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Old 04-06-2015, 17:35   #16
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Re: USS Constitution, aka “OLD IRONSIDES, ” in Dry Dock

thanks, A great ship, I was lucky to have done a turnaround on the Constitution in Boston, was able to explore all the decks they even fired the cannons,
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Old 04-06-2015, 21:07   #17
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Re: USS Constitution, aka “OLD IRONSIDES, ” in Dry Dock

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It has been many years since "Constitution" has sailed on her own, rather she is normally towed by a tug annually so both sides will weather equally. As for her crew of Navy personnel they are a care taking crew, and not a sailing crew. The last time the "Constitution" sailed was some 20 years ago was with a Navy crew, trained by the U.S. Coast Guard, as they are the only ones that have a Full Rigged sailing vessel with crew and is regularly sailed to most of the Tall Ship events.
She sailed in 2012 and again in 2014:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...HN/story.html#
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Old 04-06-2015, 23:22   #18
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Re: USS Constitution, aka “OLD IRONSIDES, ” in Dry Dock

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thanks, A great ship, I was lucky to have done a turnaround on the Constitution in Boston, was able to explore all the decks they even fired the cannons,
That sounds like a great experience. Lucky you!
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Old 06-06-2015, 13:38   #19
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Re: USS Constitution, aka “OLD IRONSIDES, ” in Dry Dock

Many Many years ago, right after graduating high school, I was accepted in to the rigger's apprentice program at the Boston Naval Shipyard. I was fortunate enough to spend many days aboard “old ironsides”. She is, or was back then, the Admiral's Flag Ship for the First naval district. She was sailed (pulled by tug) on a harbor cruise twice a year, this was done to allow her to weather on both sides evenly. She is still an active Navy ship. One of my great regrets in life, was she was ready to have the main mast replaced when I got drafted, and they had finished her before I got back. I still get down to go aboard her now and again. The shop that we worked from is now the Museum. I have fond memories of those days.
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Old 06-06-2015, 15:53   #20
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Re: USS Constitution, aka “OLD IRONSIDES, ” in Dry Dock

The first time the Constitution sailed in over 100 years in 1997 was truly remarkable. The question was exactly how to rig and sail her. No one alive had ever sailed her or anything similiar. The knowledge of how to sail a 50 gun heavy frigate had been lost.

And the Constitution is no milk run "sail training ship" but a fast warship meant to chase down the most modern and sophisticated enemy ships of the time. The sails are monsters - the largest over 3500 sq/ft and weighs 1000 pounds. No sail maker knew exactly how to sew these sails. And the men who sailed her in the 1800's had spent a lifetime learning how to do it - starting as ships boys.

And as anyone who has ever restored an old sailboat can attest, the PO never does anything right. In the Constitution's case, several huge diagonal timbers were removed from the hull in the late 1800's because no one knew their purpose. 100 years later, computer analysis showed that those timbers were critical to preventing "hogging" (bow and stern sag). The timbers removal made a fast boat into a slow boat. New timbers were installed in 1995 and the ship sailed well again.

Constitution Sails Again...And Again?

And in a remarkable "history repeats itself" the Constitution's first action was against terrorism. The Barbary Pirates (centered in modern Libya) demanded that President Thomas Jefferson pay $3,543,500 in today's dollars to keep the pirates from attacking US shipping (which involved taking the cargo and passengers - the passengers to be ransomed or sold as slaves). He refused and sent essentially the entire US Navy lead by the Constitution.
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Old 07-06-2015, 18:41   #21
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Re: USS Constitution, aka “OLD IRONSIDES, ” in Dry Dock

Thanks Gord,


I saw her as a child with my Mom & brother. I was about 10. I took my grandsons to see her last year. I noticed more this last time. I hope the memory sticks with grandsons as it did with me. We took the 12-year old on a 2-week cruise from Marquette to Muskegon last year. I think he is hooked.
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