Nova Scotia

First schooner launches in Lunenburg in over 30 years

Tuesday marked the the first time a wooden schooner launched off of Lunenburg's dock in over three decades.

Launch day in Lunenburg, N.S. means champagne, excitement and a few tears as the first schooner in over thirty years slipped into the water Tuesday afternnon.

Launch day in Lunenburg, N.S. means champagne, excitement and a few tears as the first schooner in over thirty years slipped into the water Tuesday afternoon.

The Martha Seabury, built by the Dory Shop, has been in the works since 2009.  She's one of two twin schooners being built at the shop.

Shipbuilders hope the hype around the schooner Martha Seabury will draw other buyers to Lunenburg.

Daniel Moreland, president of the Dory Shop, has been waiting for launch day.

"It's her birthday. Launching is a very big day," he said.

The schooner was hand crafted and built using natural materials.

"You take trees and you cut them into section. We are also doing it outside; sometimes working in the snow which is how boats were built in the past," he said.

"So its a very tactile and very sensory method of construction."

Actor Billy Campbell of Vancouver, known for his roles in the TV series Dynasty and The O.C., commissioned the Martha Seabury.

"I was hoping to be here to help build my schooner, but I got busy. The positive side of that is I can pay for it," Campbell said.

"It's a big moment," he said before shedding a tear at the microphone.

Moreland says building the boat in Lunenburg gave the community a porthole into the build.

"Its not just about producing a boat it's about producing an experience for everyone around the boat."

Gerry Rolfsen of the Lunenburg Waterfront Association INC. says shipbuilding is important for the community.

"There are people who live and around Lunenburg whose families have been here for nine generations," he said.

"They are very cognizant of the importance of the launch of a wooden boat and the importance for the waterfront."