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USS Constitution

Wooden hull, three-masted frigate. The oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy. One of six frigates authorized to form the United States Navy for use against the Barbary pirates.

Built to be powerful enough to defeat an enemy of equivalent strength and fast enough to outsail a stronger opponent.

Point Of Contact
Public Affairs Officer
USS Constitution
Charlestown, MA 02129-1797

Navy Historical Center
Curator's Office
901 M Street SE
Washington, DC 20374-5060
General Characteristics
Builder: Col. George Claghorn, Edmond Harrt's Shipyard, Boston, MA.
Date Deployed: October 21, 1797.
Unit Cost: $302,718 (1797 dollars).
Propulsion: 42,710 sq. ft. of sail on three masts.
Length: 204 feet (62.16 meters) (billet head to taffrail); 175 feet at waterline (53.32 meters).
Height: Mast height: foremast, 198 feet (60.33 meters); mainmast, 220 feet (67.03 meters); mizzenmast, 172.5 feet (52.56 meters).
Beam: 43.5 feet (13.25 meters).
Displacement: 2,200 tons.
Speed: 13+ knots (approx. 14.95 miles per hour, 24 km. per hour).
Crew: 450 including 55 Marines and 30 boys (1797).
Armament: 32 24-pounder long guns; 20 32-pounder carronades; and, two 24-pounder bow chasers.
Landing/Attack Craft: One 36-ft. long boat; two 30-ft. cutters, two 28-ft. whaleboats; one 28-ft. gig; one 22-ft. jolly boat; and one 14-ft. punt. Anchors: Two main bowers (5300 lbs.); one sheet anchor (5400 lbs.); one stream anchor (1100 lbs.); and two kedge anchors (400 to 700 lbs).
Homeport: Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA.
Last Update: 20 October 2015
Photo: USS Constitution makes her annual 4th of July “turnaround cruise”