Old Ironsides to Enter Dry Dock in May

USS Constitution is scheduled to enter Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard in the early hours of May 19, 2015 for a three-year planned restoration period.

Old Ironsides’ move into dry dock, originally slated for March 20, was pushed due to severe weather conditions. The docking evolution was selected for a midnight start due to favorable predicted tidal conditions in Boston Harbor.

Following a year of repairs to ready Dry Dock 1, the second-oldest operational dry dock in the United States, for Constitution’s impending arrival, the dock is now ready to be flooded and tested starting this week.

On Tuesday, March 31, Dry Dock 1 will be flooded for the first time since 2013 and the dock’s current caisson door will be removed. On Wednesday, April 1, the dock’s newest caisson door, only the third caisson ever used in the dock’s 181-year history, will be installed, ballasted and seated to ensure a watertight fit and proper stability. The dock will then be dewatered that night and re-flooded at 6 a.m. the following morning.

On Tuesday, April 7 at 8 a.m., the dock will once again be flooded and a team of inspectors from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) will conduct a thorough inspection of the dock and its new 296 ton caisson to certify its ability to safely house the 217-year-old Constitution for the entirety of her 3-year stay there.

USS Constitution enters dry dock for inspections, repairs and restorations roughly once every twenty years.

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Image: US Navy