THE American owners of the Brixham-built Mayflower replica have fired the first volley across the Pond in what could be a seven-year battle to bring the boat back to the UK in time for its 400th anniversary celebrations.
And the response so far is a resounding 'no can do'.
The Plimoth Plantation, based in Plymouth, Massachusetts, believe it would be virtually impossible to sail the 1956 vessel across the Atlantic and back to its home port of Brixham. They say it is old and no longer seaworthy.
Brixham's Devon neighbours, Plymouth, are already hard at work planning the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers' crossing from one Plymouth to the other.
Amongst the ideas to make the celebrations a spectacular event, was floating the Mayflower II back to Devon.
Brixham is keen to see the boat return to where it was built and share in the glory.
Both Plymouth UK and Plymouth Massachusetts are planning a series of international events for the 2020 anniversary.
In a letter to the Plimoth Plantation, Lesley Smith, from the Brixham Heritage Museum, said: "The Mayflower II was actually built here in Brixham and our museum features many pictures of its construction by traditional methods and a model of it.
"The Mayflower II presentation book, which was taken to America in 1957 aboard the Mayflower II as a gift from Brixham, has been returned to our safe keeping.
"There is at least one surviving shipwright and descendants of the builders, together with many people here in Brixham who have memories of its construction. Do you think it is possible that, during the visit of Mayflower II to Plymouth, it might also call into Torbay for a day or two?"
The replica was built at the Upham's Yard in Brixham between 1955 and 1956.
It sailed across the sea the following year and has been berthed in Plymouth Massachusetts where it was turned into a permanent museum.
Brixham and Torbay councillor Mike Morey said bringing the boat back for the 2020 event would be like a home coming for the port.
But Ellie Donovan, executive director of the Plimoth Plantation, said sailing the Mayflower across the ocean had just been one of the brainstorming ideas between the two Plymouths when representatives met recently.
She said: "Although it's inspiring to think of Mayflower II visiting her original port in England, I'm sorry to say that the idea of our mutually-beloved ship leaving Plymouth, Massachusetts, for a trans-Atlantic voyage is definitely not in any of our plans.
"While the thought of a Mayflower II voyage to England and back to Massachusetts is exciting to imagine, it is not something we can seriously consider.
"We would be happy to discuss other potential collaborations regarding the international story of Mayflower II and her '1957 crew'.
"Mayflower II will turn 60 in a few years and perhaps together we could focus some attention on that special anniversary."
Cllr Morey said seven years was a long time and many things could happen in that time.
He added: "I didn't think it would be plain sailing but after mentioning it at an Events Forum meeting we now have Torbay Council on board and will be still pursuing the idea."