USS Constitution Closed for Repairs, To Partly Open in June

USS Constitution sets sail in Boston Harbor during the ship's second and final chief petty officer heritage week underway demonstration of 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Kinney/Released)

BOSTON — The world's oldest commissioned warship afloat is closing to visitors as it heads to dry dock in Boston for repairs.

The three-masted frigate USS Constitution is nicknamed Old Ironsides. It closed on Monday. It's slated to enter dry dock near its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard on May 19 and partly reopen on June 9.

A multi-year restoration project will involve re-coppering the hull, replacing worn rigging and old planks and making general repairs to the stern, bow and captain's cabin.

The U.S. Navy is paying for the work, which could cost up to $15 million. The last time the Constitution was dry-docked was in 1995, in preparation for its bicentennial.

The ship was launched in 1797 and is a major tourist draw for the city. It's expected back in the water by 2017.

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