News: Mayflower Autonomous Ship - Invitation to have your name etched into history

Members of the public will be able to see their name etched into history when ambitious plans to build a multi-million-pound robot boat to mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower out of Plymouth take another step forward. The team behind the Mayflower Autonomous Ship have launched a Crowdfunding campaign which will offer, among many other rewards, the chance to put individual names on the side of the ship when it is built.

It will be the 21st Century version of the Mayflower and be able to sail without crew from Plymouth UK to Plymouth, USA in 2020 on the 400th anniversary of the first sailing. In September, organisers received the support of the Ambassador of the United States of America Matthew Barzun at a special reception at the Embassy in London to celebrate the transatlantic relationship. But in order to get the design from blueprint to boatyard, organisers need to raise £300,000 for the crucial next design and development stage which will include robust wave tank scale-model testing.

Everyone is being offered the chance to get their name written into history as ‘new pilgrims’ by buying a reward that will literally make their mark on the project. For £20 you can put your name on the boat; for £50 you can put your family’s name on it and for £35 you can put two names and a significant date. Larger rewards will include invitations to VIP events, invitations to the launch, exclusive opportunities, and other offers.

The project builds upon the UK's strong maritime history and looks confidently to the future, embracing the UK's expertise in new technology, innovation, engineering, manufacturing and its world-class educational institutions. 

Professor Martin Attrill, Director of the Plymouth Marine Institute, said: 

"Plymouth is a city famed for looking forward and possessing a great spirit of adventure. And the thing about great historical figures such as Scott, Drake and Shackleton is that they all went into the unknown and they changed the world. So it is that the MAS is seeking to emulate that impact, creating history rather than re-creating it."

The Crowdfunding campaign has just launched and can be seen here