Reprinted news brief from 2013.
Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts—Plimoth Plantation announced today an appeal for white oak lumber to help repair Mayflower II, the full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower that sailed to Plymouth in 1620. The Museum hopes to promote an awareness of this need and to receive help in locating sources for these materials. Mayflower II is currently undergoing extensive repairs at dry dock in Fairhaven, Massachusetts at the Fairhaven Shipyard, and needs frames and planks replaced to make her seaworthy. These repairs are critical to the iconic ship’s return to her berth on the Plymouth, MA waterfront where she is a popular living history exhibit of Plimoth Plantation.
The 56 year-old wooden sailing ship requires very specific and often difficult to find wood to complete her repairs. The oak trees being sought are around 100 feet tall, over 4 feet in diameter and clear of any knots. “This wood doesn’t come from typical commercial sources,” said Peter Arenstam, the ship’s captain and manager of Plimoth Plantation’s Maritime Artisans program. “We are looking for very specific trees that need to be the right age, size and even have the proper bend.” The white oak is being sought to replace Mayflower II’s planks and frames. The final lumber for the planks will measure 24 inches by 30 feet and be 3.5 inches thick. The frame stock will measure 24 inches by 10 feet and be 8 inches thick. “These pieces are very long and must have no defects, making them not only extremely heavy, but very difficult to find,” according to Arenstam.
The Museum emphasizes that the sourcing of wood materials for Mayflower II must be carried out in a selective, environmentally-responsible way. All leads will be carefully considered to meet very specific requirements that will ensure the most effective use of resources. The Museum plans to implement a tree planting program to replace any trees which may be taken down to complete the ship’s repairs. Plimoth Plantation is making an appeal for white oak lumber or trees that would meet the specific requirements for creating frames and planks for Mayflower II.
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