United States Lightship LV-87

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Career (United States)
Name: LV-87
Operator: United States Coast Guard
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Company of Camden, New Jersey
Cost: $99,000.00 US
Completed: 1907
Decommissioned: March 4, 1966
Refit: 1932-1933
Nickname: Ambrose
Fate: Donated on August 4, 1968 for use as floating exhibit at South Street Seaport, New York City.
General characteristics
Type: Lightship
Length: 135 ft 5 in (41.28 m)
Beam: 29 ft (8.8 m)
Draft: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Depth of hold: 15 ft 4 in (4.67 m)
Installed power: As constructed :
  • One compound steam reciprocating engine
  • Bore: 16 in (410 mm) & 31 in (790 mm)
  • Stroke: 24 in (610 mm)
  • 325 IHP
  • Two 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m) diameter by 16 ft 4 in (4.98 m) long boilers

After 1932-1933 refit:

Propulsion: As constructed:
  • 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m) diameter propeller

After 1932-1933 refit:

  • 5 ft (1.5 m) diameter propeller installed
Speed: 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h)
Notes: Signal lights As constructed:
  • Cluster of 3 oil lens lanterns on each masthead

1908 through 1922

Ambrose (LV 87)
United States Lightship LV-87 is located in New York City
United States Lightship LV-87
Location Pier 16, East River, Manhattan, New York City, New York
Coordinates 40°42′17.44″N 74°0′8.88″W / 40.7048444°N 74.0024667°W / 40.7048444; -74.0024667Coordinates: 40°42′17.44″N 74°0′8.88″W / 40.7048444°N 74.0024667°W / 40.7048444; -74.0024667
NRHP Reference # 84002758[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 7 September 1984[1]
Designated NHL 11 April 1989 [2]

The United States Lightship LV-87 (Ambrose) is a lightship built 1907 and served at the Ambrose Channel station until 1932. She would be the first lightship to serve in the relocated position nearer the center of the channel. In 1921 would have the first radio beacon installed in the United States. This greatly assisted ships navigating the congested Ambrose Channel in dense fog. She would also be the last steam-powered vessel to hold the Ambrose Channel post. After the end of her Ambrose Channel assignment in 1932, LV-87 was assigned to various posts which included being used as an examination vessel during World War II. Although her final post was at the Scotland Station she is commonly known by the name of her most famous station, Ambrose.

LV-87 was decommissioned on March 4, 1966 from the Coast Guard after 59 years of service. In 1968 she was given to the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan. Currently she is moored at Pier 16 on the East River and is used as a floating exhibit.[3] In 1989, the lightship was declared a National Historic Landmark.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b "LIGHTSHIP NO. 87 "AMBROSE"". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-14. 
  3. ^ "Lightship No. 87 "Ambrose" National Historic Landmark Study". Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  4. ^ Kevin Foster (5 August 1988). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Lightship No. 87 "Ambrose"" (PDF). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 5 photos, exterior and interior, from 1908-1988 PDF (540 KiB)

External links[edit]

Media related to Ambrose (ship, 1907) at Wikimedia Commons