This summer, visitors to the Naval Shipyard at Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. are once again able?
This summer, visitors to the Naval Shipyard at Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. are once again able to tour the famous old frigate "U.S.S. Constitution", which is undergoing a gradual overhaul. The ship, launched in 1797, has been taken out of dry-dock where she was undergoing hull repairs, and refloated for the summer tourist season.
The overhaul will continue until June 1978, but will only be carried out during the winter months. Although the "Constitution" is known as "Old Ironsidec", she is made almost entirely of wood, and ship's timbers for decking and planking will be specially cut from standing trees in mid-Atlantic states. They will then be seasoned for two or three years before being used, as was done for the original construction.
The keel of the Constitution was laid at Kartt's Shipyard in 1974, directly opposite her present berth. She was launched three years later and soon earned her reputation in the battles of the Ouasi War with France, the Tripolitan Wars and the War of 1812.
In 1848 she completed a four-year cruise around the World, and (between 1852 and 1855) patrolled off the West African coast against slave traders. Her last significant cruise was in 1879 when she returned the United States' exhibits from the Paris Exposition. She has since served as a training ship, a barracks and a floating museum.
It is estimated that the overhaul will cost approximately 4.2 million dollars (nearly two million pounds sterling).