57L x 10W x 73H (cm)
The Eagle is a three-masted sailing Barque with 21,350 square feet of sail. It is homeported at the CG Academy, New London, Connecticut. It is the only active commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. maritime services. (One of five such Training Barques in world. Sister ships include: MIRCEA of Romania, SAGRES II of Portugal, GORCH FOCK of Germany, and TOVARICH of Russia.)
The Eagle bears a name that goes back to the early history of the United States’ oldest continuous seagoing service. The first Eagle was commissioned in 1792, just two years after the formation of the Revenue Marine, the forerunner of today’s Coast Guard.
During the Thirty Years’ War King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden ordered the building of a considerable number of large warships. They included the WASA which was already under construction and was originally to be called NY WASSAN. The total cost of building the vessel was approximately 100,000 imperial talers.
By July the 31st of 1628 all the cannons were on board and an the 10th of August of 1628 between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. the WASA set sail on her maiden voyage. Once she was some way out to sea, she caught the wind in her sails. A few minutes later, a sudden squall forced the ship onto her side and first attempts to right her were unsuccessful. At the island of Beckholmen the WASA sank in 32 m of water. Salvage Operations began on l3th August 1628 and succeeded in bringing the WASA onto an even keel. However, it was not until 20th August 1959 that she was able to be raised for the first time by means of two pontoons. After 28 days a tug-boat towed the WASA 500 m to shallow water. By April 24th of 1961 all the preparations for raising the WASA out of the water had been completed.
The France II was launched at Bordeaux in 1911 for the New Caledonia nickel ore trade to Europe. Although not the last commercial square-rigged sailing vessel to be built, the France represents the apogee of merchant sail and her great size and powerful performance can be seen as a culmination of technological developments from the second half of the 19th century which gave such impetus to the evolution of the square-rigger over that time. France II measured 5,633 tons gross on a length of 419 feet. Her beam was 56 feet and her depth 25 feet.
Armed with two canons, France II surmounted all odds during World War I by regularly skirting the three symbolic Capes: Cape Horn, the Cape of Good Hope, and Cape Leeuwin.
On a calm sea on July 11 1922, the great ship ran aground at the Ouano reefs in New Caledonia. She would remain a familiar silhouette for the next 20 years to those passionate about the sea. In 1944 American bombers destroyed the wreck signaling the death of the greatest tall ship ever built. (164196-3)