As you enter the Custom House Maritime Museum (150 Bank St., 860/447-2501, www.nlmaritimesociety.org , 1–5 p.m. Tue. and Thurs–Sat. Jan.–Mar.; 1–5 p.m. Tue.–Sun. Apr.–Dec., free, donations accepted), be sure to notice its front doors, which are fashioned from planks of “Old Ironsides”—the USS Constitution. 
The Custom House Maritime Museum’s exhibits, drawn from the collections of the New London Maritime Society, include ship models, Amistad memorabilia, and other items relating to Connecticut’s  seafaring past.