The oldest American warship still afloat, the USS Constitution is stashed at the Charlestown Naval Yard for all to see. The ship was built in the late 1700s and played an integral role in the War of 1812. Now brthed permanately in the Naval Yard, except for staged sailings, the ship can be toured, gundecks and all. The Sail Boston travelogue features some photos of the ship's interior. There's also a small museum nearby in which the history of the ship can be traced.
Over in Charlestown Naval Dockyard is the oldest commissioned US Navy ship (1797), nicknamed Old Ironsides for never having gone into battle. Its now a museum piece with the exception of every 4 July, when it is taken out into the harbour (and back again).
The oldest and most famous warship in the US Navy. It is still commisioned as a warship and is manned by active duty US Navy sailors. Take the tour and be respectful. Watch your head. This vessel was built when the average sailor was about 5'6" tall. Make sure you check the board with the names of all past Captains of the ship. There is an unbroken string of commanders since the early 1800's.
U.S.S. CONSTITUTION (1797).
1 of 6 ships constructed to protect America's maritime interests.
Oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world!
Famous for defeating 4 British frigates during the War of 1812.
Restored in 1927 with contributions from school children.
The oldest commissioned warship afloat, "Old Ironsides" is rich in tradition. From fighting Barbary Pirates to winning victories in the War of 1812, the ship has played a large part in America's history. Free tours are led by active-duty sailors dressed in vintage 1812 uniforms. The museum contains interactive visual exhibits on Old Ironsides, as well as video games where you can show off your naval skills.
Hours: Daily, 10 am-4 pm
This is an actual sailing vessel from colonial days. The US Navy has taken great pains to ensure it stays in great condition. There is also a maritime museum at the dock where the Constitution is situated. Check it out also. Lots of colonial United States history here.
The following true tale is from the history of the oldest commissioned warship in the world. It comes by way of the National Park Service, as printed in *Oceanographic Ships, Fore and Aft,* a periodical by the oceanographer of the U. S. Navy.
On 23 August 1779, the USS Constitution set sail from Boston, loaded with 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of water, 74,000 cannon shot, 11,500 pounds of black powder, and 79,400 gallons of rum. Her mission: to destroy and harass British shipping.
On 6 October, she made Jamaica, took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum. Three weeks later, Constitution reached the Azores, where she provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 2,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.
On 18 November, she set sail for England, where her crew captured and scuttled 12 British merchant vessels and took their rum aboard. By this time, Constitution had run out of shot. Nevertheless, she made her way unarmed up the Firth of Clyde for a night raid there. Here, her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 13,000 gallons to her stores, and headed for home port.
On 20 February 1780, Constitution arrived in Boston with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, and no whiskey. She did, however, still have her full crew of 475 officers and men and 18,600 gallons of water.
The math is quite enlightening: Length of cruise: 181 days.
Booze consumption: 1.26 gallons per man per day (this does NOT include the unknown quantity of rum captured from the 12 British merchant ships in November).
Naval historians say that the reenlistment rate from this cruise was 92 per cent!
USS Constitution ('Old Ironsides')
'Old Ironsides' is the most famous ship in the history of the US Navy. It was built in Boston in 1797 and did battle in three wars. It earned its nickname during the Battle of 1812 when British cannonballs bounced off the sides of teh ship doing no damage. You can tour the fully restored ship, though I didn't have time to spend much time here.
One of the first ships of the American Navy, this ship saw extensive serivce in the Barbary and War of 1812.
The USS Constitution also known as 'Old Ironsides', because the British cannonballs were bouncing off its hull.
Built in 1797, Old Ironsides is the oldest warship still afloat in the world.
USS Constitution - Cannon closeup
Here is a close up photo of one of the cannons along the gunnery deck. Notice the large rope used to secure the cannon when it fires!
Follow the Freedom Trail to the USS Constitution. Visit the Museum where you can learn so much American History. The Battleship that sailed all over the world and at War.