Help preserve Mayflower II, the historic 1957 wooden sailing ship, floating classroom and national treasure!
About this project
Mayflower II is a full-scale reproduction of the ship that brought the Pilgrims across the Atlantic in 1620. A gift from the English people to commemorate the US-British alliance during World War II, the ship symbolizes the ancient ties of kinship that exist between our two nations.
Sailed from England to Massachusetts in 1957, the ship is an iconic symbol of freedom. Under the careful stewardship of Plimoth Plantation, Mayflower II has delighted visitors from near and far for over 60 years.
The time has come to preserve and protect Mayflower II for future generations to learn from and enjoy. Through this Kickstarter campaign, Plimoth Plantation hopes to raise $250,000 in support of the restoration and preservation of the ship. In the spirit that Mayflower II iseverybody’s ship and belongs to the Nation, our backers will have the chance to be a part of this historic project.
$250,000 will cover a portion of the costs of labor and materials needed for the restoration.
These are a few of the skilled people who we have brought on board to restore Mayflower II:
You name it, we need it! Wood, rope, tar, sailcloth, ballast and more. Only with your help will we be able to buy the materials we need to “float the boat!”
- Mayflower II embodies the stories and spirit of so many who see themselves in the immigrant journey she symbolizes. That perilous crossing in autumn of 1620 represents the birthplace of our Nation’s constitutional tradition. Did you know that it was on the original ship that the Mayflower Compact was signed, our first “civil body politic”?
- Renowned Naval architect William Avery Baker of M.I.T. (i.e. ‘wicked smaht’ guy), researched and designed the ship which was constructed at Upham Shipyard in Brixham, England between 1955 and 1957 using carefully researched methods and materials. Mayflower II is the same size as the original Mayflower and true to the look and spirit of the original. No other ship today can make this claim!
- Sailed across the Atlantic in 1957 by a crew of 33 and accompanied by a LIFE magazine writer and photographer, she arrived to great fanfare and celebration by thousands of spectators, including Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy. Completing this restoration means she will be able to sail again!
- Nearly 25 million people have stepped aboard since 1957. Mayflower II plays an essential role on the historic Plymouth waterfront, serving as a “floating classroom” where thousands of schoolchildren and visitors every year are educated, inspired and entertained. What a wonderful way to learn about history!
- The story of the Mayflower remains a powerful, tangible piece of American history to all who encounter her through books, films, and most often, through a visit to Plimoth Plantation andMayflower II.
In 2013, routine work revealed deeper challenges to the ship’s frame that could not be deferred to a later stage in the ship’s already existing restoration plan. Work (and fundraising!) began immediately. The restoration plan includes three phases—stabilization, major restoration and ongoing support and repairs. Some work has already been completed over the last two winters; the remaining work requires the ship to be in dry dock over a period of at least 30 months at Mystic Seaport’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard. It is this remaining work that we are fundraising for today.
In total, the project requires $12 million, which includes a reserve fund for future maintenance needs. $7.5 million is needed before the end of the 2016 in order to proceed with the final phase of restoration. A significant amount has already been raised. Plimoth Plantation will continue to solicit support from individuals, foundations and government agencies to ensure the goal will be met.
For the stories she tells, for the hope she inspires, for the freedoms she represents, and for the education she provides, Mayflower II is worth saving. Be a part of history! Help us save this national treasure!
Risks and challenges
Every possible challenge has been carefully considered and contingencies have been put in place to minimize any impediment to our success. Plimoth Plantation has been a careful and diligent steward of Mayflower II for nearly 60 years. The Museum has continually invested in her ongoing maintenance since she arrived in Plymouth in 1957. We are aware that we are the caretakers of a national treasure and are committed to keeping her afloat for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
With almost 70 years’ experience as the Nation’s premier living history museum focused on America’s early foundation, Plimoth Plantation has some of the best and brightest staff and volunteers ready and willing to complete the restoration once funding is completed. Our partners at Mystic Seaport will provide the restoration services and expertise to ensure that we can successfully complete the project over the next two years.