'Old Ironsides' USS Constitution Sails Under Its Own Power

The USS Constitution sets sail on the 200th anniversary of its famous victory.
3:00 | 08/19/12

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Transcript for 'Old Ironsides' USS Constitution Sails Under Its Own Power
Take a look at the uss constitution, old ironsides, actually setting sail in boston harbor today. The navy ship, of course, that gave america one of its legendary victories. What did it take to get old ironsides working like new again? Here is abc's john schriffen. Reporter: For only the second time in 113 years, the uss constitution set sail under her own power. The world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat was tugged from boston harbor towards open water, watched by thousands onshore and aboard pleasure craft. Some 200 sailors helped unfurl the ship's three huge sails the winds had to be perfect -- at least five miles per hour but less t15 so that the hull would not be stressed too much. The commander has been working with his crew for a year and a half, focusing on the historic sails. The ship's in remarkable condition. I mean, obviously, she's almost 215 years old, so you don't take anything lightly. Reporter: What makes the constitution's voyage even more remarkable is the fact that here in new york city, the peking, which is a similar style ship, is 100 years younger and can no longer sail because it's in such bad condition. Tourists aren't even allowed on board. The sail today commemorates the 200th anniversary of the constitution's victory over the british frigate, the hms guerriere during the war of 1812. It's where the ship got its famous nickname when an 18-pound cannonball bounced off the sturdy wooden sides causing a surprised sailor to shout -- "captain, huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!" Reporter: After her successful sail, old ironsides was tugged back to her berth in boston harbor, where officials hope tourists can enjoy her for another 100 years.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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