23 February 2017 by

Lightships like this one were used all over the world to mark offshore navigation hazards in places where lighthouses or offshore platforms were unfeasible. The earliest were built in the 1730s. Crews would maintain the light and the ship, and also keep record of passing ships, observe the weather and occasionally rescue stranded ships. Lightships served throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and while almost all are now unmanned, Trinity House still maintains vessels in the Channel, the Thames Estuary and on other areas of the coast. Lightships were usually painted in bright red and white colours to aid visibility, and had the name of their station painted on their sides.

This kit should be simple to build, and can be assembled entirely from wood. If you’re feeling more ambitious, why not try and fit a working model of the Fresnel rotating lens used by real lightships and lighthouses. 

To download these plans, simply right-click on the image below and click 'Save Image As' then print the image onto A3 or A4 paper, depending on the scale you prefer.