The schooner Mabel was the first vessel in the Camden windjammer fleet. Captain Frank Swift had the idea that he could keep schooner sailing alive by taking passengers. He chartered Mabel in 1936 from Captain William Sherwood of Deer Isle who went as captain, with his wife as cook. The first passengers were three ladies from Boston. Mabel had been built in 1881 in Milbridge, Maine, and was working hauling pulp wood and other general cargo around Penobscot Bay. Here, the schooner is hauled out in Deer Isle for maintenance.
Tourists aboard the passenger schooner Mercantile assist in raising the anchor by working the windlass. Passenger labor is always welcome in working the windjammer schooners.
Mercantile was launched as a small coasting schooner in 1916 by the Billings family on Deer Isle. After she fished for mackerel for a few years in the 1940s, she was bought by Captain Frank Swift who had started the passenger schooner business in Maine in 1936, sailing out of Camden.