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U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle

The Elegant Eagle


About The U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle (WIX-327)


Length: 295 feet
Maximum speed: 11-16 knots (under full sail)
Maximum Range: 5,450 miles
Training Complement: 12 officers, 38 crew, 150 cadets
Commissioned: May 15, 1946

Major Mission

Training vessel for Coast Guard Academy Cadets


Sporting three masts and 21,350 square feet of sail, Barque Eagle is homeported at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. Eagle's name goes back to the early history of the oldest continuous sea-going service. The first Eagle was commissioned in 1792, two years after the formation of the Revenue Marine, the forerunner of today's Coast Guard.

Today's Eagle is the seventh vessel to bear the name. Built in 1936 by Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, it was commissioned Horst Wessel and was used in training German Naval Cadets. Following World War II, it became a U.S. war prize. It was sailed from Hamburg to New London and commissioned on May 15, 1946.

Education By Eagle

In reality, Eagle serves as a sea-going classroom for the cadets. Aboard Eagle, they get their first real taste of salt air and life at sea. They are tested and challenged often to the limits of their endurance. Working aloft, they meet fear and learn to overcome it.

Sailing on Eagle, cadets handle the more than 20,000 square feet of sail and five miles of rigging. Over two hundred lines must be coordinated during a major ship maneuver, so cadets must learn the name and function of each line.

Eagle's hull is built of steel, four-tenths of an inch thick. It has two full-length steel decks with a platform deck below and a raised forecastle and quarterdeck. The weather decks are three-inch-thick teak over steel.

Sailing on Eagle gives cadets a chance to apply the navigation, engineering and other training skills they learn at the Academy. Under-class cadets perform duties of the enlisted crew, including helm watch at the huge brass and wood wheels used to steer the vessel.

Editorís Note: The cover photo for this issue of Arizona Boating & Watersports/Western Outdoor Times proudly presents Barque Eagle as our welcome to all U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarists visiting us here in Arizona. We thank you for your service and welcome you to our home state.

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