Lightship Petrel was built in 1915. The vessel was constructed by the Dublin Dockyard Company and she is the only remaining floating lightvessel in Ireland.
She spent most of her service life at Blackwater Bank on the River Blackwater, Wexford.
The lightvessel was decommissioned in 1968. Following her decommissioning, she was sold to Hammond Lane Foundries in Dublin. The Down Cruising Club at Strangford Lough subsequently bought her for use as a clubhouse.
Initially, their offer was rejected. However, the Commissioners of Irish Lighthouses realised that she would be preserved and so negotiated a deal to sell the ship to the Cruising Club.
Much of the original fixtures and fittings remain. She is registered as a national historic ship in the UK. Since her purchase, she has been modified and refurbished by volunteers.
The Down Cruising Club is located at Balldown Bay in Strangford Lough, and the lightvessel is visible from Ballydorn Road.