The Bluenose II is back in the water today, three years after it was dry-docked for restoration, despite problems with the launch.

The launch was scheduled for 8 a.m. at the Lunenburg Marine Railway after having completed its refit for masts and rigging.

A problem with the rail on which the vessel sits delayed the launch by about 90 minutes. Divers were in the water trying to fix the problem.

Dozens of spectators and workers on the Lunenburg waterfront cheered as the ship settled into the water.

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After the launch the Bluenose II will be towed to the Lunenburg Foundry plant wharf on the west side of town. (Rob Gordon/CBC)

The Nova Scotia government has invested more than $16 million in the refit. This is the next stage in the project to refit Nova Scotia’s iconic schooner that has seen cost overruns and delays of more than a year.

After the launch the Bluenose II will be towed to the Lunenburg Foundry plant wharf on the west side of town.

It still has to undergo lengthy sea trials before it is declared to be seaworthy.

The original Bluenose was famous for winning every race in 18 years of competition after its launch in 1921. It was built in Lunenburg in the same shipyard as the current renovation.

The schooner is featured on the Canadian dime.

The Bluenose II was built in 1963 and transferred to the province in 1971 for just $1, saving it from being scrapped.

The Bluenose II was supposed to launch in early July, 2012,  putting the boat in the water just in time for the busy tourist season.