Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

lightship ambrose

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/07/01

Lightship Ambrose LV 87 / WAL 512
Built: 1907 by New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, NJ
Length: 136ft. (41.5m)
Beam: 29ft. (8.8m)
Draft: 13ft. (3.9m)
Original Illumination Apparatus: three oil lens lanterns
Propulsion: Steam

This lightship was stationed in the Ambrose Channel since 1906, guiding vessel traffic through the main shipping channel just below the Verazzano Narrows bridge, into New York and New Jersey Harbor until 1967. She was given to South Street Seaport Museum by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1968. A light tower replaced it, was hit by ships a few times too many, and, now, the channel is marked by lighted buoys.

Now at the new! improved! South Street Seaport Museum under the fertile wing—nurturing wing?— of the City of the Museum of New York  this lightship was painted in March, and is now being restored and is open for visiting at Pier 16.

The wings of the seaport museum are alive: a new exhibit is up, nautical pieces from another museum I love, the American Folk Art Museum.

And true to the harbor’s spirit, the active gem of the museum, Pioneer, is sailing. Go onboard to sail in the harbor or go and volunteer and learn how to handle lines and many other things that may always serve you well…!

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11 Responses

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  1. Michael said, on 2012/07/01 at 11:22

    Serious question: Why a lightship? Why not simply a ginormous buoy?

  2. o docker said, on 2012/07/01 at 13:53

    Ambrosial post.

    … the food or drink of the Greek gods…conferring ageless immortality

  3. John Wright said, on 2012/07/01 at 14:05

    Glad to hear the Museum is back on track..

    Is the woodshop still open? I can’t find it on the website as I hoped to visit Sal when I’m in New York later this month.

  4. [...] lightship ambrose (bowsprite.wordpress.com) [...]

  5. tugster said, on 2012/07/01 at 19:46

    i love the ambrosia comment. thanks, odocker. j. w. ambrose seems like quite the visionary/booster. too bad when you google him, no image of him appears. i wonder what he looked like . . ..

  6. [...] lightship ambrose on Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook [...]

  7. [...] lightship ambrose on Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook [...]

  8. billcanoe said, on 2012/07/02 at 20:25

    Waaay back when I was just a young tad, my father would take my brother and me fishing on party boats out of Rockaway. I was astonished by AMBROSE…what a thing for a 6 year-old to wrap his mind around!

  9. Mage Bailey said, on 2012/07/07 at 21:34

    This is just really flat out exciting. The decay is halted. Forward progress made, and adventure is at hand again. Oh, delightful stuff.

  10. tugboathunter said, on 2012/07/14 at 16:24

    I love this! Ambrose is my favorite of ALL the lightships!

  11. Eduard from Far de la Banya's blog said, on 2012/08/23 at 00:12

    Wow!

    I discover today Bowsprite (and also the Ambrose…), and now your blog is in my blogroll… a very interesting combination and great work.

    Best wishes from Catalonia,


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