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Windjammer adventure: A six-day sail aboard American Eagle

Windjammers were the workhorses of the late 19th century, designed to ferry large volumes of cargo around the world on prevailing winds. Generally built of iron or steel, with three to five masts and square sails, they were slower than clippers but much roomier.

A National Historic Landmark, the schooner American Eagle has sailed the Maine coast since 1930. Here, she’s anchored at Islesford during a six-day cruise.

In the late 1900s they fell out of favor as steamships became dominant. Many of these beauties live on as sail-training ships, dockside restaurants and tourist attractions. There’s probably no better place to experience the majesty of these vessels than Maine, so we had photographer Karen Ryan document a six-day cruise aboard American Eagle to give you a taste of what a windjammer adventure is all about.

Book your adventure

Now that we’ve whetted your appetite, you can create your own Maine windjammer memories.

The Maine Windjammer Association offers charters and multiday cruises aboard nine historic boats., (800) 807-WIND

Maine Windjammer Cruises has multiday day and weekend trips aboard Grace Bailey, Mercantile and Mistress., (207) 236-2938

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue.

Reflections of Stonington, a village of fishermen and artists.
Mate Justin Schaefer prepares a lobster bake on Two Dory Island.
Fog sets in as American Eagle leaves Castine.
Ships depart Gilkey Harbor on the first leg of the Great Schooner Race.