Please use our A-Z INDEX to navigate this site or return HOME



100ft TRIMARAN - The research boat will aim to traverse the Atlantic Ocean in 2021 with no humans on board using solar and wind power. This design was abandoned in favour of a diesel-electric hybrid drive. The team claimed the use of bio-diesel, as a step towards zero emission surveying.





On 19th December 2016 the "Team," with support from Bowater Communications, successfully raised £102,940 with 142 supporters in 56 days, via Crowdfunder.



This project offered rewards in return for donations. 


£25,000 or more Reward

Thank you for believing in our project!


* Access to the MAS 400 model for trade shows.


* Thanks across our social media platforms, website and automatic registration to receive the monthly newsletter.


* A signed letter of thanks from the MAS team on watermarked paper.


* A Mayflower 400 T shirt & entry to the exclusive draw where the winner will get VIP ticket (reward price£1000) to the launch of the Mayflower 4000 in 2020. 


*Your name 'on board' - Either to be personally signed by yourself or printed on the hull. 


* A tour of the MAS to include signed photograph. 


* Exclusive invitation to the MAS champagne hosted reception/unveiling. 


* Exclusive invitation to the VIP Launch of the MAS 2020. 


* Witness the arrival of the MAS400 (flight provided). 


* Hull branding with company name/logo.















Mayflower Autonomous Ship - Bowater Communications, Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

Get your name on the first robot ship to cross the Atlantic: celebrating the past, heralding the future and making history for Mayflower 400 

Get your name on the side of the first remote controlled ship to cross the Atlantic! This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to help make history happen - and you can be part of it. 
This pioneering project aims to design, build and sail the world's first full-sized, fully autonomous unmanned ship across the Atlantic. 


With your help it will go from Plymouth UK to Plymouth USA in 2020, following the same route as the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 - and testing technology that will power space exploration and man-less sea exploration.


This is a project that could change the world and the way that ships are sailed, research carried out and the way people travel. 


It's a never-before-attempted technology that will herald the future while commemorating the past, sailing out of Plymouth Sound as the flagship of the 2020 Mayflower Commemorations. 


And it can have your name on the side! Companies, individuals, families, romantics, corporations and businesses can all be 'new pilgrims' and help to change the world as we know it by getting their name on the side of it - sailing all over the world, conducting research using state-of-the-art wind and solar technology.


At more than 100ft in length The Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship will be a revolutionary trimaran and will carry on board a variety of drones through which it will conduct experiments during its voyage. It will be the first vessel of it's kind to be built in the world!

This Crowdfunder will take it from blueprint to boatyard and help complete robust testing making this raise absolutely crucial to help make it happen. 

In order to see it go out of Plymouth Sound in 2020 then this is the vital stage. 

Following the year-long testing phase, the planned Atlantic crossing in 2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower sailings from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.

This crossing will not only be the flagship of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage but will also be a project to herald the future and demonstrate the cutting edge technology and innovation happening here, in Britain's Ocean City.

This revolutionary project will be something that everyone in the community can become involved with.

Groups, businesses and schools will benefit from the Mayflower Autoship by being able to contribute to it either through sponsorship or by backing through the purchase of rewards.

Education: This project will benefit the education of school children all over Plymouth and neighbouring towns and villages, by allowing them to be a part of this world first, history making experience.

At least 35,000 primary and secondary school children will be invited to join in with this project and will be given the opportunity to be part of it.

The project will be taking place in Plymouth so there will be an opportunity for every school-aged child in the City and the region to visit the ship, in construction and during sea trials. 

There will also be significant STEM educational outreach to the local schools and it is our intent to rotate the opportunity to directly control the operation of the ship to each school in the region over the period or its operation, estimated to be a decade (or more) beyond the initial trans-Atlantic crossing.

Students will be able to track the progress of the Mayflower's construction and will be able to make interesting comparisons to the original Mayflower ship and how this ship is different, giving them knowledge of the past history of the Mayflower crossing, whilst looking at new ways we can cross the Atlantic today with unmanned vessels and the implications that this brings on the future.

Employment Opportunities: We estimate that the construction and operation of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship will provide between twenty and thirty full time, permanent positions. However, the indirect jobs benefit is vast but difficult to calculate as the ship will serve as an ambassador for the City of Plymouth, the local STEM corporate and academic community and cornucopia of marine related businesses that are operating in and around Plymouth and from which product and knowledge can be sought.

Skills & Training: The program will provide for academic and vocational training in the fields of naval architecture, computer science, artificial intelligence, all manner of marine sciences, engineering, advanced composites and advanced manufacturing and maritime skills required for operations at sea.

Opportunities to see the boat before sailing: The boat will be in production at several locations prior to is major sub-assemblies being prepared for integration in 2018. 

We will organize tours for VIPs and members of the public from late 2017 to the various locations of system and sub-system production that are, but not limited to: Plymouth University, M Subs Ltd, OceansGate. 

From mid-2018 onward when the major components of the ship are coalescing into a large assembly we will shift production to a waterside location with a temporary building installed – in the Stonehouse area. 

We will be open to the public for guided tours to see the ship in production at that time and the actual launch of the ship will be in the full view of the public as well. 

Additionally, the ship will work for nearly a year doing sea trails in the Plymouth Sound area and there will be innumerable opportunities to see it in action and also pierside. 

We intend to collaborate with the City to install a visitor’s centre such that we can have consistent engagement with the public throughout the program, including construction, integration, testing and operation at sea.

Research and Data Collection: The ship will collect all manner of oceanographic, meteorological and climitalogical data during its voyage. 

It will also be able to take water samples for detailed chemical and biological analysis. Moreover, the ship will be a research project unto itself – developing state-of-the-art communications and command & control protocols for autonomous vehicle sysetms.


Charlie Courtenay, Earl of Devon: “The Mayflower Autonomous Ship is an amazing project to be able to get involved with. Devon has, probably out of all the counties in England, the most decorated maritime history and to be able to create new technology and be able to do new things in the Ocean from Plymouth is a really exciting prospect. The team that is assembled is creating wholly new technology. It is breaking the bounds of what we can do on the ocean and it is going to create a whole new industry that will allow ships to navigate around the world without human intervention at all and it is a great new step in technology that we are really excited to be involved in.”

“We are going to build an Autonomous Ship, the third Mayflower, which is state-of-the-art and it will cross the Atlantic and commemorate that voyage 400 years ago but allow us to usher in a new phase of oceanographic and climatological research with state-of-the-art technology. What I find here in Plymouth UK is a huge diversity of talent: engineering scientists, software scientists, a fantastic university, people who - much like the pilgrims - are interested in new beginnings and like to lean forward into new opportunities and so it is a fantastic place to manufacture things, it is a fantastic place to try out new ideas working co-operatively both with the institutions, businesses, military and government agencies here in Plymouth and in the United States give this an unparalleled opportunity to make this project a reality.” Brett Phaneuf, Director, M-Subs.

“In America we learn about the Pilgrims from an early age, as children we are taught in school about the brave people who went on this adventure. This ship will sail itself and be a modern version for the new era of world-changing scientific exploration.” AJ Courtenay, Countess of Devon.

Johnny Mercer, MP: “We are looking to get people excited about marine science in Plymouth. We are looking to inspire generations of our young people to get involved and I cannot think of a better way of doing that than by building something like this.”

Your backing will help to recreate history whilst pushing the boundaries of modern technology and renewable energy by showcasing a project that is the first of it's kind in the world, setting sail here in Britain's Ocean City.

Please do show your support by backing our project and we will return your donation with one of our rewards as well as playing a vital part of another moment in history when the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship sets sail from Plymouth in 2020 - celebrating the past whilst heralding the future!

The project is being developed by a partnership of Plymouth University, autonomous craft specialists MSubs and Shuttleworth Design.









The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) is one of the most high-profile initiatives striving to revolutionize the marine transportation format, with the possibility to massively transform the way commercial shipping operates. You will note that the original design has changed considerably and the size of the proposed vessel has been halved. But, we doubt that contributors will have minded the change of specification, just so long as they saw a boat go into the water - regardless of diesel propulsion - and attempt to cross the Atlantic. We wouldn't have minded the change in size or the delays, but we might have been a little miffed at diesel power : )



The current energy autonomous (solar powered) transatlantic record holder is the Tûranor PlanetSolar, seen below. Note, this boat was manned, not crewless. Nevertheless, with an autopilot and collision avoidance sensors, in our view, she would easily make it across the Atlantic Ocean - from one waypoint to another in unmanned mode. But in 2012, the technology was not so freely available. Today, several companies offer full COLREGS compliant navigation systems.





Please use our A-Z INDEX to navigate this site or return HOME



This website is Copyright © 2020 Jameson Hunter Ltd