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The well-loved MERCANTILE is a joy to behold and is often referred to as the “Prettiest coaster on the bay.” She was built by the Billings yard on Deer Isle, Maine in 1916 for hauling lumber and granite, and has continued to earn her keep in and around Penobscot Bay ever since. A familiar sight in local ports for more than 100 years, she is listed on the register of National Landmarks and dear to the hearts of many.
In 1945 Frank Swift brought the MERCANTILE to Camden where she joined his original Maine Windjammer Cruises fleet carrying passengers on weeklong overnight trips - a tradition she continues to this day. MERCANTILE is Coast Guard certified to carry 29 overnight passengers and 54 passengers on daysails with a captain and two deckhands.
Below decks the MERCANTILE’s spacious galley is the perfect place for relaxing and communal gathering. Equipped with a vintage Shipmate wood burning stove, ample ice box space, and comfortable seating for all guests and crew.
In four separate passenger areas the MERCANTILE has fourteen double cabins with either a double bed or two twin beds, one private single cabin, and separate crew quarters. All guest cabins have full standing headroom and a window or porthole for light and ventilation. There are three heads in passenger areas and a hot, freshwater shower below decks.
MERCANTILE will convey with a complete inventory of galley wares, linens, safety equipment, and everything necessary for continuing to ply the windjammer trade. Her auxiliary propulsion is provided by a 14' cold-molded yawl boat with 75hp diesel engine (rebuilt in 2021). Also included is a 14' rowing peapod on side-davits.
Fully restored in 1989 and Coast Guard inspected annually, MERCANTILE is 115 feet overall, 80 feet on deck, and with her shoal-draft of just 5’ can explore secluded ports inaccessible to deeper vessels. But drop the centerboard down to its impressive full depth of 12’ and be amazed by her sailing performance. MERCANTILE’s sails were all new in 2021, and her Coast Guard stability letter would allow the addition of topsails and a flying jib.
The Schooner MERCANTILE represents several unique opportunities for her next owner: She could be purchased and engaged independently in the lucrative Maine windjammer trade, she could be purchased in tandem with her sister ship GRACE BAILEY and continue operating from her current berth in Camden, ME; or she could embark on any number of new ventures. One thing for sure, is whether carrying passengers for hire or some other cargo, MERCANTILE promises to continue earning her keep for many years to come.
Offers are strongly encouraged, and considerable incentives are available for a buyer who keeps the MERCANTILE and GRACE BAILEY together in Camden – thus preserving the longest running and original Maine Windjammer Cruises with business dating back to the 1930’s.
Please contact Alec today for more information about the MERCANTILE and all she has to offer.