Eternally Painting

Danny Matthews and Dick Beane contemplate their next move

Along with the two big restoration projects currently underway at the ship we are trying to tackle some painting. If you have visited the ship in the last year or so you might have noticed the ship could use a paint job. I know others have noticed because it shows up in comment cards, casual remarks of people strolling on the pier, and even friends from town I happen to run into at Mama Mia’s for dinner.

The painting is a labor intensive time consuming project that would eat up our entire summer if that were all we had to do. Clearly it is not.

Painting the ship is an eternal project, one we often compare to painting the Golden Gate bridge. You know, they just finish paining all the way to one end when they have to turn around and start again at the other end. The ship is very much like the bridge with the added bonus that it is made of wood.

Mid-ship section primed and ready for top coats

We are stripping all the paint off the ship as we go, because there are about ten years of accumulated paint built up on the hull. the bare wood is then sealed  with the gray primer, seams are filled minor repairs made then we  follow up with two coast of an oil based marine enamel.

We have been trying to attract volunteers for years to help with painting. Dick Beane is one of those who has been great help for years now and has learned to laugh at all our bad jokes. (I think the paint fumes help).

We have tried the Tom Sawyer white washing the fence  technique to get people to help; “This is so much fun, how much will you give if I let you help?” It may work in classic literature but I can tell you it doesn’t really fly in the real world.


However there is a certain satisfaction in seeing the ship finish renewed. Mayflower is transformed from looking like a sad, neglected Grand Dame of a bigone era to the aging yet serviceable vessel we know her to be.

If  you would like to help, stop by the ship, I will even give you your own paint brush and as a special bonus you will also receive our undying gratitude. And that’s no joke.


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