- active lighthsip from 1913/15 - 1968 -



Ship data

Length over deck: 112 feet (ca. 34 m)
Beam: 22,5 feet (ca. 6,85 m)
Draft: 9 feet (ca. 2,75 m)
Authority: Commissioners of Irish Lights
Builder: Dublin Dockyard
Year of construction: 1913/15
Costs: 10,310 Pounds
Elevation: 50 feet (ca. 15 m)

Engine: no

Material: Steel




The year of construction is not clear - some records say 1911, others 1917 - the reason for this discrepancy is unclear. The records of The Commissioners of Irish Lights say 1913/15 - so we hope this is nearly true

1913/15-1931 there are no records available from this times

?-03.07.31 Reserve lightship

04.07.31-? Station Coningbeg

25.06.34-21.07.39 Station Kish

22.07.39-29.08.40 overhaul

30.08.40-11.08.45 Station South Rock

12.08.45-27.02.47 Overhaul

28.02.47-15.09.50 Station Arklow

16.09.50-07.08.51 Overhaul

08.08.51-12.10.55 Station Coningbeg

13.10.55-14.06.56 Overhaul

15.06.56-10.12.60 Station Coningbeg

11.12.60-26.01.62 Overhaul

27.01.62-25.08.65 Station Skulmartin

26.08.65-02.06.66 Overhaul

03.06.66-27.08.68 Station Blackwater

1968 withdrawn from service. In 1968 an exciting opportunity arose when Bob Clain´s (Commodore of the Down Cruising Club from 1969/70) father-in-law spotted an advertisement for the sale by tender of an Irish Lights lightship, the PETREL (all the Irish light vessels were named after sea birds at that time). A group of members, led by Dermott McConnell, having quickly gathered up donations and interest free loans from Club members, set off poste-haste to Dun Laoghaire and were so impressed with Petrel´s condition that a tender of 1800 £ was submitted. Unfortunately this tender was too low and the lighthsip was sold to Hammond Lane Foundries, Dublin for 1999.50 £. However when the Commissioners of Irish Lights realised that this historic iron ship, which was of traditional revitted and caulked construction and built by skilled craftsmen in Dublin, might be preserved they gave all possible assistance to negotiate a deal between Hammond Lane and Down Cruising Club. As a result Hammond Lane sold PETREL to the Down Cruising Club for a profit of 50 £. Over the years the lightship has been modified and fitted out generally by voluntary labour with most of the usual modern conveniences. Mains water, electricity, telephone, central heating, VHF radio, fuel and water facilities have all been provided. Today she is the Club House of the Down Cruising Club at Ballydorn, Co. Down in Ireland and she is also a very comfortable port of call for many local and overseas visitors.

Opening hours:
A general open meeting of the members and officers is held on the first Tuesday of each month in the main body of the ship - visitors are always welcome!

Visitor address:
Lightship "Petrel"
52 Ballydorn Road
Killinchy, Newtownards
County Down BT23 6QB