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updated: 8/29/2014 4:18 PM

Constitution sets sail for last time for 3 years

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  • The U.S.S. Constitution, or "Old Ironsides," the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned ship that is still afloat, is towed Friday through Boston Harbor past the financial district skyline with its topsails unfurled.

      The U.S.S. Constitution, or "Old Ironsides," the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned ship that is still afloat, is towed Friday through Boston Harbor past the financial district skyline with its topsails unfurled.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat has set its sails for the last time before it heads to dry dock for a three-year repair project.

The historic warship the U.S.S. Constitution left its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston on Friday morning. It set and struck three topsails and then fired a 21-gun salute off Castle Island in South Boston.

The Constitution will get underway for the final time before the repair job on Oct. 17 but won't set its sails at that time because they will have already been removed.

Constitution crew members have spent the past week training 150 U.S. Navy chief petty officers on sailing techniques utilized aboard Old Ironsides since the 1790s.

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