Records do not show who Moonlight was originally built for, although her first registered owner is recorded in 1880 as being Daniel Gaff of Greenock. By 1890 she is registered to James Glover of Paisley/ She passed through a number of owners and had been re-registered at Hull by the time she foundered (for the last time!) in 1897.
A record in the Shipping Intelligence, Lloyds List No. 19,568, London, Thursday January 11 1877 states that the Moonlight "foundered" at Ardlamont Bay on the night of 7th January. An alternative report simply states that she was "stranded". If she was salvaged, and the reports make no mention of this, it is probable that this is the same vessel as came to grief once again two years later (see below) but of this I cannot be sure.
29 March 1879 with a cargo of 75 tons of coal she left Ardrossan bound for Kirn in Argyll and almost immediately foundered near Horse Island just off the entrance to Ardrossan Harbour. She was raised and repaired. A contemporary report quotes her owner of being of the opinion that "the loss was due to the stupidity of the master in overloading the vessel, and in proceeding to sea in tempestuous weather".
On July 15th 1881 she ran aground at Tighnbruaich in the Kyles of Bute. The official report on the day stated that it was feared that she would be a total wreck but on the 22nd it was report that she had been "got off".
In 1891 she came into the ownership of a William Taylor of Grangemouth; in 1892 she moved south under the ownership of Robert Murray in Hull, and in the same year Joseph Harvey at Louth. In 1897 she was bought by Rehoboth Robertson of Boston, Lincs.
After her series of lucky escapes from a watery grave, she was reported sunk in the North Sea on 22nd December 1887 and this time she does appear to have met her end.