1797 navy ship tours Boston harbor again
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Old Ironsides is about to get a makeover. It will take about three years to repair the old wooden ship.
The ship's formal name is the USS Constitution. It was built in Boston. It was launched in October 1797. The ship was commissioned by the U.S. Navy following the Revolutionary War. Its mission was to protect American ships off the northern coast of Africa.
It earned the nickname Old Ironsides after winning battles during the War of 1812. That war was against Great Britain. Over the years, the ship has held a variety of roles. It still has an active-duty Navy crew. And the ship is a major tourist destination in Boston. More than 500,000 visitors come aboard each year.
The Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. During its restoration, its upper masts will be removed. The ship's long guns will be taken off. The three-mast ship will still be open for public tours and officially enters dry dock in March 2015. In dry dock, the ship will be out of the water. That allows workers to make repairs to the hull.
By spring or summer 2018, Old Ironsides should return to its familiar spot on Pier 1 at the Navy Yard.