If you find yourself boating on the lower Kennebec River, or driving along Maine’s coastal route 1A in Bath, you might fancy a stop at the Maine Maritime Museum, just a couple miles south of the highway and 12 miles from the river mouth. The Museum is easy to find: just look for the massive steel sculpture representing the 6-masted schooner Wyoming towering above the grounds and the very real schooner tied up alongside the docks.
The 142’ wooden vessel is the Sherman Zwicker, a former Grand Banks fishing schooner built in 1942. The Zwicker was built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and carries a 320-hp, 8-cylinder Fairbanks Morse diesel engine, as well as auxiliary masts and sails. The Zwicker and her crew caught and transported cod and other groundfish on the Grand Banks. The fishermen set bottom trawls from 12 dories stacked aboard the schooner, and would spend several months aboard the ship, filling her hold with fish before returning to port.
The Zwicker made her last Grand Banks trip in 1968, after which she was preserved as a floating museum, maintained by the Grand Banks Schooner Trust. She spends her summers at the Maine Maritime Museum, arriving around late June, making occasional trips to Boothbay and Nova Scotia for Tall Ships events. She usually remains at the Museum docks until Columbus Day.
Watch a video of the Maine Maritime Museum featuring the Sherman Zwicker on New England Boating TV.
To learn more about the Sherman Zwicker, visit Schoner Museum website.
To learn more about the Maine Maritime Museum, go to their website.