‘Old Ironsides’ to Undergo 3-year Restoration

May 12, 2015


USS Constitution, ‘Old Ironsides’, will enter dry dock May 18 for a nearly three year restoration with most of the work being done below the waterline and the bow area.


The timeline of events leading up to the ship’s dry docking can be found below. The ship will be moved into position on May 15, the dry dock flooded on May 17 then Constitution will enter the dry dock on May 18 at 10:20 p.m.

Why is this important?


USS Constitution is the only survivor of the U.S. Navy’s original six frigates. Her mission was to keep the sea lanes open for commerce, fight pirates, land Marines in trouble spots (…to the shores of Tripoli…), and prevent the slave trade. The U.S. Navy carries out similar missions today. As in the days of sailing warships, today’s Navy trains its officers and enlisted personnel to the highest standard, while incorporating the very best designs and materials into its ships. The U.S. Navy’s heritage is embodied in the successes and legacies of USS Constitution.

Timeline of Events Associated with Dry Docking

Friday, May 15, 2015 (All times are subject to change)
8:30 a.m. Cassin Young (WW II destroyer) underway by tugboat to basin area
9:30 a.m. USS Constitution underway by tugboat from Pier 1 West to Pier 1 East
10:30 a.m. USS Constitution moored at Pier 1 East
11:00 a.m. Cassin Young back to Pier 1 West

Sunday, May 17, 2015 (All times are subject to change)
7:30 a.m. Dry dock ready for flooding
8:00 a.m. Flood dry dock
11:30 a.m. Remove caisson (door) and tie up behind USS Constitution
1:30-2:00 p.m. Run lines from ship to shore to prepare for the movement of the ship
2:30 p.m. Install temporary lighting and ensure the ship is trim and ready

Monday, May 18, 2015 (All times are subject to change)
7:00 p.m. Divers from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard ensure all is ready for the transit
8:00 p.m. Remove brow (platform to enter or leave the ship); remove shore electrical power
8:20 p.m. Tugboat comes along side USS Constitution
9:20 p.m. Tugboat positions USS Constitution in front of the dry dock
10:20 p.m. USS Constitution guided into the dry dock by three capstans (winches) and line handlers on either side of the dry dock
11:20 p.m. USS Constitution in position in the dry dock Midnight Caisson (door) reinstalled and dewatering begins

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (All times are subject to change) Midnight to 0:45 a.m. Divers standing by front and back to ensure the ship settles on the keel blocks properly
0:45 a.m. Divers verify ship’s position
1:00 a.m. Ship rests on the keel blocks at the bottom of the dry dock
1:10 a.m. Divers confirm keel contact, begin installing sliding side blocks to brace the ship
1:40 a.m. Install addition wood braces to the sides of the ship
2:00 a.m. Divers confirm side blocks are fitted properly to the ship
2:10 a.m. Install gangway
2:15 a.m. Install shore electrical power
 

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