All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard Old Ironsides
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USS Constitution, Johnson



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Acre of Sail ... Almost
Making a table


The following list contains some of Constitution's sails and their sizes. Use another piece of paper to create a table out of this information. Be sure to give your table a title. Then use your table to answer the questions below.

Sails on Constitution: (bowsprit to foremast): flying jib* (1,174 sq. feet), jib* (1,720 sq. feet).

Sails on her foremast are: foresail (2,520 sq. feet), fore topsail* (2,369 sq. feet), fore topgallant (1,053 sq. feet), fore royal (560 sq. feet).

Sails on her mainmast are: mainsail (3,272 sq. feet), main topsail* (3,366 sq. feet), main topgallant (1,260 sq. feet), main royal (678 sq. feet).

Sails on her mizzen mast are: spanker* (1,697 sq. feet), mizzen topsail* (1,617 sq. feet), mizzen topgallant (658 sq. feet), mizzen royal (337 sq. feet).

*See question 6 below

1. (a) Underline the largest sail and the smallest sail in your table.
  (b) About how many times bigger is the biggest sail than the smallest?about 10 times
2. What is the total number of square feet of sail on each mast?mizzen 2,612 sq. feet; main 8,576 sq. feet; fore 6,502 sq. feet
3. What is the total square feet of all sails listed in the table? 22,281 sq. feet
4. The total square feet of all of Constitution's sails, including those not listed in the table, is 42,710. What percent of her sails are listed in the table? 52%
5. An acre is 43,560 square feet. What percentage of an acre are all of Constitution's sails? 98%
6. The sails marked with an asterisk were the ones set during Constitution's historic July 21, 1997 sail, her first sail without tow in over a century. These were also the sails set when she went into battle. Transfer the asterisks to your table and compute the percent of her battle sails to her total.

Have on Hand– photocopies of blank worksheet

Blank worksheet (pdf)

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