9 December 2014: Steve White (no relation), President of Mystic Seaport in Connecticut,
has announced that the Henry duPont Preservation Shipyard has been selected by Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts to rebuild the almost 60 year old Mayflower II.
The ship, built using traditional methods, arrived in the Plimouth Plantation in 1957, and as might be expected, needs a major refit. She underwent some significant repairs recently to keep her safe, but now it's time for some serious work, best performed by the folks in Mystic who rebuilt their own Charles W. Morgan. That work, completed last spring, enabled the Morgan to sail on her much touted "38th voyage" a major success for the Seaport and the community at large.
The work - a multi-year project - will involve a survey, documentation, and restoration of the ship. This will be the first time the ship has been properly surveyed and will determine the scope of the rehabilitation of Mayflower II. The ship will, of course, be hauled for the survey and the necessary repair/restoration work. While the plan calls for this year's work, phase one, to be completed in time for the ship to return to Plimouth Plantation in late May 2015, there are frequently surprises uncovered during this type of effort. The over-arching design and ultimate goal is for the the ship to be in perfect condition in time for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival in Massachusetts (right, that arrival, the one in 1620!).
Ample wood - rare, large-dimensioned, white oak - needed for the project is already owned by Plimouth Plantation with approximately 5,000 board feet donated by two sources.
President White of Mystic Seaport states that "part of our mission is to pass on the skills and techniques of traditional shipbuilding and historic preservation to the next generation, and projects sucgh as this enable us to fulfill that goal while at the same time, supporting an important member of the historic museum community."
I, for one, look forward to seeing the project as it evolves, and surely, the finished restoration of this historic ship.