Ship sail

Autonomous ship Mayflower at home in Plymouth after crossing the Atlantic

PLYMOUTH – A third Mayflower has landed in Plymouth.

Autonomous ship Mayflowerthe experimental unmanned catamaran, moored alongside Mayflower II at State Pier on Thursday morning, ending a two-month trip across the Atlantic.

A small flotilla of boats escorted the boat known as MAS400 into the harbor and a crowd gathered along the shore cheered as the vessel settled into its new home.

The ship will remain moored next to Mayflower II until the July 4 weekend, so visitors can see it floating with the 1950s replica of the ship that carried the pilgrims. MAS400 will likely move north towards the Maritime Center at some point, so people can get a closer look at its impressive lines and technology.

Originally built to honor 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage in 1620, the experimental ship arrived from Plymouth, England, after a two-year delay.

He did not sail after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the city’s 400th anniversary celebration in 2020. He finally set sail last year but only sailed 400 miles before technical difficulties arose. force him to return to England.

The MAS400 will be moored next to Mayflower II over the July 4 weekend, but will likely move to the city's maritime center later in the month.

Learn more about MAS400:The autonomous ship Mayflower has landed in Canada and is heading to Plymouth for July 4

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The ship left England again on April 27 this year and planned to sail first to Washington, DC to celebrate the nation’s birthday. But bad weather and other technical difficulties caused it to deviate from its course.

He weathered a storm and carried out repairs during a stopover in the Azores and made his North American landing in Canada, rather than Washington, after a computer crashed and bad weather set in. product.

A crowd awaits the arrival of the autonomous ship Mayflower along the Plymouth seafront on Thursday.

The ship was built by Promarea marine research organization, with IBM acting as lead technology partner.

The ship is solar powered and artificial intelligence powered and serves as a research vessel. He collected ocean health data on his trip from England and will continue to study the ocean from his base in Plymouth.

Local dignitaries gathered on Thursday afternoon for a short welcoming ceremony.

Local dignitaries welcome the autonomous ship Mayflower to Plymouth on Thursday.

Tom Begley, Director of Museums Special Collections Plimoth Patux, and owner of Mayflower II, offered the museums congratulations and welcome.

“Like the Mayflower ships that came before it, Mayflower I and II, this is a historic moment that is making waves. Truly the stuff dreams are made of,” Begley said, noting that the self-contained ship passed almost exactly the same number of days at sea as Mayflower II.”We are 65 years apart, but the pull of the sea connects us,” he said.

Promare co-founder Brett Phaneuf stands in front of the two Mayflowers - Mayflower II and Mayflower Autonomous Ship - after his unmanned vessel arrived in Plymouth on Thursday.

Brett Phaneuf, co-founder of Promare and co-director of the project, said his organization stepped in to build the ship when people started talking about building another replica of the original Mayflower.

A Massachusetts native, Phaneuf had fond memories of visiting Mayflower II as a child, but was more interested in looking to the future.

“They were going to build another replica. No, I saw one. I’ve been there and we should be talking about the next 400 years, what the next 400 years will look like. What are they going to say in 400 years about what we did technologically, how we got things done? ” he said.

MAS400 joins Mayflower II after arriving in Plymouth on Thursday.

MAS400 will be based in Plymouth, but it will be an active research vessel.

Phaneuf said the ship will head to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute later this summer and will also work with the Navy, local universities and companies working on artificial intelligence for years to come.

“We left with the idea that we would try to cross the ocean independently. Well, we tried twice. The second time it worked. I’m glad it’s not the third time, that’s the charm. But the real success of the project is the people we worked with, the friendships we made that will last and help us achieve more,” Phaneuf said. “We look forward to horrifying all boaters at sea with unmanned vessels.”