Bluenose II still weeks away from sea trials
Iconic Nova Scotia schooner has sailed past budget and completion deadlines
It will still be weeks before the Bluenose II schooner, one of the world’s most famous sailboats and sailing ambassador for Nova Scotia, is opened to the public for sailing trips.
Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra, still could not give a definitive timeline of when the multi-million refit of the iconic ship will be finished.
"I would like to see it in [the water] as soon as possible," said Preyra.
"The craftspeople who are working on the Bluenose at the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance tell us that they are working on the rudder and it’s very fine-tuned process and they expect that within the next few weeks."
A spokesperson for the department overseeing the refit told CBC News that the Bluenose II won't begin sea trials before the end of July.
The refit is well over a year behind schedule and now Preyra says the $16-million pricetag for the work is expect to go up, once additional labour costs are factored in.
"At the moment it’s $16 million but we expect some additional labour costs that we’ll be able to establish at the end of the sea trials but at the moment we expect it will be $16 million plus a few additional labour costs," he said.
Garold Bullock and his wife Margaret travelled from Alberta, part of the draw was seeing and perhaps sailing on the real Bluenose Il.
"I’m deeply disappointed that it’s sitting on the dock covered [in plastic.] I just looked on the dime … and that’s not doing it for me," said Bullock pointing to the iconic ship in drydock.
The ship, currently in drydock in Lunenburg, first slipped into the water in September 2012 after months of delays.
It was originally supposed to launch in early July 2012, putting the boat in the water just in time for the busy tourist season.
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 Bluenose II.