Meet the Captain

Captain Tyler King & Captain John Foss

After 37 years of operating the American Eagle, Captain John Foss has passed the stewardship of operating and maintaining the historic Schooner American Eagle to Captain Tyler King, a former mate and crew member with a decade of experience building, maintaining and sailing on wooden vessels of all sizes, including quite a few other vessels in the Maine windjammer fleet.

Captain King has been working on and around boats since his childhood. Growing up in his family’s small wooden-boat yard in Gloucester, Massachusetts, he has built or repaired nearly every type of wooden vessel and their systems. Before taking the helm of the schooner American Eagle, he spent his summers along the New England coastline, learning all that he could about maritime history and the Maine windjammer trade. Now alongside the wheelbox himself, he is dedicated to keeping and preserving the written and unwritten ways of traditional sailing for many years to come.

A sailing trip with Capt. King is a course in the history and dynamics of schooners, fishing, and the Gulf of Maine and of the literature of the Sea. His good humor and enthusiasm for the fleet radiates to his crew and guests, embodying what it means to drive a Maine windjammer.

Captain John Foss Penobscot Bay 2002

Capt. John Foss, Penobscot Bay, 2016

Captain John Foss has been sailing the Maine Coast for more than 70 years and began driving his own Maine windjammer in 1976.  In 1986, Captain Foss bought the American Eagle as a tired Eastern Rig dragger in Gloucester Ma. After managing the entire rebuild project he and his crew have continually worked year-round to keep the Eagle in tiptop shape.  As a co-owner of North End Shipyard for nearly 50 years, he has kept traditional boatbuilding skills and techniques in regular use.  He holds a 1,600 ton auxiliary sail oceans license.

After twenty years as a reporting member of the Maine Island Trail Association, Capt. Foss was named Island Adopter of the Year for 2008, an award recognizing his devotion to thoughtful island use. In the summer of 2022, Captain Foss was awarded the Maine Windjammer Association Lifetime Appreciation Award for his contributions to the world of Maine windjamming.