Meet the Captain

Captain Tyler King & Captain John Foss

Captain Tyler King at the helm of the American Eagle.

Capt. Tyler King, Hurricane Island, 2022

After 37 years of operating the American Eagle, Captain John Foss has passed the stewardship of driving and maintaining the historic Schooner American Eagle to Captain Tyler King, a former mate and crew member with a decade of experience working on coastal vessels of all sizes, including 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 that he is at the wheel, he is looking forward to welcoming new generations into the world of Midcoast Maine sailing.

A sailing trip with Capt. King is a short 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 took stewardship of the Schooner American Eagle, and since then, he and his crew have 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.