USS Constitution sails to celebrate U.S. Navy's birthday

In this July 24, 2017 file photo, the USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard, in Boston. 

Steven Senne / AP

BOSTON -- The newly refurbished USS Constitution is taking its first spin under sail in three years.

Friday's joyride from Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston to Fort Independence on Castle Island celebrates the U.S. Navy's 242nd birthday and the 220th anniversary of the iconic vessel's maiden voyage.

The world's oldest commissioned warship fired a 21-gun salute in the waters off the fort, and its cannons then boomed another 17 times as it passed the U.S. Coast Guard station -- the former site of the shipyard where the Constitution was built and launched in 1797.

Friday marked the warship's first sail since October 2014.

It took two years for officials to complete the restoration work, which concluded in July.

"By doing the restoration project, we're ensuring that we're going to continue on being a part of the Navy, a part of the fleet," Robert Gerosa, the USS Constitution's commanding officer, told CBS Boston in July.

The ship earned its nickname "Old Ironsides" during the War of 1812 with Britain.