A plan of the Mayflower ship and a description of the equipment, various compartments and decks. Page updated 26th October 2017

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See the modern day tour of the area around the Mayflower Steps. It starts at North Quay, takes in Sutton Harbour, the Barbican and the Hoe.

The Mayflower dimensions and information

A. The Round House is the Mate's cabin, the chartroom where the ship's progress is planned and plotted. The Mate is second in command only to the Captain

a cut away of the mayflower showing crew and passengers going about their tasks - click for bigger image
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B. Maybe you've heard the nautical term "eight bells"? The Ship's Bell is rung to mark the time of the watch, with one to eight strokes at each half-hour of the four hours. It is also used to raise the "alarum" in an emergency.

C. The Great Cabin houses the Master or commander of the ship. A second bunk provides accommodation for an additional officer or, should one be on board, a distinguished guest.

D. The Whipstaff, the ship's helm, located on the main deck, is a long lever used to move the tiller below, which moves the rudder to steer the ship. The helmsman steers by the compass in the binnacle set in front of him, according to the orders from the conning officer on the Half Deck above.

E. Steerage is the cabin of the ship's officers. The hatch and ladder forward of the binnacle provide access to the 'tween decks.

F. The Capstan is a kind of pulley, or winch, used to hoist cargo and other heavy loads. it is fitted with holes into which long bars are inserted. By pushing the bars around, sailors haul in a rope wound around the capstan, moving the load up or down accordingly.

G. The Forecastle, or "Fo'c's'le", houses the common seamen (about 18, half of whom would be on watch while at sea), the Boatswain (master of discipline) and the cook, who prepared meals here for the crew only. A hatch gives access to 'tween decks, and doors lead forward to the Beakhead.

H.'Tween decks is where the passengers made their cabins. (The Mayflower was not built to carry passengers.) Here, also, were kept their livestock, the parts of the shallop (a work boat) and several more of the ship's guns.

I. The Gun Room held the "stern chasers," the two guns a merchant ship kept ready against possible attack. These guns fire a three-pound solid shot a distance of 2500 yards.

J. The Hold is the main cargo space. It holds most of the household goods, tools and supplies as well as the ship's stores of food, cordage, canvas, cannot shot, powder, etc.

K. The Windlass is used for raising anchors and works like but is safer to use than the capstan.