It’s not just about the ship…..

While the shipwrights and carpenters work on a few projects that wont affect the look of the build, I’m continuing to update you with a little background information…


The Harwich Mayflower project was set up in 2009 with the express purpose of using the building of the iconic Mayflower ship in Harwich to achieve major benefits for the local area. Harwich has, for more than five hundred years, been crucial in British maritime history. It has been central to the major events in making Britain what it is today: building ships in the time of the Spanish Armada and playing a role in the two World wars. However it has lost its shipbuilding heritage and even more importantly, there have been no apprenticeships in shipbuilding or marine engineering in this town for decades.

The Project has in a very short time become a registered charity in the UK and the US. It is a training organisation and is accredited by NCFE and City and Guilds. We already provide level 2 and 3 apprenticeship programs in Marine Engineering and Construction. We have very well attended pre-apprentice courses and have an enviable record in finding permanent positions of work for many of the youngsters who complete our courses. It is very well thought of by the local schools, Colchester Institute, Anglia Ruskin College and the Job Centre, amongst others.

We are constantly providing new courses- many related to safety of workers who will be employed by the Wind farm projects in the North Sea. This is part of the Energise initiative. We also repair smaller wooden craft as part of the apprenticeship process.

The ship (and its build) will also act as a tourist hub for a part of NE Essex that has been recognised as one of the most deprived in the South of England. When the vessel is built, it will be used to train young people in all aspects of sailing and safety at sea and at work. Navigation and Seamanship will be central to this phase of the project.

After the Mayflower is complete, we plan to continue building other wooden boats and ships. There are tentative plans for a replica Viking longship to be built. In this way we can continue to provide apprenticeships and training for youngsters.

We are also passing on skills from an experienced older generation to young people. Many of these skills have been in danger of being lost completely.


Many thanks to Sean Day of  the Harwich Mayflower Project for providing the above.

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