Historic Ships

On May 18, 2015, the worlds oldest commissioned military ship afloat, the United States Navy's USS CONSTITUTION (Old Ironsides) entered drydock at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Massachusetts for a 2.5 to 3 -year restoration with most of the work to be on the ship's bow and on her hull below the waterline.

On July 23, 2017 at 2315 hours, USS CONSTITUTION was again afloat in Boston Harbor after 26 months in drydock for repairs to her hull and rigging. She was at a layberth for final repairs and reopened to the public in September of 2017.

In October this year, CONSTITUTION will celebrate her 221st birthday.

 

August 17, 1807 - Steam Power - on this date, the side-wheel steamboat, NORTH RIVER STEAM BOAT, better know as CLERMONT, made her inaugural voyage from New York to Albany. Financed by politician and investor, Robert Livingston, the ship, invented by Robert Fulton, was ridiculed by some and dubbed "Fulton's Folly". Livingston, a former ambassador to France, and Fulton had successfully operated a small steamboat on the Seine River a few years before. CLERMONT's first voyage took about 32 hours of actual steaming time. She laid over for about 20 hours at Livingston's Hudson River estate, Clermont Manor. Actual commercial service commenced 18 days later with the ship departing New York at 1800 hours on Saturdays and departing Albany for the return at 0800 hours on Wednesdays. The ship stopped at West Point, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Esopus and Hudson. The service's first year realised a very substantial profit - so much for "Folly"! Other operators jumped in - by 1819, there were 19 steamboats on the Hudson; by 1840, more than 100 were in operation. The eclipse of sail by steam had begun.

 

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