I saw the USS Constitution under sail! - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 33 Old 08-23-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

The ship is a national treasure. Would anyone really take a chance on grounding her? If you were responsible for the ship, would you entrust it to be sailed in open water by a crew with 15 minutes worth of actual tall ship sailing time?
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post #12 of 33 Old 08-23-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

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The ship is a national treasure. Would anyone really take a chance on grounding her? If you were responsible for the ship, would you entrust it to be sailed in open water by a crew with 15 minutes worth of actual tall ship sailing time?

"A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for" – Grace Hopper (Rear Admiral, USN) - Also seen as attributed to William Shedd

And for my tax dollars, I want more than 17 minutes.
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post #13 of 33 Old 08-23-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

Apparently they haven't sailed her under her own sails since 1997. http://www.history.navy.mil/commemor.../USSC-sail.pdf

We are very lucky to still have her and if it wasn't for a poem she would be long gone. The navy tried to dispose of her so many times and each time she was saved. Now she has a permanent commission thanks to FDR and a Congressional order to maintain her, she should be around for a very long time.

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post #14 of 33 Old 08-23-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

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And for my tax dollars, I want more than 17 minutes.
You really don't. She doesn't have a full crew, it takes 450 seamen to sail her properly and it would be a huge waste of tax dollars to crew and sail her. She already costs enough to maintain as a "landmark" and recruiting tool. Money well spent, but with use the maintenance costs go up...way up.

She isn't like the Eagle which is steel, so even using her as a training ship wouldn't be economical.

Her last refit cost 12 million. (that was with all the wood being donated) that was in 1991-1995. She had be refitted about a half dozen times before that... she is quite easily the most costly sailing ship in the world.

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Last edited by IronSpinnaker; 08-24-2012 at 06:38 AM.
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post #15 of 33 Old 08-23-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

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Once a year they take her out and turn her around so that the sun doesn't fade one side unevenly. You got lucky to see it happen.

Nice ship, but I am a little disappointed that she is only about 15% original... she has been refitted so much that only the keel is original to her.
Hey Iron,

You live for 200 years..,(btw..hope ya' do but it's not likely) and see how many original parts YOU still have in YOU...

I will add that I am glad the Old girl got some sail up....
I got to tour her back in '06...glad she's still with us...

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post #16 of 33 Old 08-24-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

She really isn't 215 years old is kinda the point. Only about 15% of her is. (according to the navy) If she was maintained from the beginning she would be a lot more original than she is. But she has been greatly modified, and was not put back into her original configuration until the 1920s. Thanks to FDR she will continue to be maintained for the remainder of this countries existence. In another 200 years she will not be 15% of what is original today, it will be much higher than that.
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post #17 of 33 Old 08-24-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

Sorry if I appear negative . It is my love of her that fuels my angst . I just believe strongly that she should be sailed as she was intended to sail . Very little of her is 215 years old & to what purpose ? She is still a commissioned naval vessel & as such she should sail as such . If she's not going to " live " .......then let her die . A 17 minute cruise under 4 of her 36 sails is not a cruise....it's an insult . 3.1 knots ???? I wish I was a tree !
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post #18 of 33 Old 08-24-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
"A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for" – Grace Hopper (Rear Admiral, USN) - Also seen as attributed to William Shedd

And for my tax dollars, I want more than 17 minutes.


I get that. As a former Navy sailor myself, I agree with the good Admiral that sailors belong on ships and ships belong at sea. However, Old Ironsides is a museum that looks like a ship. She has a crew of tour guides and maintenance personnel.

For my tax dollars I want F22s that aren't made with Chinese parts in the oxygen generators. I want SOSUS updated and maintained so that Russion fast attacks aren't cruising around in the Gulf Mexico undetected.

My last ship is being decommed at the ripe old age of 21(!) I'd like my tax dollars to keep Aegis Cruisers in the fleet.
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post #19 of 33 Old 08-24-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

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I just believe strongly that she should be sailed as she was intended to sail . !
I think she out ran the British once by the crew rowing out ahead of her, dropping anchor and winch her to the anchor. The way she was meant to be sailed is anyway that kept her out of harms way

If you read through the article about her cruise in 1997, they say that was the first time she had been under sail in 116 years. Even when she toured the world in the early 1940s she was moved by tug. Cheaper to tow her than train and pay the men needed to sail her. The sails they did fly this past trip out took 150 volunteers to man.

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post #20 of 33 Old 08-24-2012
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Re: I saw the USS Constitution under sail!

Am I wrong that it is actually a requirement to take her out for a spin every now and then to remain a commisioned navy ship? I think she is an icon of American history, is worth the $$. (Compared to the $$$ spent by the governemnt on other crap).

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