Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Want to go see Godspeed? Well, you’ll have to wait

Jamestown Settlement's Godspeed under sail. (WYDaily/Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)
Jamestown Settlement’s Godspeed under sail. (WYDaily/Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

Fans of the historic ship Godspeed might be disappointed not to see it docked in its regular waters for the next few weeks.

The vessel is one of three (Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery) recreated historic ships available for visitors to explore at the Jamestown Settlement.

“The three recreated ships are included in museum admission so you can visit at least one ship at any point of the year,” said Tracy Perkins, media relations manager for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

The ship left Jamestown on Tuesday and will be docked at Portsmouth for annual routine winter maintenance. That involves dry docking the ship, which means the vessel is lifted out of the water to perform bottom maintenance, said Eric Speth the maritime program manager and ship captain.

The ship will receive a bottom cleaning and painting in order to remove any barnacles and grass that may have adhered to the bottom.

In addition, the bottom is re-caulked to prevent leaks.

“The whole process we are doing is for preservation and protection of the ship,” Speth said.

For Godspeed, the maintenance is done annually and costs about $30,600. The other two ships have maintenance done every two years because they are used less frequently, Speth said.

Godspeed spends a lot of time out on the water because it is the smaller of the three ships, which gives it a greater access to Virginia waterways.

Between 2004-2006, the ship was built to replace a previous recreation from the 1980s. Godspeed is a replica of the ship that transported the first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607.

While the ship is owned by the state and maintains a home dock at the Jamestown Settlement, Speth said it is one of the key aspects of spreading the museum’s educational programs.

There is not a set date on when the ship will return, but Speth said the process usually takes about two weeks.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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