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...
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: http://www.mysticseaport.org/category/mayflower-ii-restoration/
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
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: http://www.plimoth.org/enews
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.
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: