FAQ Bluenose II Restoration

FAQ Bluenose II Restoration


Why is it important to restore Bluenose II?​​

Bluenose II is a nationally and internationally recognized icon, and is an important part of Nova Scotia’s identity and rich marine heritage. The vessel represents the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the province’s shipbuilding industry.

As Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, Bluenose II supports economic activities and tourism events in communities throughout the province and around the world.


Why did the Bluenose II need to be restored?

Launched in 1963, maintenance costs for Bluenose II were steadily increasing.

At the same time, significant capital investment was required to address the hogging of the vessel’s hull. Hogging is a term used to describe the distorting of the shape of the hull due to the forces of gravity and buoyancy. As the shape is distorted, it affects performance, safety and maintenance.

The restoration also provided an opportunity to ensure Bluenose II meets today’s higher international standards for safety.


Who is doing the work?

The construction of the vessel is being done by the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance, made up of Covey Island Boat Works, Snyder’s Shipyard and Lunenburg Industrial Foundry & Engineering.

The project is being managed by MHPM Project Management (Halifax). They oversee the management of the project under the direction of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Lengkeek Vessel Engineering (Dartmouth) is responsible for the design work and ensuring the vessel meets the regulatory and classification standards.

The Steering Committee for the project consists of the departments of Communities, Culture and Heritage, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Finance, and the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society.

The restoration is being done in Lunenburg where Bluenose and Bluenose II were launched.


Where can I view copies of the original contracts between the province, the shipbuilder, the designer and the project managers?

​Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance Contract (PDF 8.1 MB)

Lengkeek Vessel Engineering Contract (PDF 16.2 MB)

MHPM Project Management Contract (PDF 1.42 MB)


What standards are Bluenose II required to meet?

Bluenose II must, at a minimum, meet the regulatory requirements of Transport Canada.

The province also decided to reach a higher level of safety by restoring the vessel to internationally recognized classification standards.

The province is working with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), which has a dual role in the process. ABS ensures compliance with Transport Canada regulatory requirements, and oversees compliance with internationally recognized classification standards.

Bringing the vessel into class ensures Bluenose II meets today’s higher international standards for safety.


What kind of nails were used for the restoration?

The builders used 1/2" X 8" galvanized spikes. The spikes are the same kind that were used when Bluenose II was built in 1963. Although the old spikes lasted for five decades, new spikes were used for the restoration. the builders put pine plugs over the spikes to create a water tight seal.


What type of wood is being used in the restoration of the hull of Bluenose II?

Angelique timber from South America was chosen because it is naturally resistant to rot and decay and is very similar to teak. Additionally, some oak and white oak was used, and the decking is made of Douglas fir.


Why is the rudder made of metal instead of wood like before the restoration, or the original Bluenose?

The rudder and many other parts of Bluenose II are designed for a 21st century sailing vessel that’s built to carry passengers. This is not the same fishing vessel built in 1921.

Bluenose II’s steering has three components: the steering gear, the rudder stock and the rudder blade. At the beginning of the restoration, the intent was to fit a wooden rudder stock and blade, similar to what was installed before the restoration. However, it was determined that the diameter of the rudder stock required by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) would be 21” as compared to the 11” stock that was used previously. Since accommodating a 21” stock would require significant revisions to the vessel’s hull structure, it was determined that a steel stock would be better suited to fulfill the ABS requirements.

It would be difficult for ABS to approve the use of a wooden rudder blade given the complexity of fitting a wooden blade to a steel stock. It was decided to move forward with the current design of a single steel blade rudder. The weight of the steel rudder was factored into the calculations for the overall weight of the vessel and new steering gear was designed and installed for the restoration.


How much has it cost to restore Bluenose II and why is it delayed?

The original estimate for the project was $14.4 million. The cost of the project to date is about $19 million. The Auditor General has been asked to conduct a thorough and independent review of this unique and complex project upon its completion. We are requesting that the review examine both costs and delays.


When will the project be completed?

The ship’s hydraulic steering system will be installed and tested this fall. It is hoped that Bluenose II will be sailing in the spring of 2015.


Why has the province taken delivery of the Bluenose II when all of the work is not yet completed?

The province took delivery of the Bluenose II on July 30, 2014, following an inspection by Lengkeek Vessel Engineering.

The project is substantially completed with only minor deficiencies to be corrected (not including the rudder and steering issue).

The rudder and steering issue has not been attributed to the builder to this juncture, so the Province did not take the position that these modifications should hold up delivery.

It is not unusual for the Province to take delivery of capital assets in large projects where substantial completion has been reached and where defects have been identified and are being remedied. Usually funding is held back until these have been corrected, as is the case with the Bluenose II.

The cause of the rudder and steering issues is being investigated and responsibility for it will be addressed in the claims process. Steering is being addressed as part of a separate stand-alone contract and that work is now underway.

There are also practical reasons for taking delivery of the vessel at this time. Having control of the vessel enables the captain to complete work to get the vessel prepared for sail (e.g. painting, checking rigging, preparing sails, etc.). As well, moving the vessel to its regular berth by the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic makes it more accessible to visitors and the general public.


Who operates the Bluenose II and sets her sailing schedule?

Bluenose II is operated under contract by the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society – the same organization that manages the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg.


What are the legacies from this project?

The world has been watching the restoration of the iconic Bluenose II with great interest. The vessel’s return to sailing will bring recognition to Nova Scotia, the Town of Lunenburg, the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance, and all those involved in the design and restoration process.