View Full Version : Uss Constellation

Greg H
10-19-2004, 05:16 PM
They are going to tow the Constellation from Baltimore to Annapolis for it's 150 year anniversary on Tues Oct 26. Cast off is at around 8:30 am. We are going to be escorted by the Pride 11 and several Navel Vessels, and who knows who else. 125 passengers 25 or so, crew. Should be a good show from the Bay Bridge, I'll be the one with the WoodenBoat Hat smile.gif

[ 10-19-2004, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: Greg H ]

10-19-2004, 06:20 PM
Lucky bastard! :D

Great Website she has, too. Here's an excerpt on her history:

Admiral Charles H. Bell, 1862 Constellation departed Hampton Roads with orders to join the Mediterranean Squadron on August 9, 1855. Under the command of Captain Charles H. Bell, she cruised for almost three years, sailing at speeds of up to 12 knots, and visiting many ports.

Constellation at anchor in Naples, circa 1856: one of the ports of call on her first voyage.

"At 9 saluted the Neapolitan Flag with 21 guns, which was returned by the Fort. Saluted the Neapolitan Admiral with 15 guns, letting fall the Fore Topsail at the same time. The salute was returned by the Neapolitan Barque of War. The American Consul visited the ship."

Log entry for December 7, 1856 in "the Bay of Naples."

While on station, Constellation was dispatched to protect American lives and property at Malaga, Spain in July of 1856 during a revolution in that country. While patrolling in the Sea of Marmora the same year, she rescued a barque in distress, and received an official message in appreciation from the court of the Austrian emperor.

Constellation was detached from the Mediterranean Squadron on April 17, 1858 and, after a brief cruise to the Caribbean Sea, returned to the New York Navy Yard on June 5. She was then decommissioned in Boston on August 13, 1858 for much needed maintenance after three years of patrol duty.

Order to report for duty on the US Sloop of War Constellation by the 25th of July, 1855

Final log entry for first cruise, August 6, 1858 at Boston. "Hove up the anchor and stood up to the Navy Yard in tow of steam tugs. Ship in charge of pilot. Secured ship to the wharfÉ At 2:30 transferred to the receiving ship "Ohio" the Seamen, Ord. Sea., Landsmen and boys: Sent the Marines to the Marine Barracks and remainder of crew ashore on liberty."

Dale R. Hamilton
10-20-2004, 09:24 AM
I have great affection for Constellation. My wife and I were married in a traditional military ceremony on the quarterdeck of Constellation last summer. Crew in period uniform, a gun crew actually fired an 18 pounder and I with full sized medals and sabre and belt. I think the ghosts of the old crews were pleased, and for us the sense of history was almost palpible. Decks once awash with blood, now running with rum in the scuppers. The docents and volunteers who attended us did a really great job and I will remember them with great charity.

Bob Adams
10-20-2004, 11:42 AM
If my schedule works out, I intend to be running along side her! smile.gif

Greg H
10-27-2004, 08:05 AM
Yawn :D
Constellation...Pride of Baltimore II, passing Fort McHenry

Need a little ballast....

[ 10-27-2004, 09:06 AM: Message edited by: Greg H ]

10-27-2004, 09:05 AM
ballast?....thassa a lotta rum....... :D :D

Jack Heinlen
10-27-2004, 02:11 PM
I recently, at random, picked out an old WB from the archives and Constellation was the cover pic. The article was rather interesting. Faced with the expense of a traditional rebuild, they opted for a molded overlay/replank, all the while preserving as much of the original structure and patina below decks as possible. It was kinda disconcerting to see all that big, old Doug Fir going into the project, but she is the signature piece of Baltimore's inner harbor, so...

I went aboard once or twice when I lived in Baltimore. At the time there was ongoing, half-hearted restoration work. Given what rebuilding her 'right' would have cost, I think they came up with an interesting solution. How long she lasts is another question. She'll, of course, never go to sea again.

She is a rather big sucker. Until you see her in person it's difficult to judge. At the time of the her drydocking she had some three feet of hog in her keel. :eek:

WB 147

Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 02:50 PM
How do you all post pictures? I've got some from the CONSTELLATION trip, but I can't figure out how to post them here, like Greg has done.


Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 04:21 PM
Never mind. I got it.


The Vane Brother's tug towing ahead of CONSTELLATION, approaching the Francis Scott Key Bridge.


Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 04:22 PM
Tug on port hip.

Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 04:25 PM

Foremast almost under Francis Scott Key bridge. Mainmast cleared by about three feet, after 10' pigstick lowered.

Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 04:27 PM


Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 04:28 PM

Receiving a broadside from PRIDE.

Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 04:30 PM

At the United States Naval Academy seawall.

Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 04:32 PM

Final picture, at USNA.

Boy, was this fun.


Kevin Zembower
10-27-2004, 04:35 PM
There are articles and pictures on the Baltimore Sun's web site at http://www.baltimoresun.com/, but it requires a (free) registration. Search for CONSTELLATION; good for the next two weeks only, I believe.


10-27-2004, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by Kevin Zembower:

Receiving a broadside from PRIDE.Thats pretty pretentious. I am suprised you guys didnt sink her! :eek:

Greg H
10-27-2004, 05:08 PM
She was running circles around us all day... I Wish one of the big guns was real... we have a 7 pounder (?) as a chaser, but not enough powder for more than a few salutes, while Pride was shooting her swivels all day :D

This hasn't been seen in a while 7kts more or less..

Another shot, Cheeky bugger... http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid144/pfe4206b0767ebcfae154580f90bf4f55/f67b30b1.jpg

(darn camera was set on low res :rolleyes: )

[ 10-27-2004, 06:18 PM: Message edited by: Greg H ]

10-27-2004, 05:17 PM
One broadside from Constellation and we would be looking forward to Pride of Baltimore 3 :)

10-27-2004, 05:27 PM

10-27-2004, 05:39 PM
Greg...one lucky ****!!!!! I had to work and am going to have to savor the moments instead through the news media.
I had to WORK!

Greg H
10-27-2004, 05:56 PM
Ah, but she's coming back on Nov.1 st!

10-27-2004, 06:22 PM
In that case, I may get a chance to see her! Have to head up the creek (Severn) for a get together with a few Hinckleys ( the plastic types ). Am planning on dragging my old wooden babe over there. Granted, she ain't 150yrs old but she is going to hit 60 soon!

10-27-2004, 06:27 PM
Check out Change of Scenery! You will get the idea. She still is a proud lady and99% original if you don't count a new engine and wiring!

Greg H
10-27-2004, 06:50 PM
She's a beauty :D ....and she moves under her own power too!
I think I'll be on the return trip, I'll keep an eye out, watch those security boys, they're serious. They surrounded that classic white and green power boat, of course I think he deserved it the way he was blocking everyone....

10-27-2004, 08:09 PM
I'm gonna try to sneak in on Sat....stop by for a beer! It's gonna take me a while to get away from Oxford....plan on 7AM. Should be coming up the river around 2.

11-02-2004, 06:52 AM
Greg missed you but saw the old lady at the dock..
Even with the fog that was playing with the image she looked good.
Hope you have a good trip back to Baltimore!

11-02-2004, 09:35 PM
Nice pics smile.gif

So, in need of ballast, or have the cannons not been reinstalled yet? :confused:

Greg H
11-04-2004, 06:36 PM
Sorry I missed you, The trip back was relaxed, warm and sunny. No dignitaries this time. Had lunch sitting in the stern windows of the Captains cabin :D

Don't tell anyone, the big guns are fiberglass 400lb? instead of 4000lbs. But they are bored out and would make great spud guns though.....
The only working gun is a 7lb chaser on the spar deck. But we need ballast, any way. even as high as she is, she is steady

11-04-2004, 09:15 PM
At my gathering of Hinckleys...was the only wooden one. Someone stated that the hull of this old craf had been encased in fibrglass to support the rest of the structure and hull. Any truth to it?

martin schulz
11-05-2004, 04:19 AM
Over here it is considered classic seamanship to brace the yards abreast when alongside a seawall.

11-05-2004, 07:34 AM
Martin..different wavelengths here if you are referring to my question...The hull is in such rweeible shape, the bottom portion has been encased with fiberglass for support. That was the question...nothing to do with warfing up properly. :D

martin schulz
11-05-2004, 08:08 AM
UNCAS (last one...)

I am sorry I didn't make myself clear. And it wasn't intended as criticism. I just saw the picture of the US Constitution alongside the pier and thought: Hmm the yards should be braced abreast and the guns should be run in when made fast.

11-05-2004, 08:13 AM
Took some picts as I sailed by last weekend before she left Annapolis...Didn't notice what you did the first go around...You're right! :D

martin schulz
11-05-2004, 09:29 AM
I wonder - does the "Pride of Baltimore" have Backstays? Not at the main, of course, since there is , what we call a "neck-stay", but what about the mizzen mast?

Paul Scheuer
11-05-2004, 07:39 PM
Martin: I sent you a full-sized pic via E-Mail of Pride Of Baltimore II, showing her rigging. Here's the condensed version. I don't see any backstays.


[ 11-06-2004, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: Paul Scheuer ]

11-06-2004, 10:47 AM
With all the rake in her masts I assume she don't need no stinkin' backstays! :cool:

Greg H
11-06-2004, 06:38 PM
Here is the Pride II site, with a rigging plan.

Uncas, the Connie Has a mostly laminated hull, made of three layers of 4"x6" doug fir. The part below the waterline is mostly original planking. Doing it this way allowed more of the original framing and knees to be retained, in that the hull supports the framing now. She had a 3'ft hog before restoration. WB has an article on it.

As far as the yards.... setting up the reception for the Navy Brass and squaring away the beer kegs and wine came first.... priorities ya know. smile.gif

[ 11-06-2004, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: Greg H ]