ZEETO is a 3-masted bald-headed Tern Schooner built by Ralph Zimmerman in Sarasota, Florida and launched in 1957. She is a replica of the mid-1800s fishing schooners that were common in New England. Ralph was renowned architect - the state architect of Illinois, as a matter of fact - who’s designs included buildings at Joliet Prison and several distinguished homes in Chicago and Sarasota. It is said that his attention to detail went into the ZEETO.
Ralph was in his 60's when he launched the boat, and he and his 25 year old girl friend sailed to the Bahamas and spent a great deal of time in Hope Town. While there, he designed some houses on the island. ZEETO also made several voyages from Tampa Bay to Havana, Cuba in the days of Batiste.
Sometime in the early 1960’s, the ZEETO was sold to Mick and Eileen Jones, who lived aboard full time in Savannah harbor, but did not sail too far from port.
Carol Joyce and her first husband Brian purchased the boat in 1980 and sailed her up the coast to her new home in Boston where they lived aboard full time. ZEETO (w Carol aboard) starred in a Boston Bright from the Start ad campaign, and Liz Walker, a reporter for WBZ-tv , did a short program about Carol living aboard and being a Clerk/Magistrate at Boston Juvenile Court.
In 1985, Carol got her captain’s license and became the first female charter captain in Boston Harbor. One of the highlights of her time in Boston was sailing with the other three-masted ship in the harbor, the USS Constitution, every Forth of July. When asked how to differentiate the Constitution from the ZEETO, Carol would tell folks that the ZEETO was the “one without the guns!!!”.
In 1986, with her second husband Marty Vogt and other friends, Carol and the ZEETO joined a half dozen American Schooner Association Vessels in a historic race from from Boston to Halifax, to participate in the International Schooner Festival. Navigating with only a sextant and a radio direction finder, the ZEETO was “first across the starting line, but last to finish”. The fleet enjoyed fine weather in the Gulf of Maine and only encountered fog as they closed on the coast of Nova Scotia. Carol remembers the ZEETO as “stout, kind and very forgiving”.
In 1988, Carol and Marty swallowed the anchor and moved to a farm in western Massachusetts. The ZEETO was donated to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in hopes that she would be used as a sail training vessel. However, it wasn’t too long before the schooner was listed for sale again.
Mass Maritime sold the ZEETO to Dr Alex Kramer, a dentist from Duluth who sailed the schooner from Baltimore, MD to Cornucopia, WI with his good friend Jerry Deering of Washburn, WI. The ZEETO came to Bayfield in 1997 when Dave Strzok added her to his Apostle Islands Cruise Service fleet. Sailing under the command of Captains Jerry Deering, Matthew Kroll, John Blomquist, and Dick Coleman, with various deckhands including Nancy Trapp (the current president of Lake Superior Tall Ships, Inc.) the ZEETO became a prominent fixture of the Bayfield waterfront.
Doug Hanson purchased the ZEETO in 2003 and the vessel underwent a major five year refit with the help of Duluth's wooden boat guru, Douglas McEnany. Frames were repaired and replaced, and the original yellow pine strip planked hull was completely cold-molded with marine plywood and epoxy. During this process great pains were taken to maintain the wood planked look of the original hull. New Yanmar 3GM engines replaced the old Volvo MD2Bs. The lead & iron ballast keel was removed, painted, weighed and replaced. A new teak deck was added in 2012 and the mizzen mast was replaced in 2015. The interior was refreshed and trimmed with cherry wood.
ZEETO has a gaff headed main and foresail, a Marconi mizzen, and a club footed jib. She sleeps 8 in two double midship berths, 2 singles in forward cabin, and 2 in the salon where the settee folds down to a double berth.
Lake Superior Tall Ships purchase the ZEETO in 2023 to increase our sail training capacity and take more kids (of all ages) on Lake Superior adventures.
ZEETO means “long live the king” in Greek