W. Lyle Bull, 85, former executive vice president of American export Lines, Inc., and adviser to the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service, died Thursday in a hospital in Pompano Beach, Fla. He had suffered from heart and lung ailments.

Mr. Bull was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and educated himself. He began his career as a shipping company executive with the Eastern Steamship Co. From 1943 untl 1951, he headed the department of shipping management at the U.S. Merchant Academy at King's Point, N.Y.

In 1951, he moved to Washington and became commercial shipping adviser to the Military Sea transportation Command, now known was the Military Sealift Command. He remained in that position until 1959, when he joined American Export Lines in New York.

From 1956 to 1959, he headed the department of marine transportation at Georgetown university in addition to his duties with MSTS. He was awarded the Distinguished Civil Service Award during this period.

In 1965, Mr. Bull returned to Washington as a government consultant for American export. He retired in 1969 and moved to Pompano Beach.

Survivors include a daughter, Patricia Bergmann, of Pacific Palisades, Calif, and a son, William Bull, of Houston.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Salvation Army.