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Construction & Operation of Jamestown’s Godspeed MFS Summer Lecture Series

Wednesday June 21, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Re-Created 17th Century Jamestown Ship Godspeed:  research, design, and construction

Capt. Eric Speth

Three small wooden ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery sailed from London in December 1606 arriving at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay almost four and one-half months later.  They explored the lower Bay for about two weeks before establishing a colony that would become the first permanent English settlement in the New World – Jamestown, Virginia.

The third replica of Godspeed was built in Rockport, Maine, and delivered to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in early 2006.  This version of the vessel benefited from new research and durable construction materials. The best possible historical sources were used to design the ship as an accurate, fully operable museum ship capable of voyaging to ports of call carrying JYF’s educational and promotional programs. Detailed drawings and specifications were prepared for the ship including modern equipment such as a twin-diesel engine installation, generator, electrical systems, electronics, galley, head, and shower.

Rockport Marine was awarded a 2.3-million-dollar construction contract to build the new Godspeed. The vessel met or exceeded all expectations.

Capt. Eric Speth is the Director of Maritime Operations a the Jamestown Settlement Museum. Capt. Speth, who holds a U.S. Coast Guard Master’s license for 1600-ton Ocean Auxiliary Sail vessels, has valuable experience in positions aboard several sailing vessels including Captain on the Charlotte Ann, a restored 19th century schooner, Chief Carpenter for the restoration of the 1877 era Elissa, a 200’ iron barque, and Chief Mate on the Pride of Baltimore, a 137’ replica topsail schooner representing the State of Maryland as a goodwill ambassador.

Capt. Speth has been responsible for many projects at Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.   He served as project manager for the construction of Susan Constant in the early 1990s, Godspeed in 2006, and Discovery in 2007; managed replacement of Jamestown Settlement’s waterfront facility, ships channel dredging, and major ship repair, and maintenance projects. He planned and managed all sailing operations for the 2006 Godspeed Sail to six east coast cities.  Captain Speth serves as master of Susan ConstantGodspeed and Discovery.

This is the third of eight in our 2023 Summer Lecture Series. This year’s the lectures will be held on Wednesday evenings. The lectures will be held at the Bath Freight Shed and via Zoom. FMI




Wednesday June 21, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Maine’s First Ship
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Bath Freight Shed
27 Commercial Street
Bath, ME 04530 United States
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