Nova Scotia

Key plank installed in Bluenose restoration

The restoration of Nova Scotia's most famous sailing ship will enter a new phase of construction Monday.
Workers reconstructing the Bluenose II will lay the garboard plank. (novascotiawebcams.com)

The restoration of Nova Scotia's most famous sailing ship will enter a new phase of construction Monday.

Workers reconstructing the Bluenose II will lay the garboard plank, the board closest to the keel on the outside of the hull.

"It's a significant step in the construction of any boat to have that plank attached," said Michael Noonan, spokesman for the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

The $15 million project began last July after it was found that the schooner's keel was warped.

The vessel is a replica of the famous fishing schooner depicted on the Canadian dime. The original Bluenose was launched in Lunenburg in March 1921 and won sailing races throughout the 1920s and 1930s. It was sold and eventually wrecked.

Nova Scotia owns the Bluenose II, which is used to promote tourism and trade in the province.

Restore or rebuild?

Controversy arose late last year when it was discovered that during the restoration project much of the ship's hull had been put through a wood chipper and dumped in a landfill.

Wooden boat lovers were quick to claim that the project did not qualify as a restoration, but rather a reconstruction or the birth of a new craft.

The Lunenburg Shipyard alliance, the group that is carrying out the work, said in December that the boat was not being destroyed in favour of a new ship.

The Alliance's Al Hutchinson said the essence of the craft will remain, even though it will have a new hull made from durable hardwoods.

Work is expected to be completed in time for next year's sailing season.

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