Hand-built and christened in 1942, the F/V Sherman Zwicker is the last original saltbank fishing vessel in existence.
Once part of the proud Grand Banks fleet that fished the abundant but turbulent North Atlantic, the Sherman Zwicker traded cod and salt throughout the Americas. Today she is an exceptional and rare surviving example of traditional boat-building skills and also the largest wooden vessel in New York City.
The Sherman Zwicker was built of heavy timber on the plans of her famous sister ship Bluenose, the world-record holding racing ship and fishing vessel, at the renowned Smith and Rhuland boat yard.
She was one of the first and last of her kind to be built. At the time she was a considered a modern transition vessel (vessels transitioning from sails to diesel power), designed to make use of the sleek and fast hull of Bluenose. As a transition rig, she was equipped with smaller tallship masts and sails that were used less for power and more for stability, and fitted with an extremely powerful diesel engine to provide the majority of her propulsion. She was the last of a fleet of hundreds of large wooden schooners fishing the Grand Banks and moving cargoes of fish and salt in the North Atlantic to South America.
Each year the Sherman Zwicker would make three trips from May - September to the Grand Banks for cod fishing and in the fall she would sail down to South America carrying a cargo of salt cured fish, returning in the spring with a hold full of salt.
She made her summer port in South Shore, Nova Scotia for 20 years before being sold to a company in Newfoundland where she continued to ply her trade until 1968.
The following year Capt. George McEvoy rescued her from a watery grave in Glovertown, Newfoundland, and sailed her to Maine where he restored her to a museum quality vessel. Control of the Sherman Zwicker was later turned over to the Grand Banks Schooner Museum Trust, a non-profit group headed by Capt. McEvoy, based in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Under the Trust, the Sherman Zwicker became a fully operational, traveling museum, attending many tall ship festivities along the eastern seaboard, and frequently visiting her old ports of call in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to much fanfare. For almost 30 years, she spent her summers docked at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine, where she played host to tens of thousands of visitors each season.
In 2014, the Grand Banks Schooner Museum Trust gifted the Sherman Zwicker to the Maritime Foundation to ensure her preservation for future generations.