RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Maine-built replica of the Godspeed is expected to sail up the James River in 2007 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Capt. Christopher Newport’s arrival and the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

“We think it’s a major event,” said Ralph L. “Bill” Axselle Jr., chairman of Richmond Region 2007, a nonprofit group planning the region’s 400th anniversary festivities.

In 1607, 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Mass., settlers arrived in Jamestown aboard three ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.

A boat-building shop in Rockport, Maine, is working on the latest replica of the Godspeed.

Rockport Marine was awarded the contract to build the replica for the Jamestown Settlement’s living history museum, operated by the state-run Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

The work is expected to be completed by March 2006, well in time for the following year’s 400th anniversary of the settlement.

The modern-day Godspeed will will be 64 feet long on deck, with an overall length of 88 feet, a beam of 17 feet, and a draft of 6 feet 10 inches.

The Godspeed is expected to tour the East Coast extensively in 2006 as part of the lead-in to marking Jamestown’s 400th anniversary in 2007.


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