After a two year drydocking for restoration work, USS Constitution “Old Ironsides” has returned to the waters of Boston harbor. The frigate is the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat. Launched for the first time in 1797, she earned her famous nickname in battles during the War of 1812. She was later memorialized in the poem Old Ironsides by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
As reported by the Washington Post: The ship enters dry dock about every 20 years for below-the-waterline repairs. The most recent work included replacing 100 hull planks and installing 2,200 new copper sheets, 500 of which were signed by nearly 100,000 museum visitors, according to USS Constitution Museum President Anne Grimes Rand, who called the ship “a wonderful symbol for our democracy. It was meant to last for 10 or 20 years, and to have (the) ship here more than 200 years later, it needs constant care,” Rand said.
The Constitution was docked at the historic Charlestown Navy Yard drydock on the May 18, 2015, and and was refloated at high tide on Sunday. The ship was moved to a nearby pier to undergo more restoration work until September, when it will re-open to the public.