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History of the MerseyPlanet

The "Planet" was the last manned Mersey Bar lightship until 1972 and later the UK's last manned lightship when repositioned off the Channel Islands. Below is the detailed specifications and history of the vessel.

Technical Data

Name Planet
Length 125.3 feet (ca. 38,19 m)
Beam 26.65 feet (ca. 8,12 m)
Draught 16.4 feet (ca. 4,99 m)
Authority from 1958 Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Liverpool
Authority from 1972 Trinity House, London
Year of construction 1959
Shipyard Philip & Son, Dartmouth, Devon, England
Yard-No. 1312
Contract price 171,541, profit: 8,461
Material Steel (riveted)
Generator 4 x Ruston & Hornby 4YC2 Diesel, 2 x Ruston & Hornby 6YC2 Diesel
Crew 7 men changing every 2 weeks


September 1958 Ordered by Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Liverpool
May 24th, 1960 Launched
September 9th, 1960 Handed over

1960-1972 Used on BAR station
September 4th, 1972 Removed from the BAR station, sold to Trinity House, London and became No. 23 in their fleet
February 1974 - July 18th, 1975 KENTISH KNOCK station

The last lightvessel being withdrawn from this station
1975-1979 VARNE station
August 1979-1989 CHANNEL station
June 10th, 1989 De-manned, last manned lightvessel on CHANNEL station
July 25th, 1991 Arrived in Portsmouth under tow after sale to Pound's Marine Services Ltd., Portsmouth for 2,000
1992 Re-sold to Mike Critchley and Keith Gane, who brought the lightship to the Cammell Laird's Wet Basin and later to Birkenhead

1997 The Liverpool Marine Radio and Electronic Society is using the lightship for an exhibition

People from this society later founded the Mersey Lightvessel Preservation Society, who were planning to rebuild the lightship to its original look.
2002 Open to the public at the Historic Warship Museum, East Float Dock, Dock Raod, Birkenhead on weekends only.
2004 Sold to Mr. Gary McClarnan
2005 Moved to Cross Quay Birkenhead for renovation works
2006 New berth in historic Albert Docks in Liverpool
2008 The lightship was bought by Alan Roberts and restored at Canning Dock, Liverpool.

2011-2016 The MerseyPlanet is now open to the public as a cafe/bar and historic Museum. The vessel is also available to hire for events.
2016-Present Ownership of the Merseyplanet transferred to Mr Gary Anderton. The MerseyPlanet remains to be open to the public as a cafe/bar and historic Museum. The vessel is also available to hire for events.