The re-created 17th century Jamestown ship Godspeed

Research, design, and construction

June 21, 2023 - 7pm to 8pm

Capt. Eric Speth

Jamestown's Godspeed

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.

In 2007, a third re-creation of Godspeed. This time the vessel would benefit 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 Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation’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 in Rockport, Maine was awarded a 2.3-million-dollar construction contract to build the new Godspeed. The vessel met or exceeded all expectations. 


Capt. Eric Speth

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 1990’s, 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 Constant, Godspeed and Discovery

This is the third in a series of 8 in the 2023 Summer Lecture Series. This year the lectures will be held on Wednesday evenings. The lectures will be held at the Bath Freight Shed (27 Commercial St, Bath Maine) and via Zoom.

If you enjoy our educational programming, please consider adding a donation in the form below, or become a member using the Donate button at the bottom of any page.