Parade of Sail
Thursday, August 1
Ship Tours of the USCGC Eagle
Friday through Sunday, August 2 through 4
Two-Hour Tall Ship Sails
Thursday, August 1 through Monday, August 5,
Saturday, August 10 through Sunday, August 11
Extended Day Sails
Tuesday, August 6 to Gloucester about Lynx
Wednesday, August 7 to Boston aboard Roseway
Exhibitors, Food, Entertainment & Pirates
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle will make a four-day visit to Portsmouth starting Thursday, August 1, as part of the Piscataqua Maritime Commission’s Sail Portsmouth event.
The USCGC Eagle highlights the 6:30 p.m. Parade of Sail on August 1 that will feature other vessels, including the schooners Roseway and Lynx, as they make their way up the Piscataqua River, led by a water-spraying U.S. Navy tug.
The Eagle will berth at the Port of New Hampshire pier and will be open for public viewing and tours from Friday, August 2, through Sunday, August 4. Tours of the Eagle run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Friday August 2 and Sunday August 4. Military and First Responders may tour beginning at 9 a.m. both Friday and Sunday. Tours on Saturday August 3 will be from 12 noon to 5 p.m.
Because the Eagle is government property, it is owned by the American people and therefore there is no charge to tour the ship.
The three-masted Eagle’s size is impressive: At 295 feet, it is about as long as a football field. Its 22,227 square feet of sailcloth is enough to cover about half of that football field. The wind at full sail can move the 1,655 ton, steel-hulled vessel at 17 knots (20 mph).
The Eagle is a barque, a type of sailing vessel with three or more masts, distinctive in a sail plan that mixes square sails amidships and triangular sails fore and aft.
The Eagle’s history dates back to before World War II. It was at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany in 1936, and was commissioned as one of three sail-training ships operated by the pre-World War II German navy.
At the close of the war, the ship was taken as a war reparation by the U.S., re-commissioned as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle and sailed to New London, Connecticut, her permanent homeport ever since. The only other three-masted sailing vessel in the government’s possession is the USS Constitution.
The Eagle is an on-the-sea classroom and dorm for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets as part of their training to become officers. The Eagle is also a goodwill ambassador, not only for the Coast Guard Academy, but for the United States as well since it visits ports around the world.
Anybody wondering about the reason for a 6:30 p.m. parade should note that the tides dictate the best time to bring the Eagle up the Piscataqua River to the State Pier. The barque needs enough depth to keep its keel safe and enough clearance so that its tallest mast safely clears the raised Memorial Bridge.
To see more local events, click here.