login   |    register

172
Nantucket Lightship WLV-613

  • move
The Nantucket Lightship WLV-613 is scratch built from basswood, brass, and plastic stock in 1:72 scale. This model depicts the lightship on station in 1976.

I served a hitch on this 133’ ship and it was not my favorite tour of duty in the Coast Guard. The vessel was positioned 62 miles south of Nantucket Island making it the furthest offshore lightship in the world. No matter what the weather conditions, we stayed anchored on station, even in a hurricane. Added to that was the fact we marked the nautical “traffic lane” approach to New York harbor. There were many near misses with large merchant ships, nuclear subs and 600’ Russian fish processing ships.

The diorama depicts us trading cold cuts and bread for lobster with a commercial boat that was low on food. The figure leaning on the life lines depicts me ready for the “exchange” of food stuffs. Duty on this ship was mostly boring broken up by moments of sheer terror of a huge commercial ship bearing down on us (homing in on our radio beacon). We had a saying on the ship: “What’s the difference between the county jail and the Nantucket lightship? The jail can’t sink!”

Model Shipwrights would like to thank Mike Maynard for providing this photo feature of his Nantucket Lightship WLV-613
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move

About the Author

About Mike Maynard (superchief)
FROM: RHODE ISLAND, UNITED STATES

Retired Coast Guard, ship model builder, former train nut, lost in New England.


Comments

It is certainly I find job Mike! Great bit of scratch work! While no piece will ever please all of the judges all of the time. I thought it was vaguely familiar looking! LOL...not weathered enough...that is a good one! Typically weathering...and mind you I live by that sword, is a tough one to sell to many judges to begin with....this is without me tossing in the fact that the one biggest job aboard the boat is the upkeep...pretty sure you did your fair share of the never ending paint job!! Thanks for sharing this with us!
JUL 06, 2015 - 02:14 AM
I dont remember it Mike, sadly I was there and most of my attention was towards my 2 year old. As I recall there were only a few large scale ships there which makes me wonder if I left too early again! LOL
JUL 06, 2015 - 08:13 PM
Awesome build, Mike! As a scratchbuilder too, I love it when other scratchbuilds appear and yours qualifies more as a miniature than a model! I also admire the lighting used in your photography--I swear when I saw the teaser image on the website's masthead, I thought it was a photo session on a preserved museum ship. Talk about realism in scale! Gorgeous work both in the construction and in the presentation. --Karl
JUL 06, 2015 - 10:09 PM
This thing just keeps popping up in my world!!!!! The one sitting in New Bedford Harbor is used as a luxury charter hotel for 10 people... and then this one up in Boston is being restored too!!! LINK
JUL 06, 2015 - 10:45 PM
Hi Karl Every now and then I surprise myself with the photo quality of the models I finish. I seldom take "in progress" photos of my builds and my "finished model" photos are usually very poor. So thank you for the nice comments.
JUL 07, 2015 - 06:47 AM
Hey Brian The light vessel in New Bedford is the ship photo you posted, WLV-612. This is the ship the owners spent a ton of money on. The light ship that is a museum in Boston is the famous LS-112, designed specifically for the Nantucket station. It was the largest of any American light ships and was built to replace the LS-117 which was run down and sunk by the RMS OLYMPIC, sister ship of the TITANIC. Being a nautical "speed bump" in the middle of the ocean was always on my mind serving on lightship duty. By the way, every American light ship was assigned a build number it carried for it's lifetime. The names painted on the hull reflected the station the ship was assigned to. For example, my ship, the 613, started as the AMBROSE lightship and then became the RELIEF lightship. As Nantucket station was the last lightship station in the U. S., both the 612 and the 613 wore the same name(they would swap out every 5 weeks) until the lightships were replaced with a robot buoy in 1983. The 613 is moored up in Wareham down your way.
JUL 07, 2015 - 07:09 AM
Thank you Mike!!! I love hearing about the history of this kind of thing, got a couple books on the Lifesaving service and such. The relief was also struck and sunk according to an article I read somewhere correct?? and Nantucket was off station getting serviced or provisioned at the time?
JUL 07, 2015 - 08:17 PM
Very nice model.
JUL 09, 2015 - 04:24 AM
Brian The ships in question were: Lightship WAL-505, Lightship WAL-613(in the mid 1960's lightships were designated WLV's instead WAL), and the Freighter SS GREEN BAY. As I mentioned before the 613 was the AMBROSE light vessel at that time. In June of 1960 the 613 was relieved on Ambrose station by the RELIEF lightship WAL 505. On a foggy calm June night the SS Green Bay left New York bound for the Middle East loaded with cargo. It was zero visibilty that night and the Relief(505) was on station. Using the lightship's radio beacon as a guide, the Green Bay plowered into the lightship, putting a 12' gash in the ships side. As the 505 was built in 1904, a lot wasn't put into water tight integrity. The gash below the waterline flooded the wide open engine room and all power was lost. The Coast Guard crew was able to get into a rubber raft, as the flooding lightship went down in 15 minutes. The survivors spent the early morning lost in the fog, and then were nearly run down by the ocean liner QUEEN ELIZABETH in the poor visibility. At daylight a a CG cutter picked up the survivors and took them to shore. The 613, in dry dock without engines, was towed out to the Ambrose station by a CG cutter with only one generator to provide power to the lights. I often wondered how the 613 would have faired if struck by the Green Bay.
JUL 10, 2015 - 01:41 AM
an absolutely amazing story Mike...... reminds me of the Pendleton disaster.... there is a movie coming out about that and the amazing job done by Bernie Webber and crew.
JUL 10, 2015 - 03:52 AM