Monday, October 27, 2008

The Lightship Kittiwake, Dublin

I had been informed that the Lightship Kittiwake (or the Automated Lightfloat - ALF - Kittiwake had been moored at Pigeon House Harbour - Dublin docklands (see previously) After wandering around the South side of the Liffey for hours, asking people where Pigeon House Harbour was, I gave up.
Eventually Simon Coate of the Dun Laoghaire Port Authority was able to tell me that it is actually moored alongside the Point Depot - soon to be the O2 Village - on the north bank of the Liffey

These pictures were taken around 07:45 on the October Bank Holiday morning with the sun just rising up over Dublin Bay.

Built of steel in 1959, it was converted to an ALF in 1981. It was previously moored in Dun Laoghaire harbour (2002) It was decommissioned in 2007 and now is up for sale "as is" price on application!


  1. Hi Pete,

    Great site!

    I thought that you might like to know that Harry Crosbie has sold the "Kittiwake" to the Dublin Port Company. I rang them today (26/9/12) and they confirmed the purchase. They promised to come back to me in a couple of weeks and let me know their plans. I'll post here again as soon as I hear anything.


  2. Thanks David. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of her now. (I have included this information on a new post - many thanks again)

  3. What has become of the Kittiwake now?

  4. Hi Andre. The information I have is that Harry Crosbie's plans to turn the Kittiwake into a restaurant fell through. The ship has been moved from outside the Point Theatre to a nearby dock on the northside of the river. If you find Dublin Ferryport 3 on Google maps and view it on Satellite, rather than Map, I believe the lightship is in the dock behind it, up against the spar that sticks out.

    1. Thx Peter,

      No streetview available but I saw the vessel on Google Earth, just wondered if it was for sale and bring it to Holland. Think there are only 3 or 4 left here, the nearest is
      It is the former Kentish Knock’ on the Theems. Later I think the LV8

    2. Is there a way to contact the owner? Email?

  5. Hi Andre, Ok, further enquiries is that Harry Crosbie sold the ship to the Dublin Port Company - - so they would be the ones to contact. There is a contact section on their webpage.
    Yes, I like your Wadden lightship. It looks in very good condition. I see at one time it was a discotheque in Rotterdam!

  6. Thanx again for the info, I will ty to contact them.

  7. Hi Peter and Andre, on there are pictures of Kittiwake in Dublin, earlier this year, so she's still there I guess. What a shame to see her so deteriorated, that no one seems to care.
    When the ship was decommissioned, I won the bid, and bought her for 70.000 euro. It was in good shape, in full working order. I wanted to make her a museum ship, keep her original. It took me several weeks to find a tug. Again, no one seemed interested. The tug for the trip to the Netherlands cost me 30.000 euro. However, the Dun Loaghaire Port Authority would not let Kittiwake leave the harbour, unless she was registered. Irish lightvessels were not registered. The Commissioners aparently stood above the law, had nothing to do with rules that do apply for the ordinary man. Registration would cost many months, and a fortune. Nobody had informed me about this hurdle, and when I complained to the Commissioners that they had sold me a ship that was not allowed to leave the harbour, I was told that this was my problem. I had bought the ship as is, where is.
    The CIL did not want to keep Kittiwake any longer in Dun Loaghaire and my tug could not wait. The CIL then decided to tow her to Belfast, against my wishes, cause for me she needed to go south around England, not north. But they were not allowed to take her away either. In the end the CIL understood my predicament and refunded me 90% of the purchase price. Most of the tug money was lost. So a couple of weeks stress cost me some 30.000 euro. What a hobby, what a joy.
    But that is only money. What annoyes me more is that most people who start a project like this, get a blowtorch and start cutting to alter the ship into whatever they have in mind. Kittiwake now seems to have lost the anchor winch already, and the helideck. I feel very sad, when I see the pictures and even feel guilty that I cancelled the project. I would have loved to save her. Maybe it is now heading to the breakers yard.
    Two years after Kittiwake, Gannet was decommissioned, and went to somewhere in the UK, I believe, and now even to Switzerland. So why was Kittiwake not allowed to leave?
    Skua's fate in Arklow is probably the same. I visited Skua also in 2007, two years afer she was decommissioned, and she was even after these two years of neglect already in a bad state.
    I guess Andre Minkema has not been succesfull either?
    Best wishes, Paul.

  8. So it hasn't been cut up for scrap like all the others?

    1. Hi Eugene, it actually got lifted out of the Alexandra Dock earlier this year by the Dublin Port Authority who said they were going to do her up as a land-based attraction. Harry Crosbie wasn't happy and threatened to sue!! Pete