He agreed to tow the lightship south to Virginia using his fishing vessel. Penello encountered stormy seas stirred up by Hurricane Dora, which necessitated a hasty jaunt into the dangerous Nantucket Shoals.This shortcut saved the two ships ten hours and allowed them to beat the hurricane. The lightship had not deteriorated much, having been on active duty as late as 1962.These visitors include engineers, sailors, and sometimes former lightship personnel, who are able to provide vivid accounts of life aboard such a vessel.At one point, the staff worked with the Tidewater Maritime Heritage Living Association to stage re-enactments of daily life on a lightship.Portsmouth Lightship underwent a number of technological improvements over the course of its service.In 1917, the lamp illuminant was changed from kerosene to acetylene, and two years later the ship was equipped with a radio.
Both ships also possessed a steel pilot house on the bridge, at the foot of the mast.
In 1944, it was the engines turn for refurbishment, and LV 101 was upgraded to a 315 HP Cooper-Bessemer diesel engine with a maximum speed of 8.2 knots.
LV 101 was decommissioned in 1964, after serving at three posts during her forty-eight-year lifespan.
LV 101 was originally powered by a 200 HP Meitz and Weiss four-cylinder, two-cycle, direct reversing kerosene engine.
Her top speed was eight knots, which she achieved with her four-bladed propeller.