 1981

    Suffered a collision with ORE METEOR, which was being towed by the tug SUZANNE M, in June

  • 1988

    Converted to automatic lightvessel in Newcastle

  • 1995

    Stationed at Channel station

  • 1997

    Stationed at East Goodwin station

  • 2003

    Stationed at Seven Stones station, west of Cornwall

  • 2008

    Decommissioned by Trinity House and moored at Trinity House Depot, Swansea

  • 2009

    Acquired by current owners

  • 2023

    Received the 2023 Static Flagship of the Year Award from National Historic Ships UK


  • November 2021

    LV21 received a £25,000 Continuity Support grant from round 3 of the Government's Culture Recovery Fund to help them recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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