A Re-created Historic Site
On board Mayflower II, you will meet both costumed and modern-day staff who will talk to you about the original Mayflower, and the voyage that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. You will hear about the hardships the colonists endured leaving England, what it was like living in Holland for 12 years, then crossing the ocean only to arrive in Plymouth in the bitter cold of early winter.
Mayflower II is a recreation of what we believe typical English merchant vessels of the time, including the colonists' Mayflower, looked like.
Mayflower II's specifications are: 238 tons displacement, 106.5 feet long, 90-foot hull, 25.5-foot beam, 13-foot draft. Over forty years old, she is continually undergoing maintenance and restoration.
A. The Round House was the chartroom where the ship's progress was planned and plotted.
B. The Ship's Bellwas rung to mark the time of the watch, with one to eight strokes at each half-hour of the four hours. It was also used to signal an emergency.
C. The Great Cabin housed the Master, or commander of the ship.
D. The Whipstaff or the ship's helm, located on the main deck, was a long lever used to move the tiller below, which in turn moved the rudder to steer the ship. The helmsman steered by the compass set in the binnacle in front of him, according to the orders from the conning officer on the Half Deck above.
E. Steerage housed the whipstaff. The hatch and ladder forward of the binnacle provided access to the lower decks.
F. The Capstan was a type of winch used to hoist cargo and other heavy loads. It was fitted with holes into which long bars were inserted. By pushing on the bars, sailors hauled the load up or down.
G. The Cook-room in the forecastle or "Fo'cs'l" was where meals were prepared for the crew. A hatch gave access to 'tween decks, and doors led forward to the Beakhead.
H. The Lower Deck was where the passengers made their cabins. Mayflower was not built to carry passengers. Here they probably kept their livestock, the parts of their shallop (a Work Boat) and some of the ship's guns.
I. The Gun Room held the "stern chasers," the two guns a merchant ship kept ready against possible attack. These guns were "minions," which fired a 3-pound solid shot a distance of 2500 yards.
J. The Hold was the main cargo space. It held most of the household goods, tools, and supplies as well as the ship's stores of food, cordage, canvas, canon shot, powder, etc.
K. The Windlass, a type of winch, was used for raising anchors.
Revised: August 19, 2008