Nova Scotia

Pictou ponders Hector's future

A replica ship in northern Nova Scotia that serves as a floating museum may be pulled out of the water to save money.

A northern Nova Scotia town may pull a floating museum out of the water to save money.

The Hector, a replica of the ship that carried Scottish settlers to the area in 1773, has been a fixture on Pictou's waterfront.

The wooden boat is part of Ship Hector Heritage Quay, which features carpentry and blacksmith shops, as well as a store. There are also daily tours.

But the town spends about one-thirdof its tourism and waterfront budget on the ship every year, and the cost of maintaining it keeps rising.

"Our tax rate is one of the highest in Nova Scotia and we have to look at ways of saving money," said Mayor Joe Hawes.

While the town considers pulling the boat out of the water, the Ship Hector Foundation looks for other options.

Murray Hill, chair of the fundraising group, said taking touristson shorttripsaboard the Hector could boost visits and revenue.

Still, he said he's willing to accept that the ship may have to be dry-docked.

"If that decision is made then we'll deal with that at the time, and we'll make sure that it remains an attraction that brings people to the area," Hill said.

Hawes said council will look at all municipal departments this fall before deciding where to make cuts.