81-year-old US Coast Guard tall ship Eagle starts 2018 tour after service life extension

The US Coast Guard’s 81-year-old sail training ship ‘Eagle’ has started its 2018 training tour after completing a four-phase service life extension at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, in March.

Norfolk is set to be the first stop for Coast Guard Cutter Barque Eagle where it is scheduled to be open to the public for tours on April 6.

Over the course of next eight months, Eagle will visit a total of 20 ports including Barbados, Santa Domingo, San Juan, Roatán, Cartagena, and Curacao.

At 295-feet in length, Eagle is the largest tall-ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in US government service. It was constructed in 1936 in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy.

The United States took the Eagle as a war reparation following World War II.

With more than 22,300 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging, the Eagle has served as an afloat classroom to future Coast Guard officers since 1946. A permanent crew of eight officers and 50 enlisted personnel maintain the ship and train up to 150 cadets at a time in the skills of navigation, damage control, engineering, and deck seamanship.