New Jersey’s Tall Ship Is Coming To Lewes

The Schooner A.J. Meerwood, first launched in 1928. A restored oyster dredge, home port is Bivalve, Commercial Township, New Jersey. This is New Jersey’s official Tall Ship.

There were hundreds of these schooners up and down the Delaware Bay before the depression, harvesting oysters. When the Great Depression hit, the shipbuilding industry took a huge loss, just like everywhere else.

The A.J. Meerwood will be in Lewes, DE on August 2nd until September 1st. There are scheduled sails, morning, day and evening … you can purchase tickets. There is a special trip on the 30th for a historical maritime sail. Check the ticketing website for details. The A.J. Meerwood will port at the Lewes Ferry Terminal.

​Before you ask, she drafts less than the Kalmar Nykel and that is my guess why she can get in there.

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A.J. Meerwood New Jersey’s Tall Ship sail schedule

A.J. Meerwood’s History … Credit Bay Shore Center NJ

1928: The Meerwald family of South Dennis commissioned Charles H. Stowman & Sons shipyard to build the A.J. Meerwald. She was a bald headed (without topmasts), gaff riffed oyster dredge. The oystering gear consisted of a winder, or gas powered winch, for hauling in the dredges.

1942: In June the Maritime Commission commandeered the A.J. Meerwald under the War Powers Act. She was turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard and outfitted as a fireboat.

1947: In January the A.J. Meerwald was returned to the Meerwald family. Eight months later they sold the vessel to Clyde A. Phillips who used her as an oyster dredge under power. The winder installed for dredging consisted of a power takeoff mounted forward of the engine. She became the Clyde A. Phillips.

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1959: Ownership passed to Cornelius (Nicky) Campbell who outfitted her for surf clamming. During the 1960’s she was owned by American Clam and operated primarily as a clam dredge into the late 1970’s. She was eventually retired until her donation to Bayshore Center at Bivalve in 1989.

1988: Bayshore Center at Bivalve was formed and the Clyde A. Phillips was given to the project by Captain John Gandy.

1992: Clyde A. Phillips was lifted by crane from the river and set in Bivalve, NJ for restoration.

1995: Clyde A. Phillips was rechristened and launched as the A.J. Meerwald and added to the National Register of Historic Places. She offers Public Sails, Charters, Family and Youth Camps, as well as Adult and Youth Education Sails throughout the Delaware River and Bay area, and along the Atlantic Coast.

1998: Governor Whitman designated the A.J. Meerwald New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship.

General Characteristics:
Type: two-masted gaff schooner
Tonnage: 57 tons
Length: 85 feet (26 m) on deck
Beam: 22 feet (6.7 m)
Height: 70 feet (21 m)
Draft: 6 feet (1.8 m)
Propulsion: sail; auxiliary engine
Sail plan: mainsail, foresail, large jib
Capacity: 49 passengers
Notes: Oak hull; 3,562 square feet (330.9 m2) total sail area

Specifications:
Sparred Length: 115 feet
Length on Deck: 85 feet
Draft: 6 feet (without Centerboard)
12 feet (with Centerboard down)
Beam: 22 feet 3 inches
Rig Height: 70 feet
Freeboard: 4 feet
Sail Area: 3,562 sq. feet
Gross Tonnage: 57 tons

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