There's an Eagle on the Chesapeake

After spending the off-season in dry dock in Baltimore as part of a multi-year refit project, the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle is getting ready for a busy 2015 sailing season.

 Photo by Donna Cole/

The 295-foot training vessel is about one quarter through a four-year overhaul that is estimated to cost $28 million. The work, which goes literally from top to bottom, began with cleaning the 78-year-old masts. Below the waterline, 200 pounds of lead ballast was removed and recoated for safety before being replaced. Other work will include upgrades, repairs, and inspections of pretty much the entire ship, from mechanical systems to living quarters. The work is a joint effort by civilian contractors and Eagle crew.

Eagle is scheduled to shove off from the Baltimore Coast Guard’s yard in Curtis Bay April 25. The first stop will be New London, CT, to pick up cadets for training, and then it’s off to approximately a dozen ports of call before returning to Baltimore at the end of August. Her only other stop on the Bay will be Norfolk, VA, June 5 to 8.

USCGC Eagle was built in Germany in 1936. In 1946 the U.S. took her as a war prize. Today she is based at the Coast Guard Academy with a crew of 55. She sails out of New London as a sailing classroom for more than 100 cadets. Her last major overhaul was thirty years ago and was completed in 1982. This year you can also see Eagle featured on a 2015 Forever U.S. Postal Service stamp.