Type: Gaff-rigged, bald headed Delaware Bay Oyster Schooner
LOA: 115″0″ / 35.0m
LOD: 85’3″ / 26m
Beam: 21’11” / 6.70m
Draft: 5’10” / 1.80m / Centerboard Down 12’0″ / 3.65m
Original Owner: Augustus J. Meerwald, Jr and family
Current Owner: Bayshore Center at Bivalve
Port: Port Norris, Bivalve, NJ
Year Launched: 1928
Built By: Charles H. Stowman & Sons Shipyard, Dorchester, New Jersey
Hull Material: ‘Oak on Oak,’ oak planks laid on oak frames, as was tradition in Dorchester built vessels.
Displacement: 46 net tons / 57 gross tons
Sail Area: 3,562 ft2 / 330.9 m2
Engine: 6-71 Detroit Diesel engine
1928: Augustus Meerwald, Jr and family of South Dennis commissioned Charles H. Stowman & Sons shipyard to build the A.J. Meerwald. She was launched on September 7, 1928 by Charles H. Stowman & Sons at Dorchester, NJ. 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 who outfitted her as a fireboat.
1947: In January, the A.J. Meerwald was returned to the Meerwald family. Eight months later, they sold the cessel 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.
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 essentially 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 designates the A.J. Meerwald New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship.
The Wall of Remembrance – The Owners, Crew & Notable Guest:
Owner: Augustus J. Meerwald, Jr