Return to Mystic

Update: December 5, 2015

Mayflower II has arrived in Mystic Seaport! After a brief stay in New Bedford due to inclement weather, Mayflower II passed under the Mystic River Highway Bridge at approximately 4:00 pm Saturday evening. Thank you to Jaguar and Mitchell Towing for another safe voyage! Stay up to date on the latest restoration news throughout the winter right here on this page! 

Picture to left: Mayflower II is moved into position at the pier of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard in Mystic Seaport. 



Update: December 1, 2015

With the weather looking favorable, Mayflower II left her mooring on the Plymouth waterfront today, December 1, at approximately 12:30pm for her winter home at Mystic Seaport's Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, with stops in New Bedford and New London. 

You can track Mayflower II's journey to Mystic by clicking here!

In this next phase of a multi-year preservation initiative for the nearly 60-year-old ship, Mystic Seaport’s shipwrights and Plimoth Plantation’s maritime artisans will be replacing the half-deck area as well as working on the tween deck and some topmast rigging.

Accompanied by a crew of eight from Plimoth Plantation’s Maritime Preservation and Operations group, the 160-foot ship will be towed by the tug Jaguar (operated by Mitchell Towing in Fairhaven, Massachusetts) with stops in New Bedford and New London. The public can track Mayflower II’s progress en route to Mystic.

While visitors may not come aboard the ship during her journey, Plimoth Plantation in partnership with Mystic Seaport expect to make possible some opportunities for public engagement over the winter. 

Mayflower II will return to Plymouth in the spring for the busy tourism season. 

As the Town of Plymouth prepares to commemorate 400 years since the Pilgrims’ arrival, Plymouth Plantation must ensure that this nationally relevant ship can continue to fulfill her educational mission and serve as a floating classroom. Between now and 2020, the Museum is actively seeking funding to support Mayflower II’s preservation efforts and enable us to share the magnitude of her transatlantic voyage.

To make a gift in support of Mayflower II’s restoration, please click here, or call the Development Office 508-746-1622 (Ext. 8226).

Update: July 2015

Mayflower II is now moored at Plymouth State Pier at Pilgrim Memorial State Park. She is open 9 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. through the end of August, and will remain at the pier and open until 5:00 p.m. September through November.

Update: May 15, 2015

Mayflower II is now scheduled to depart Mystic Seaport on the morning of Tuesday, May 19 for her return trip to Plymouth.

The exact timing for the ship’s departure on the two-day journey has yet to be determined. It is dependent on tide levels and weather conditions. Once back at her berth in Plymouth, the ship will be inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard and other preparations will be carried out to make her ready to reopen to visitors prior to the Memorial Day weekend.

The full-scale reproduction ship owned by Plimoth Plantation has been at Mystic Seaport to undergo an extensive survey and the first phase of multi-year restoration at the Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard.

Stay tuned for more details on her return! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional up-to-the-minute information.


Update: April 21, 2015

With Mayflower II just several weeks away from returning home to her berth on the Plymouth waterfront, some important steps must first take place at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport. The ship is scheduled to be re-launched in the first week of May to begin the process of ‘taking up’ so that her wooden structure swells and she becomes sufficiently watertight to make her journey back to Plymouth toward the end of May.

Mayflower II was hauled out of the water in December 2014 for the first phase of her restoration work at the Mystic Seaport’s shipyard. Since her arrival there, the 58 year-old square-rigged vessel has undergone an enormous battery of activity, including comprehensive out-of-the-water survey. The survey required that the ship’s 130 tons of iron and stone ballast be removed for the first time since her construction.  Additionally, a number of repairs were made to the ship’s hull, including the replacement of planks, frames and much re caulking of the seams both below the waterline and up on deck. 

As Mayflower II returns to the water, the ship’s wooden structure will initially take on water until the wood swells and naturally seals the leaks. This process will take over a week.  Wooden boats like Mayflower II have many seams—the spaces between the planks—that can open up when a wooden boat is out of the water and the planks dry out and shrink. When the boat goes back in the water, the wood planks gradually swell up, closing the seams again.

Whit Perry, Plimoth Plantation’s Director of Maritime Preservation and Operations, expects the re-launching of Mayflower II to go smoothly. “We anticipate the normal amount of inflow to occur; we will be patient and let nature take its course.”

Significant restoration of Plimoth Plantation's wooden sailing ship is scheduled for completion prior to 2020 – the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival in New England. Mayflower II is a major exhibit at Plimoth Plantation and is a leading historical attraction in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The ship tells one of America's founding stories and draws millions of people from the around the world to Plymouth's scenic waterfront.

Update: February 18, 2015

From Surveys to X-Rays….Work Continues!


While this winter’s storms heap more snow around us, Mayflower II’s restoration work continues at Mystic Seaport. The weather has made the work more of a challenge, but the restoration crew diligently presses on with a lineup of tasks at hand. 


Whit Perry, Director of Plimoth Plantation’s Maritime Preservation and Operations, refers to much of the work on the ship at Mystic Seaport as a “discovery process.” And indeed much is being discovered at the shipyard! Most recently, a comprehensive marine survey was completed by Paul Haley of Capt. G.W. Full & Associates. The results of the survey will inform the direction of the ship’s ongoing restoration phases. 


With the survey completed, the crew stays focused on a long list of tasks including reefing the seams of the ship. Removing old caulking is called “reefing” the seam. A special hook-shaped tool is traditionally used for this job. It’s driven into the seam and worked along to remove the old caulking as it goes. 


In addition to reefing, planks are also being removed in two areas, the starboard stern quarter and the starboard bow.  These planks are located a foot or so below the waterline and a foot or so above the waterline where for years they have been covered by a copper ice shield. These planks were suspected to be in poor condition based on what was found on the port side a couple years ago. Removing them now allows us to explore the frames behind them as part of our “exploratory surgery.” 


Mayflower II has also been undergoing a series of X-ray examinations—specifically, X-raying of her keel bolts. These long iron bolts—two feet or so in length—are being X-rayed to determine their integrity and to see if any will need to be replaced or more added. The ship has 30 or 40 of these bolts that tie the keel, frames, floors and inner keelson together forming the main structural backbone of the ship.




Dylan Perry of Plimoth Plantation’s Maritime Preservations and Operations program removes old fasteners from the hull of Mayflower II.




Update: January 14, 2015

Once Upon a Shiplift: Next Comes the Ballast

With Mayflower II high and dry and sitting pretty (all 260 tons!) in Mystic Seaport’s shiplift, important preliminary steps can now be carried out for her first phase of restoration at the shipyard. The most significant step is the removal of ballast from the ship’s hold to allow proper inspection of the bilge area. Read more...

We've included some of the photos showing ballast removal down below decks...

Ballast II

Ballast III




Mystic Seaport has graciously given us some coverage on their website! Check out all of the Mayflower II links over on their page by clicking here:

They also created a really amazing time-lapse video of Mayflower II coming up out of the water. Check it out!



Update: December 18, 2014

Mayflower IIMayflower II Crew and Volunteers

On Sunday, December 14th the Mystic River Park in Mystic, Connecticut was lined with hundreds of onlookers as Plimoth Plantation's Mayflower II arrived at the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea. The ship's journey from State Pier in Plymouth, Massachusetts to Connecticut began Friday afternoon, December 12 and ended two days later. More than fifty people greeted Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport's ship lift and Museum staff had mulled cider waiting to warm the Plymouth crew.

Down rigging began the following day. Yesterday, the ship's Topmasts and yards as well as the mizzen mast were removed by crane. Early next week the ship will be moved into dry dock, and Mayflower II will have a comprehensive out-of-water survey. The survey, which began while Mayflower II was berthed at Plymouth, is being carried out by Paul Haley of Captain G.W. Full and Associates, the same firm that surveyed Mystic Seaport's flagship Charles W. Morgan as well as the USS Constitution, USS Constellation and other tall ships. During the survey, stone and iron ballast will be removed for the first time since Mayflower II's construction nearly 60 years ago. This allows proper inspection of the bilge. The scope and plan for this winter's phase of multi-year restoration work will be determined by the needs identified once the ship is out of the water and the ballast removed.

Mystic Seaport—The Museum of America and the Sea is the nation's leading maritime museum. The Museum recently completed the restoration of its 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, a National Historic Landmark vessel and America's oldest commercial ship still afloat. The Morgan sailed on her 38th Voyage this past summer. If Mayflower II is to endure as long as the 173-year-old Charles W. Morgan, then investment in both daily preservation and large-scale restoration projects is key. Mayflower II is 57-years-old. 

Significant restoration of Plimoth Plantation's wooden sailing ship is scheduled for completion prior to 2020 – the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival in New England. Mayflower II is a major exhibit at Plimoth Plantation and is a leading historical attraction in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The ship tells one of America's founding stories and draws millions of people from the around the world to Plymouth's scenic waterfront.

Update: December 17, 2014

Stay up-to-date on Mayflower II's restoration progress! Sign up for our e-newsletter here:

Update: December 12, 2014

Mayflower II is heading to Mystic Seaport this winter for continued restoration! She will be towed by the Jaguar from Plymouth Harbor today at 2:15 p.m., and the plan for transport is as follows:

Heading through the Cape Cod Canal around sunset on Friday, December 12, 2014.

The ship and crew will stay overnight in New Bedford, MA.

Saturday the tug continues on to New London, CT with a second overnight stay.

Sunday on the high tide, the ship will continue the last stretch of its journey to Mystic Seaport.


You can track the progress this weekend here:




Update - August 7th

Mayflower II has returned! She has returned to her berth on State Pier in downtown Plymouth. Please come and visit her and welcome her back home!

Thank you to all for your patience and ongoing support. Our fundraising for Mayflower II continues in anticipation of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim's landing on our shores.

If you've already donated, thank you. Please click HERE to donate and have your name added to our Virtual Passenger List!

Update -August 2013

We’re excited! Mayflower II is preparing for her journey home on August 7 around 12:00 p.m.!

She will be leaving Fairhaven at 5:00 a.m. and arriving at the Cape Cod Canal around 9:00 a.m. The journey through the canal will take approximately 45 minutes and Mayflower II is expected to arrive on the high tide in Plymouth Harbor around 12:00 p.m.

We invite you to join us for a special homecoming party- theCelebration Splash! Starting around nine AM on the Plymouth State Pier there will be live music, the Mayflower II Marketplace, colonial role-players, and a free Mayflower II commemorative gift for the first 500 people! Arrive early for the best view of the ship's arrival and continue the party at 2:00 p.m. at Nix's Plymouth Restaurant, Bar & Lounge where we will have trivia and prizes!

For the past seven months, Mayflower II has been undergoing extensive repairs in dry-dock, a restoration and preservation project that began this winter-work that will begin again this winter after the Museum closes for the season.

Between now and 2020, Mayflower II must be restored to its utmost glory to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ voyage. The magnitude of Mayflower II’s transatlantic voyage, her national recognition and her role as an icon of freedom and hope will ensure her upkeep. We’d like to thank everyone who has contributed so far to this effort; and plan to continue our fundraising efforts this year and next. We will not be able to reach this goal without your help.

Thank you again for your ongoing support, we look forward to celebrating Mayflower’s return – with you.

Donate now and you will automatically be added to our Virtual Passenger List

Spring 2013

Plimoth Plantation is committed to ensuring that Mayflower II will continue to inspire people for years to come, and the repairs of the past few months are the first phase of our ongoing restoration plan for the ship in preparation for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim’s arrival in 2020. The Museum would like to thank both the local and national communities for their patience in waiting for Mayflower II to return, and extend our gratitude to everyone who has supported this project to date. Please visit the SOS page for the date of the ship's return and schedule of events.

While you cannot visit Mayflower II quite yet in person, you can see her in the meantime on a recent episode of Chronicle by clicking here.

Mayflower II press and great links for you to share:

Plymouth Area Community News (video)

Boating Local (article and video) (article)

The Patriot Ledger (article)