A replica of New Brunswick's most famous ship remains hidden in a Saint John storage facility four years after it was brought back to life.

Barry Ogden spearheaded the project to build the wooden model of the Marco Polo. It took him 26 years and $50,000 to pay homage to the iconic ship.

But finding a spot for the 28-metre-long boat has been difficult.

"The story has been told so many times," Ogden said.

"The only thing we're missing is the bride at the wedding. And she's sitting over in west Saint John right now, wrapped in plastic."

The wooden ship remains out of view, tucked between storage containers by a scrap metal yard. Ogden says he hasn't given up hope that it will find a more worthy resting place.

"After you worked on something for 26 years and you've put so much time into it, and so many other volunteers have put so much into it, you do have a tendency to hold on and be hopeful," Ogden said.

Ogden says he is working with the local economic development agency, Enterprise Saint John, to nail down a location. He says Saint John Mayor Mel Norton has also thrown his support behind the push to give the Marco Polo II a more prominent home.

Ogden says he would like to see the ship end up in a high profile area along the city's waterfront.

"It would be about 90-feet wide, and 160-feet long, so it would be quite impressive and quite majestic," he said.

"It's iconic. It's a symbol of our success. It's something that would inspire us."

The Marco Polo was launched April 17, 1851, at Marsh Creek in Saint John.

The ship got stuck in a mudflat and tipped on its side when it was launched, warping the keel. Some believe this is why it earned its reputation as the world's fastest ocean sailing vessel.

It was the first ship to travel between England and Australia and back in less than six months.


  • A previous version of this story indicated the Marco Polo replica is 50-metres long. In fact, it is 28-metres long.
    Jul 23, 2015 8:57 AM AT