NLB vessels

The Northern Lighthouse Board

In Salutem Omnium
For the Safety of All
NLB vessels
Flag of Scotland
Composed by:
Bob Schrage
last update: 02-11-2018

NLB vessels through time ...


In 1786, a commission was formed, now known as the Northern Lighthouse Board and based in Edinburgh, and initially responsible for the construction of four lighthouses around Scotland. The Northern Lighthouse Board is the General Lighthouse Authority for Scotland and the Isle of Man with many lighthouses, buoys and more Aids to Navigation as a service for the safety of all seafarers.

All these facilities (lighthouses, bouys) are located in the most difficult places, often far from the inhabited world. In many of these places, especially in the past, it was difficult to get the necessary building materials, supplies and tools on the spot. The lighthouses often stand in places where is no normal road. There are also many lighthouses stands on rocks in the middle of the sea where the necessary materials can only be brought by boat.

This is how we saw in the early years (around 1800) many vessels that had to bring the necessary building materials on the spot. Later vessels delivers supplies at the lighthouse at regular times (1x per 2 to 4 weeks). Later was that the fuel, such as coal and oil, to keep the light burning. In addition, the supplies for the lighthouse guards they were stationed on the lighthouse. And of course, to bring the new crew from and to the lighthouses.

In the beginning it were just simple sloops, more and more vessels were also required to carry out the lighthouse maintenance. Many of the current Aids to Navigation are now provided with solar energy and the maintenance work is now carried out with the use of helicopters present on the vessels.

The following pages shows a list of vessels used by the Northern Lighthouse Board by period. Where possible, images of the vessels are placed in the right-hand column.

Remark: Names were re-used, sometimes many times, and the numbers shown in brackets after the names of some vessels are for reference only – they were not carried on the vessels as there was only one vessel of a given name at any one time.

NLB vessels through time from 2000 till now - Most recent vessels


Pole Star (IV)
Pole Star (IV), NLB Duty: 2000 - in services
Name:POLE STAR (IV)
NLB Duty:2000 - still in service
Construction:Diesel-electric power, through two azimuthing thrusters and two tunnel bow-thrusters. Length O.A. 51.5m, Beam 12.0m, Draught 3.2m
1174 Gross Registered Tonnage, Service Speed 12 kts, 12-tonne crane, 200 square metre buoy working deck, dynamic positioning.
History:2000: Built by Ferguson vesselbuilders Ltd, Port Glasgow, based in Oban.
Pharos (X)
Pharos (X), NLB Duty: 2007 - in services
Name:PHAROS (X)
NLB Duty:2007 - still in service
Construction:Length O.A 84.25m, Design Draught Moulded 4.25m, Gross Tonnage: 3672 tonnes, Service Speed 12.5 knots.
Buoy Crane Capacity 30 tonnes. Dynamic positioning, large aft working deck, integrated bridge management system,
Forward helicopter flight deck, hydrographic surveying, wreck finding.
History:2007: Built by Gdanska Stocznia "Remontowa" im. J. Pilsudskiego S.A. Based in Oban.

NLB Flags



Ensign of the NLB
Ensign of the NLB (general use)

Commisioners Flag of the NLB
Commisioners Flag of the NLB

The Northern Lighthouse Board uses two flags, an ensign and a Commissioners' Flag.

The ensign is a blue ensign defaced with a white lighthouse in the fly, and is for general use.

The Commissioners' flag is a plain white ensign with a in the top left corner the pre-1801 Union Flag, with in the fly a dark blue lighthouse. This is the only British flag still in use which incorporates the pre-1801 Union Flag.

This flag only flowns from the Headquaters of the NLB in Edinburgh and on vessels with Commissioners aboard.

Headquarters of the NLB
Headquarters of the NLB
84 George Street, Edinburgh.

References
NLB vessels- Graeme Somner