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BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?

GUEST,Beachcomber 22 Oct 06 - 07:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 22 Oct 06 - 07:46 PM
Rapparee 22 Oct 06 - 08:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Oct 06 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,TJ 22 Oct 06 - 10:29 PM
NOMADMan 22 Oct 06 - 10:37 PM
Sorcha 22 Oct 06 - 11:11 PM
Old Guy 22 Oct 06 - 11:17 PM
Rapparee 23 Oct 06 - 09:34 AM
Lighter 23 Oct 06 - 09:41 AM
kendall 23 Oct 06 - 09:41 AM
Bunnahabhain 23 Oct 06 - 11:43 AM
Rapparee 23 Oct 06 - 11:44 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Oct 06 - 11:54 AM
Big Mick 23 Oct 06 - 11:57 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Oct 06 - 11:58 AM
frogprince 23 Oct 06 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 23 Oct 06 - 01:28 PM
Bunnahabhain 23 Oct 06 - 02:29 PM
Big Mick 23 Oct 06 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Beachcomber 23 Oct 06 - 03:22 PM
Charley Noble 23 Oct 06 - 04:49 PM
GUEST 23 Oct 06 - 04:51 PM
Sorcha 23 Oct 06 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,TJ 23 Oct 06 - 06:03 PM
Claymore 23 Oct 06 - 08:16 PM
Old Guy 23 Oct 06 - 09:33 PM
Bunnahabhain 23 Oct 06 - 11:51 PM
Barry Finn 24 Oct 06 - 01:38 AM
Lighter 24 Oct 06 - 09:40 AM
EBarnacle 24 Oct 06 - 09:50 AM
Big Mick 24 Oct 06 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Beachcomber 24 Oct 06 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 25 Oct 06 - 10:54 AM
RangerSteve 25 Oct 06 - 07:07 PM
Barry Finn 26 Oct 06 - 03:12 AM
EBarnacle 26 Oct 06 - 10:15 AM
Barry Finn 26 Oct 06 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom(at work) 26 Oct 06 - 04:34 PM
Dead Horse 27 Oct 06 - 04:04 PM
GUEST,Beachcomber 27 Oct 06 - 05:22 PM
Barry Finn 28 Oct 06 - 03:53 AM

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Subject: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 07:10 PM

Recently, I moved house and , in the moving process I dislodged a small brown paper wrapped parcel (Some 8" by 2") from the top of an old Grandfather Clock. It was covered with dust of course and I had a memory of "disturbing " it previously, many , many years ago when, as a child, I used the case of the old clock as a "hidey-hole" when playing with my brother.
It contained a small piece of wood, jagged and somewhat charred in appearance and had a black edged sheet of note paper wrapped around it.
On the paper, in still quite legible script , hand-written in what had been black ink was the legend :-


             'Piece of timber
               of the Old Constitution
                "Old Ironsides"
               She sank the Guererre
               and came to Ireland's relief
               at the Famine times'

At the risk of being regarded as an utter idiot I throw myself on the mercy of the Mudcat Court. What have I got? How could I have come by it, living, as I do, in Ireland? Could it have cost somebody money when it was procured? Could it be genuine? (and if so how long will it take to have the remainder mailed on also?)
OR was it the 1920s/30s equivalent of the Nigerian Banking Scams so prevalent over here nowadays?
Both serious and jocose replies will all be gratefully received.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 07:46 PM

The reruns are back on TV?


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 08:28 PM

Could be original, but I'm not sure how you'd find out. The USS Constitution has been rebuilt and repaired several times, most memorably after OW Holmes' poem was published, most recently in about 1992.

Here's the ship's website.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 09:35 PM

In the 1920's, there was a nationwide appeal for funds for her restoration. I have a bronze medaillion dated 1925, cast at that time.Wood in poor condition would be replaced during restoration, and it would be logical for the custodians to sell fragments to aid in raising funds.
I suggest that you link to www.mysticseaport.org, and contact someone on their research and collections staff. I don't know if they handle requests like this, but they have the specialists on maritime history.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,TJ
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 10:29 PM

I don't have a clue as to whether your fragment is genuine, but when the ship was rebuilt about eighty years ago pieces of the replaced timbers were in fact sold off as fundraisers to support the restoration. So it could indeed be real.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: NOMADMan
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 10:37 PM

Geoff Kaufman, Mystic Seaport chanteyman made a complete CD of 17 songs relating to the U. S. S. Constitution. It is titled Huzza Old Ironsides! issued in connection with the ship's bicentennial celebration in 1997. The Holmes poem, set to its original tune is on the CD.

Maybe I should also mention that Geoff will be appearing at the NOMAD Festival, Nov. 3-5 in New Haven.

Regards,
John


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 11:11 PM

Isn't the Constellation in the Baltimore Inner Harbour?


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Old Guy
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 11:17 PM

The USS Constitution is alive and well and afloat in Boston Harbor.

The U.S. frigate 'Constitution' is the world's oldest warship still afloat. Commissioned in 1797, she is thus over 200 years old. Despite extensive overhauls and repairs over the years, she still retains her original keel and therefore is considered an 'original ship'. She lies today as museum ship in Boston.

Constitution Pamphlet


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 09:34 AM

Yes indeed, Constellation is in Baltimore harbor. She is not, however, a commissioned warship in the US Navy.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 09:41 AM

The "Constellation," launched in 1854, is indeed berthed in Baltimore. She was used as a Navy training ship in WW I. When I was a lad I knew a guy who'd trained on her. He said she was reputed to be the "sister ship" of the more famous "Constitution." When he arrived, he thought training on a pre-Civil War sailing vessel in 1918 was some kind of joke. They taught him differently.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 09:41 AM

Sounds like Abe Lincoln's ax. Original except for two new heads and four new handles.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 11:43 AM

The Constitution is not the worlds oldest warship. HMS victory was commisioned in 1765, and is still listed as an active warship of the Royal Navy, and is currently under restoration in Portsmouth.



The US may feel the need to be the home of the biggest and best at everything, but Oldest is a non-starter...


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 11:44 AM

Don't confuse her with the newer Constellation, CV(A)-64.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 11:54 AM

"The Constitution is not the worlds oldest warship."

Note the word "afloat".   From what I've read, the Victory has been in drydock since 1922.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 11:57 AM

The US may feel the need to be the home of the biggest and best at everything, but Oldest is a non-starter...

This is the kind of shit that drives me crazy. Why do you insist on making these statements. Isn't it enough to just assert your claim of the oldest commissioned ship? Why the asshole comment. We don't claim to have the oldest commissioned ship. What we have is the oldest fully commissioned ship afloat in active service. Your HMS Victory is in permanent drydock. It about 3 decades older than the Constitution.

Lay off the unfair characterizations. You just look foolish.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 11:58 AM

At least our ship still floats


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: frogprince
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 12:56 PM

Will an original sliver of the U.S.S. Constitution cure seasickness
miraculously?


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 01:28 PM

The original Constellation would have been close enough to the Constitution to be considered a "sister ship." The Constellation in Boston Harbor was a sloop-of-war of 23 guns. Constitution and (if I recall correctly) the original Constellation from the 1790's both carried 44 guns.

During the unpleasantness around 1812, certain British naval officers complained that they were actually 64 gun ships-of-the-line with the upper deck removed. (Which possibly explains the complaints by some of the folk here.)

Properly handled, they could fight nigh-on anything up to a 4th Rate ship.

Superior frigate design was nullified after Napoleon surrendered and the large numbers of Royal Navy ships (and sloops and brigs and cutters) were able to coming by for a wee visit... off the coast of the US.

The fragment could indeed be genuine. I know of know claims of miraculous abilities on it other than an aversion to British solid, canister and grape shot.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 02:29 PM

Sorry, that was badly phrased. Looks like it found the powder magazine though.

I know Victory is in dry dock, but I was under the impression there were vague plans to permenantly refloat her in a few years time, when restoration is complete. This was from informal comments by people on duty at the centre down in Portsmouth, so could be utter tripe, but they sounded genuine, and should know.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 02:47 PM

Yeah, sorry I went off, but I get cranky about this subject. I know we have our faults, but it gets old. Anyway, onward and upward.

It would be great to have it refloated and have it cruise. What a great exhibition it would make to have the Victory and the Constitution jointly visit ports in Great Britain and the US in 2012. Twould be interesting to contrast the two and how they are manned.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 03:22 PM

Wow, I could have sparked off, all unintentionally, a re-fighting of the American War of Independence, sorry.
I think the levity with which I asked about my "relic" may have been overdone. I would , naturally, be very pleased indeed to have a souvenir of the famous old warship.
In conversation with my brother (whom I mentioned in original post) we further recalled that the piece of wood had also been wrapped in a page of a "Souvenir" type booklet containing prints of photographs of the USS Constitution at her berth near Kettering (?)Naval Yard. Alas there is no trace of the page now.
I do know that my Grandfather and Grandmother visited the United States back in 1928 to see a son who had emigrated from Ireland some 10 years previously. I also know that that uncle of mine lived in Yonkers, N.Y.
I suppose it is possible that they also visited the location of the Constitution while on holiday.
Thanks for your information, everyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 04:49 PM

Beachcomber-

Getting back to the message "came to Ireland's relief at the Famine times.' I don't believe that the Constitution was ever involved in relief efforts to Ireland. However, I seem to remember reading that the 1854 Constellation was.

Maybe the remains could be submitted to DNA analysis. It might really be a chip off the old block, or something picked up in a nautical junk shop whose origins are entirely spurious.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 04:51 PM

Actually we would be refighting the war of 1812, but hey, we are all friends now!


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 05:42 PM

And, isn't it possible that some of the wood that was splintered beyond repair was sold to raise funds for something?


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,TJ
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 06:03 PM

"And, isn't it possible that some of the wood that was splintered beyond repair was sold to raise funds for something?"

As I wrote way above, yes, it was. Pieces of timber removed during the restoration were sold as fundraisers.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Claymore
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 08:16 PM

Beachcomber, I'm willing to bet that, if that piece of wood is indeed a "plank owner" and you write to the website given above, you might get yourself placed on the Turn-around Cruise, which consists of the ship being towed out into Boston Harbor and reversed in position to even the wear and tear of the sunlight and seas on her hull.

(The term "Plank Owner" was originally used to describe one of the original crew, but is now frequently used to describe people who contributed to the reconstruction/recommissioning of a vessel i.e. my Dad was a "plank owner" of the New Jersey the last time she was recommisioned). And I got to call in 9 rounds of fire from her 16" battery in the Nam in '69.

I would at least give them an email to see what they say. The museum ashore has many articles off of the ship, but they may not have a piece from your particular fund-raising campaign, nor the paper. Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Old Guy
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 09:33 PM

This may be a bit off subject but very interesting. There is an old wooden building, the Kondo temple, in Japan that is nearly 1400 years old and still standing.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 11:51 PM

Wood, under the right conditions last for thousands of years. Waterlogged soils, such as bogs or estury mud have preserved whole Roman ships, and stone age artifacts of all sort.

Or if a builiding is kept up, the wood in that will last just as well. So long as the roof and footings are sound, so it stays dry. There's a lovley old timber walled church in Essex, which is probably the oldest timer building in Europe, and the main structure dates to either about 845 CE, or about 1050 CE.

The design of the japanese temples, to enable them to withstand so many yeras of earthquakes and typhoons is amazing.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 01:38 AM

Hi Beachcomber
You can go to the Museum's web site www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org and put your question to the Curator or go here NE_ChanteySings@yahoogroups.com the Curator also frequents this shanty group' s site as well as there sings which he just last month hosted at the museum. He's quite knowledgeable about things that relate to the Old Lady, matter of fact I'd say he's an expert on her.

You won't get a ride for her turnaround. You can't buy, make a power play, bribe or blow your way onto that ship for it's turn annual around. You can only be welcomed if you're wanted.

"USS Constitution at her berth near Kettering (?)Naval Yard"

I believe you're thinking Kittery, Maine. Where the portsmouth Naval Shipyard is. It's a bit confusing, Portsmouth being in New Hampshire.
Both portsmouth & Maine have been fighting for years as to who owns Kittery, Maine but reguardless that's where the Portsmouth Naval Yard is. It's leagally in Porstmouth. It confuses me. maybe Charlie Nobal can explain

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 09:40 AM

Kendall's mention of "Lincoln's ax" reminds me that essentially the same paradox has also been known (maybe by the Greek philosopher Zeno ?) as "the ship of Darius." Rather like the ax (and Old Ironsides), the questions were, "Is it still the ship of Darius if all parts have been replaced ? If not, at what point did it change ? Did the change have any real meaning ? And if not, was there really a change at all ?"


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 09:50 AM

There was a discussion similar to the above post in WoodenBoat Magazine a few years ago. An "original" vessel need not have even one original piece it she has been continually maintained and retains reasonably true to the original plan. There is a vessel in Delaware Bay which was abandoned in a creek for many years. When dug out, only two small pieces of wood were found to be usable. She is considered a restoration, rather than a replica and sails as NJ's official tall ship.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 09:54 AM

A replica, IMO, would be a vessel built to the specifications of an earlier or existing ship. Constitution has been maintained over these two centuries. It was built, and at various times, restored. The keel is original, but the sailors will tell you that much of the rest has been replaced over the years.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 05:01 PM

TJ, thanks again for further opinions on the validity, or otherwise, of "Me darlin' peesheen of a stick".
Barry, I'll try that web address you posted (Funny it didnt turn into a "bluey" for me?) or perhaps I'll e-mail them.
Coincidentally,I also know that the uncle, mentioned above , had a small summer holiday place somewhere in Maine at that time. Wouldn't that tie in with a visit to the Naval Yard where, possibly, a fund raising souvenir sale was being held back in August 1928 , to raise funding? Even though the ship was actually in Boston, Mass.?
I'll let you know how I get on with that "Shanty singing" Curator.(One of my favourite sea songs is about "The Alabama" another old US Warship, I believe.)


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:54 AM

Beachcomber - The Alabama was a commerce raider built in England and commissioned by the Confederacy during the American Civil War/War Between the States/War of Northern Aggression. After a successful cruise against American-flagged ships, she met the USS Kersage within sight of the coast of France. IIRC, most of the crew escaped to France and avoided capture when she went down.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 07:07 PM

Try notifiying the TV show on PBS - History Detectives - it sounds just like the kind of thing they pursue. I'll be looking forward to seeing you on TV next summer.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 03:12 AM

Hi Beachcomber

Portsmouth was her home port from 1882 to 1897 before returning to Boston

I wrote this song shortly after her last renovation. (True story)

Old Glory Sails (by Barry Finn) (awful title now that I see it again)
Tune: Empty Nets (by Jim Payne)   (except for the chorus)

She's a three masted frigate with an entrance real fine,
A 54 gunner and well laid out in style.
She's been bruised, but not broken, scarred and well worn,
She's the oldest still serving and her back is still strong.

Chorus: And all the young nation hopes that her glory won't pale,
And she'll stay in the service under, full sail.

With the Barbary Pirates off of Tripoli's coast,
It was a battle fought fiercely and few lives she lost.
Like rolling thunder a broadside she poured,
Sending enemy ships to the ocean floor.

Chorus:

Off New Jersey she was sited by King George's fleet,
With no wind and alone she turned in retreat.
For two days and three nights the crew towed her o'r the shoals,
With brilliance and fresh wind she out distanced five foes.

Chorus:

At 14 knots she was fast for her time,
She out sailed most of the Ships Of The Line.
In battle the cannonballs bounced off her side,
Off Halifax she was christened with the name Ironsides.

Chorus:

The Guerriere she met with her 48 guns,
Within an hour her masts and her rigging were gone.
Like the Pitcairn and the Java who'd not be taken in tow,
They were all left for the waves to wash over their bows.

Chorus:

Never holed or dismasted by an unfriendly gun,
Two centuries of service and she stood every storm.
Now with new copper sheathing, planking, decking and frames,
In her glory she'll sail as the fleet's pride once again.

Chorus:

Barry Finn 1997


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 10:15 AM

Hmm, seems to need a bit of tuning, Barry.
re: Kearsarge, the battle was one of the last duels. Both vessels came out of Le Harve with the intent to fight it out. A large spectator fleet accompanied them, including the Brit yacht Deerhound, which took the crew off after Alabama was disabled and in a sinking condition.


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 12:45 PM

I'm not following you Eric. The song says nothing of the Kearsarge. Am I missing your point?

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,PeteBoom(at work)
Date: 26 Oct 06 - 04:34 PM

Barry - There was a comment/observation further up the thread (by Beachcomber) on a song about the Alabama... I contributed to the thread-drift by writing about the Kearsage (whose name I typoed... bad me) and the Alabama... and *that* lead to Eric's comment on the duel off Le Harve... Which had nothing to do with the Java or the Guerriere...


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 27 Oct 06 - 04:04 PM

For such a vessel to legally take to the oceans once more, she would have to comply with many and various safety regulations. Engines would need to be inserted, life rafts/boats fitted, radar and other navigational aids installed, etc. etc.
Anyone fancy the job? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 27 Oct 06 - 05:22 PM

Your song has an authentically old "feel" to it , Barry.
I tried , so far unsuccessfully, to elicit any response from either of the Web sites offered above. Maybe the USS Constitution Museum think that we have treated the matter with too much levity ?


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Subject: RE: BS: The remains of 'Old Ironsides' ?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 03:53 AM

I have sung that with the Curator present, I hope he liked it.

Thanks Pete for straighten me out.

Old Ironsides does sail presently under it's on sail. She has sailed once on her own since her arrival in Boston so many years back It (she) has no engine & used a tug when it went to sea a few years back. Which is legal by Coast Guard regs as long as you've met other spec's. The Navy doesn't need to meet Coast Guard regs, instead they need to meet their own, I believe.

Barry


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