Schooner Mercantile Turns 100!
Often referred to as the "Prettiest coaster on the Bay", the Mercantile has been a familiar sight in Maine coastal waters for 100 years.
Built by the Billings family and launched on Little Deer Isle in 1916, she served the coasting trade for 29 years before joining the Maine Windjammer Cruises fleet of cruise schooners in 1945. A shoal-draft vessel, she was designed to take on and discharge cargo in out of the way places inaccessible to deeper draft vessels. Today this feature allows us to explore secluded ports including some that the Mercantile had originally served as a cargo vessel.
This well loved schooner has seen thousands of satisfied vacationers and been the setting for countless family reunions, weddings and private charters during her 71 years as a member of our Maine Windjammer Cruises fleet. In 1989 she received a well deserved restoration and in 1992 her historic significance was recognized when she was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Today, the Mercantile continues to offer her passengers a glimpse of the past as they embark on three or four day sailing adventures on this authentic turn of the century, pure sail coasting schooner.
With proper care and competent captains we hope to see the historic Schooner Mercantile gracing the Bay with her presence for the next 100 years!
This article is deliberately short on facts since we will be offering a regular contest on Maine Windjammer Cruises facebook page to honor the 100th birthday. We will pose questions about the Mercantile and her history. A $50 Gift Certificate toward a Mercantile cruise during her centennial year celebration will be awarded to all correct answers. Please read "Schooner Mercantile Centennial Celebration Contest" for details.