Reconstruction of the Bluenose II at Lunenburg

3 02 2011

The Bluenose II 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.

I took this photo as the Bluenose II passed my window in the summer of 2009.

Here she sits in her berth on a typical foggy day in Lunenburg.

And I took this photo as she left the Tall Ships Festival in Halifax, to return to Lunenburg, in July 2009.

I made my way back to Lunenburg to watch her arrival.

I have just found – June 2011 – the next 2 photos taken that day at Lunenburg.


This was the video of her arrival that day.

But, it was found that the hull of the Bluenose II was warped and that massive restoration work was required, at a price tag of $15 million, paid for by both Federal and Provincial Governments.

It was felt that restoration was a better option than building a new ship.

So the Bluenose II was towed to the foundry to be deconstructed  and I watched with interest as this shed was built for the reconstruction.

A strong steel frame –

covered, to keep out the winter weather.

A visitor’s information centre was opened opposite the shed to keep the public informed of the work in progress.

But the  restoration is not without controversy. Seemingly, it is not intended to create an authentic replica of the original Bluenose and the builders will not be using the  original plans.

Also, 80% of the ship has been put through a wood chipper, leaving only the masts, sails, rigging, ironwork and railings as original.

Many people, probably the majority, feel that parts of the old Bluenose II should have been sold in the Bluenose shop and that public would have been very happy to buy a piece of history.

No one was aware of how much of the ship was going to be discarded.

And so I jump to the web cam photos of the ‘being restored’ Bluenose II inside the shed.

Not much to see is there?

For those who would like to see a bit of ‘restoration’ or ‘ship building’, here are a couple of videos.

The laying of the 2nd keel.

And the 4th keel.

And later web cam photos.


So, is this a ‘restoration’ project or a ‘new build’?

Would it not have been possible to keep the Bluenose II as a museum, either on the waterfront, or at the Academy building (whose future is also uncertain).

Please make your comments known on this post.




15 responses

7 02 2011

Thank You Jackie.

This was great presentation how to save Bluenose! The skill of shipbuilding is so important that should be maintained from generation to generation. If you never have a training, the know-how is forgotten. Also to local people it is important to see that people care things, history and they have knowhow.

In Stockholm in Sweden there is old Vasa ship (1627) in a museum. I think it was great idea to do so. More from Vasa You can read in Wikipedia.

According to this, it might be great idea to keep Bluenose in a museum.

7 02 2011

Yes, Lunenburg still has some great craftsmen and boat building is very much alive. I still think it is sad that the old Bluenose has gone. I saw, when reading about the Vasa, that it is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions. I’m sure tourists in Lunenburg would have gone to see the Bluenose II and also sailed on the new Bluenose III.

10 02 2011

I think it is good that some of the past will be incorporated into the new Bluenose II. It makes it special because it links us to the past while experiencing the present.

10 02 2011

Thank you for your comments. I agree, but I still feel that too much of the old Bluenose II was destroyed. If it was of no use to the reconstruction, then it should have been sold in the Bluenose shop. I am sure that once the parts from the old Bluenose II have been added, Lunenburg will have a fantastic new schooner. This project is great for the town and the shipbuilding industry.

21 02 2011
Jay Albert

Thanks for showing us work on the “New replica”!
At least we will see those masts and sails entering Gloucester Harbor I hope the not so distant future!
I guess some forget the Bluenose II was a replica of the original, but I’d say she had a wonderful career as an ambassador for Canada and a welcomed visitor here in Gloucester,Ma….. Let’s hope the tradition continues!

21 02 2011

Thanks for reading my blog. You’re right in pointing out that the Bluenose II was a replica, but it didn’t look, to the layman’s eye, as if it was time to totally scrap it. It will be great to have the schooner back on the water. We missed it in 2010 and will not see her sail till 2012.

28 02 2011
Paul Ellis

My friend, John Dickenson, his late father donated the Spanish Coin that was placed under the mast of Bluenose 2 in 1963. He would like very much to be part of re- placing the coin in the restoration. He does not have computer excess and has asked me to look into this matter. Thank-you

28 02 2011

That’s really interesting. I have just been looking at
regarding the coins on the Bluenose II. I hope your friend can be part of the ceremony.

15 03 2011

Interesting blog on ship… loved the sail boat photos.

15 03 2011

Thanks, it’s exciting watching the new Bluenose II being built here in Lunenburg.

6 06 2011
Chickity Check it! The Bluenose II Reconstruction/Construction Project | GoodMorningGloucester

[…] an entirely new boat.  The Bluenose II was an incredibly beautiful boat but according to The Queens new Life in Canada blog, it’s keel was warped and they totally deconstructed […]

24 01 2012
Reiner Grebe Germany

Does it matter, if new or replica, it’s a beautifull breathtaking sailboat.
I was in Lunenburg 3 times, I never saw the Bluenose. I built 2 Models.
Last year in September I saw the building of the Bluenose III.
My Heart stood still for a moment, when I saw the ship.
I wish you luck, und immer eine Handbreit Wasser unterm Kiel.

Reiner Grebe Germany

31 01 2012

Good for you making models of the Bluenose. The Bluenose 111 will be amazing for Lunenburg.The day of its launch should be a big celebration.

16 02 2012
j richardson

I was fortunate enough to visit the reconstruction before leaving this summer, and being a true blue bluenoser myself it felt good to see it ‘being restored’ as a lot of our ‘history’ is going by the wayside. The lighthouses are, so whether it is being ‘restored’ or ‘rebuilt’ it will be ours soon one day again. Hurrah for not ‘destroying’ it like other things in our history. JR

16 02 2012
philip mackenzie newglasgow nova scotia

the bluenose as it was” will never be again. how could they put such a beauty through a wood chipper” with out getting an in-put from the people of nova scotia. i have a photo of myself behind the wheel in halifax at the tall ships. when much less article’s of history are guarded’ this nova scotia icon didn’t have the chance it deserved’ to find a permanent home in nova scotia family house’s etc. thank you for allowing my in-put philip mackenzie newglasgow nova scotia

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