October 19, 2013 along Portsmouth, Virginia's riverfront.

"One of the Greatest Gathering of Schooners in the World" featuring participating schooners from the 24th Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Schooner A J MEERWALD: Visit Her During Portsmouth Virginia's 2010 Schooner Days

Vintage picture of the Schooner AJ MEERWALD under sail.
The A. J. Meerwald is a Delaware Bay oyster schooner, a distinct vessel that evolved to meet the needs of the local oyster fishery. Launched in 1928, the A. J. Meerwald was one of hundreds of schooners built along South Jersey's Delaware Bayshore before the decline of the shipbuilding industry that coincided with the Great Depression.

History & Specifications

1942: In June, the Maritime Commission commandeered the A. J. Meerwald under the War Powers Act. She was turned over to the US Coast Guard who outfitted her as a fireboat. The vessel underwent a dramatic change at this time, with most of her sailing rig being removed.

1947: In January, the A. J. Meerwald was returned to the Meerwalds. Eight months later, they sold the vessel to Clyde A. Phillips who used her as an oyster dredge under power.

1957: The oyster industry crashed with the sudden appearance of the parasite Msx.

1959: Ownership passed to Cornelius (Nicky) Campbell who outfitted her for surf clamming. She operated primarily as a clam dredge into the late 1970's. She was essentially retired until her donation to the Schooner Project in 1989.

1998: on Earth Day, the A.J. MEERWALD was designated New Jersey's official tall ship by Governor Christine Whitman.

2002: Delaware Bay Schooner Project becomes the Bayshore Discovery Project.

The A. J. Meerwald was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

Picture of the original crew of the A J MEERWALD

Deck plan

Length on deck - 85'
Draft - 6'
Beam - 22'3"
Rig height 70'
Freeboard 4'
Sail area - 3562 Sq Ft
Gross Tonnage - 57 tons

For more information about the A J MEERWALD's programs and camps, please click here to go to their website. We hope you can come and visit her on October 16 during the 2010 Schooner Days in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia. See you there!

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