The Light

What is a lightship?

A lighthouse that floats, it serves the same function such as:

  • A light to aid navigation at night
  • A horn to warn mariners in fog
  • A radio beacon for longer range identification

Lighting the way
The Overfalls main aid to navigation was a 375 mm dual electric lantern located 57 feet above the water line. Rated at 15,000 candle power, (approximately 1,000 watts), it flashed every 3 seconds from dusk until dawn. On a clear night it could be seen for 12 miles.

The ship also had a dual diaphone fog horn with a range of 5 miles that sounded every 30 seconds in foggy weather.

A radio beacon with a range of 25 miles transmitted the call letters of the ship (NMJF) in Morse code. In foggy weather it was synchronized with the horn and broadcast every 30 seconds.

Click here to see Overfalls' full specifications.

Click here to read the about the history of lightships.

We've Made It!

This site tells the story of the eleven-year project to save and preserve one of America’s maritime treasures.  It’s a story of tens of thousands of volunteer hours of dirty work bringing one of the few remaining lightships back from the brink of ruin and all of the behind the scenes tasks that made it a reality.  It’s a story of community support that maintained the momentum when any rational person would have thrown in the towel.  And, it’s how this infectious community support spread farther afield raising the $1.2 million necessary to complete the project,


Historic Landmark Lightship Overfalls
Lewes, Delaware

The Lightship Overfalls is one of only 17 remaining lightships out of a total of 179 built from 1820 to 1952.  Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011, it is one of seven lightships in this country still open to the public.  (What is a lightship, you ask?)

Ship News

• Donate to Overfalls Through Your Amazon Purchases
When you shop at Amazon, through their AmazonSmile program, Amazon will donate a small percentage of your purchase to the Overfalls Foundation at no cost to you. Learn how to make this no cost donation every time you shop at Amazon or, if you already have an Amazon account, logon to AmazonSmile automatically.

• Monomoy Lifeboat & Stephanie Anne pilot house Highlighted by CapeGazette
The August 31, September 4 & September 11 CapeGazette editions highlight the Stephanie Anne pilot house conversion to an artifact museum, the Monomoy lifeboat's trip to its permanent display shed from its renovation location in the old Lewes power house and the dedication ceremony

• Overfalls Helps Teachers! 
As part of the Lewes Education Coalition, a day is set aside each year to provide teachers with field trip ideas they can take back to their schools. Click here to read how Overfalls played a role.

Events & Happenings

• Annual Membership Holiday Party
Friday December 11th, 7:00 - 9:00pm at the Inn at Canal Square.
This is our annual get together where we ask our guests to bring a finger food to share. The Foundation will provide all the libations.

• New Year's Eve Anchor Drop
Thursday December 31st, 11:30pm - 1:00am at the Ship.
Join us when we "Drop the Anchor" celebrating the new year with hot chocolate, toasty fires and seasonal music. This is a weather dependent event as we can handle cold and wind but, unlike our faithful Overfalls, not rain, ice and/or snow!.

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Click here for our Calendar of Upcoming Events and Ship Activities
St. Peters Hall is located at 211 Mulberry Street, Lewes DE

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