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CHIPS Articles: Navy's Oldest Ship Receives Hull Cleaning

Navy's Oldest Ship Receives Hull Cleaning
By Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs - April 17, 2015
BOSTON (NNS) -- USS Constitution "Old Ironsides" received a waterborne underwater hull cleaning and comprehensive inspection in Boston Harbor, April 6-7 in preparation for its upcoming May 19 dry-docking.

Constitution, the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy, last docked in 1995 and since then accumulated marine growth has fouled her hull. The Navy's Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) administers the Navy's hull cleaning program and provides hull cleaning and inspections services through its government contractor, Seaward Marine Services.

Hull cleaning reduces operating fuel expenses, safeguards the environment via reduced greenhouse gas emissions, mitigates the spread of invasive species, and restores the hydrodynamics of the ship to improve its performance. Additionally, once a hull is cleaned, it affords divers the opportunity to assess the condition of the hull, hull coatings, and appendages for any damage prior to dry-docking.

The 217-year-old ship, launched in October 1797, is unique because its wooden hull is covered with thin copper sheets attached with copper nails. Historically, copper sheathing was used to inhibit marine growth and Constitution retains the sheathing for that purpose.

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navsea.navy.mil/.

BOSTON - USS Constitution "Old Ironsides" received a waterborne underwater hull cleaning and comprehensive inspection in Boston Harbor, April 6-7 in preparation for its upcoming May 19 dry-docking.
BOSTON - USS Constitution "Old Ironsides" received a waterborne underwater hull cleaning and comprehensive inspection in Boston Harbor, April 6-7 in preparation for its upcoming May 19 dry-docking.

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (Feb. 20, 2015) Sailors assigned to USS Constitution fire a round from the ship's saluting battery to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of Old Ironsides' dual victory against the Royal Navy ships HMS Cyane and HMS Levant in its final battle of the War of 1812. The battle, which took place on Feb. 20, 1815 near the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, was fought three days after the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Ghent, which officially ended the war. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter Melkus.
CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (Feb. 20, 2015) Sailors assigned to USS Constitution fire a round from the ship's saluting battery to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of Old Ironsides' dual victory against the Royal Navy ships HMS Cyane and HMS Levant in its final battle of the War of 1812. The battle, which took place on Feb. 20, 1815 near the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, was fought three days after the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Ghent, which officially ended the war. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter Melkus.
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