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Old Ironsides sails again

At 215 years old, the USS Constitution is the Navy’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. But it’s not too old to take a quick sail.

For 17 minutes on Aug. 19, the ship cruised west across Boston Harbor, reaching a maximum speed of 3.1 knots. This was its first sail under its own power since turning 200 in 1997.

The short trip — a distance of 1,100 yards — was to commemorate the Constitution’s victory over a British warship of a similar size in a fierce battle during the War of 1812.

“This was really terrific,” chief petty officer Frank Neely, a Constitution spokesman and crewmember, told Cruising Compass. “It couldn’t have been more memorable.”

Click here for the full report with photo of the historic sail.