Nova Scotia

Bluenose II preps for summer tour with travelling exhibit

Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador is living up to its name. Bluenose II will leave the province next year and travel to Quebec City to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary.

Ship will visit ports along the coast, finishing with Quebec City visit for Canada's 150th anniversary

Bluenose II will be fresh off its latest rudder replacement when it sets sail next year on an East Coast tour. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

For the first time in nearly a decade, Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador will live up to its name.

The Bluenose II will leave the province next summer and travel to ports along the Eastern Seaboard to "demonstrate Nova Scotia's rich Maritime heritage and expertise," according to government documents published Friday morning.

The tour will conclude in Quebec City where the ship will be part of the celebrations for Canada's 150th anniversary.

Museum-style exhibit 

Along the way, a mobile museum exhibit will be set up in each port the Bluenose II visits.

The exhibit will contain artifacts and information panels with the capacity to handle at least 500 visitors per day. The exhibit will be packed up and towed to each location on the ship's tour.

It's not clear whether the new Splash Dome, which showcases the Bluenose II's history on a 360-degree screen, will be part of the travelling exhibit. 

But first, a new (old) rudder

When the Bluenose II departs on its East Coast tour, it will be fresh off a rudder replacement.

On Thursday, the government announced the ship's metal rudder will be replaced by the wooden one originally designed for this build.

The wooden one weighs roughly 400 kilograms in the water, while the metal rudder weighs at least 4,000 kilograms.

The weight cut should take the strain off the Bluenose II's problem-plagued steering system, and perhaps finally make the ship ready to be put on display for the rest of Canada. 

The latest figures from the province show Nova Scotia has spent about $23.8 million on the Bluenose to date, and has approximately $1.2 million left in the budget.

The Bluenose rebuild has spanned eight years and three governments of different parties. Last year, an auditor general's report attributed the problems to a failure of leadership and planning. 

About the Author

Brett Ruskin

Reporter/Videojournalist

Brett Ruskin is a reporter and videojournalist covering everything from local breaking news to national issues. He's based in Halifax.