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USS Constitution Facts

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Launch Date: October 21, 1797 at Edmund Hartt’s Shipyard in Boston, Massachusetts

First Sail: July 22, 1798 from Boston Harbor

Displacement: 1,900 tons today. Approximately 2,200 loaded in 1812.

Length: 207 feet on deck from billethead to taffrail on deck / 305 feet overall from bowsprit to spanker boom

Waterline: 175 feet

Beam: 43 feet 6 inches

Draft (aft): 22 feet 6 inches today / 24 feet fully loaded in 1812

Mainmast Height: 172 feet from spar deck to mainmast truck (the very top of the mainmast)

Sail Area: 48 sails (approximately 44,000 square feet)

Top Speed: Approximately 13 knots

Crew in 1812: Approximately 450 total officers, sailors, and Marines

Crew Today: 3 officers and approximately 80 enlisted U.S. Navy sailors

War of 1812 Armament (rated a 44-gun frigate):

  • Twenty-four 32-pound carronades on the spar deck with a range of 400 yards (4-8 crew per gun)
  • One 18-pound bow chaser on the spar deck
  • Thirty 24-pound long guns on the gun deck with a range of 1,200 yards (7-14 crew per gun)

War of 1812 Small Boats:

  • One 36-foot launch
  • Two 28-foot whaleboats
  • Four 28-foot cutters
  • One 25-foot gig


USS Constitution Timeline