Constitution sets sail for last time for 3 years

By Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — 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.

The U.S.S. Constitution, or "Old Ironsides," the U.S. Navy's  oldest commissioned ship that is still afloat, is towed through Boston Harbor past the financia...

The U.S.S. Constitution, or "Old Ironsides," the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned ship that is still afloat, is towed through Boston Harbor past the financial district skyline with its topsails unfurled Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 in Boston. The ship is setting its sails for the last time before the warship heads to dry dock for a three-year repair project. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

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.

The rigging of the U.S.S. Constitution, or "Old Ironsides," is seen against the steeple of the historic Old North Church as the ship is towed through Boston ...

The rigging of the U.S.S. Constitution, or "Old Ironsides," is seen against the steeple of the historic Old North Church as the ship is towed through Boston Harbor Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 in Boston. The ship, the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned ship that is still afloat, is setting its sails for the last time before the warship heads to dry dock for a three-year repair project. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

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