Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Bluenose II

Bluenose II

Bluenose II was built in 1963 as a tribute to the memory of her predecessor and to those who created the Bluenose legacy – the fishermen, her builders at the Smith & Rhuland Shipyard in Lunenburg, her owners, her feisty master Captain Angus Walters, and her designer William Roué.

In 1962 Oland & Son approached W.J. Roué about using the plans of his most famous design for a promotional vessel, to be named Oland’s Schooner. At the same time, there was a public outcry for a replica of the beloved Bluenose but attempts to raise the necessary funds to build her were unsuccessful. Hopes for seeing another Bluenose diminished until some people from Lunenburg learned of the brewery plans; they put together a delegation and approached the firm to see if they would consider building the second Bluenose.

The firm agreed and made arrangements with Roué to use the Bluenose design for Bluenose II. Her her hull design, sail plan and rigging would be an exact replica of her predecessor; below deck, the fish hold and basic crew quarters of the original Bluenose were replaced by comfortable staterooms, a large salon and wholly equipped galley complete with a serving pantry.

At a cost of $250,000 Bluenose II was built at the same shipyard as her predecessor and by some of the same shipwrights. Captain Angus Walters and William Roué helped drive the spike to mark the start of construction.

More than 15,000 lined the shores of Lunenburg when Bluenose II was launched July 24, 1963. She was to be a working ship used primarily as a promotional tool for the Oland ‘Schooner’ beer brand, as a private yacht for her owners as well as a charter ship in the Caribbean during winter months. She would spend part of each year in Halifax and Lunenburg so the public could experience firsthand Nova Scotia’s seafaring tradition. She would proudly show the Nova Scotia flag wherever she was.

In 1971, after Oland & Son was sold to an Ontario-based brewery, Bluenose II was sold for $1 to the Province of Nova Scotia – her current owners. The province operated Bluenose II until 1994 when they announced she had been decommissioned in need of a $1 million refit; funds the government was not prepared to spend.

Dismayed by the announcement and seeming demise of Bluenose II, a private sector group of volunteers led by Senator Wilfred Moore formed the Bluenose II Preservation Trust Society, successfully raising the necessary funds to refit Bluenose II at a cost of $498,000.

She was recommissioned in the spring of 1995, just in time to act as Host Vessel for the Economic Summit meeting of the Leaders of the G-7 countries at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

On June 16, 1995, the G-7 leaders took a cruise on Bluenose II; she hosted European Union President Jacques Santer, Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, French President Jacques Chirac, British Prime Minister John Major and Italian Prime Minister Lamberto Dini.

The Trust operated Bluenose II until March 2005; the Lunenburg Museum Society assumed stewardship for Bluenose II in April 2005 under contract with the government of Nova Scotia, which in May 2009 announced a major restoration project for Bluenose II.

She had grown tired and hogged; her final sail was September 30, 2009.

The restoration of Bluenose II started July 5, 2010, when she was relocated to a wharf in Lunenburg, NS near the construction site of the original Bluenose.

In December 2010 a Halifax newspaper reported that much of the iconic schooner had been deemed construction waste and put through a wood chipper.

In September 2012 a new Bluenose II was launched in Lunenburg Harbour, mere feet away from where her predecessors had slipped into the water for the first time.

1963 - under construction (Knickles Studio)
1963 - under construction (Knickles Studio)
July 24, 1963 - The program cover for the launch of Bluenose II
July 24, 1963 - The program cover for the launch of Bluenose II
May 28, 1995 - The program cover for the Bluenose II recommissioning.
May 28, 1995 - The program cover for the Bluenose II recommissioning.

Commissioned by Oland & Son, Limited, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1963 July 24
Launched in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Serves as Canada’s official host ship at Expo ‘67, Montréal, Québec.

1971 September 7
Sold to the Province of Nova Scotia for one dollar.

Town of Lunenburg launches “Save the Bluenose II” campaign to finance a $250,000 refit.

Makes her first voyage as Nova Scotia’s Ambassador. Sails to Norfolk, Virginia, then works her way up the eastern seaboard.

1975 Spring
Makes a six week promotional tour of Canada’s interior and the United States, through the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes.

1975 Summer
Receives berth at Historic Properties, Halifax.

Participates in extensive tour of American seaports, and Operation Sail, New York City, as part of the U.S. bicentennial celebrations.

1978 Spring
Sails first to Bermuda, then up the U.S. eastern seaboard visiting 12 ports.

Serves as Canada’s official host ship fpr the gathering of International Sail training ships at Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Québec City, Québec.

Visits Expo ‘86, Vancouver, British Columbia, on an 18-month voyage.

Receives a plaque from Canada Post during Canada’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

St. Lawrence Seaway tour includes stops in Toronto, Montréal, and Québec City.

1994 March 17
Province of Nova Scotia announces it will no longer sail Bluenose II, that she would either be towed from port to port or simply towed out to sea and be sunk.

1994 August 26
Federal government announces it wants a sailing Bluenose II available for G-7 economic summit to be held in Halifax, June, 1995.

1994 September 28
Bluenose II Preservation Trust established to oversee a refit with funding primarily from private and federal sources.

Bluenose II Preservation Trust Society, led by Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., appointed to operate Bluenose II (by government of Nova Scotia).

1995 January 4
Restoration work begins by Snyder’s Shipyard Ltd., in Lunenburg.

1995 April
Bluenose II Preservation Trust names Wayne Walters, grandson of Bluenose master Angus Walters, as captain of the newly refitted Bluenose II.

1995 May 8
Relaunched in Lunenburg.

1995 May 28
Recommissioned in Lunenburg.

1995 June
Host Vessel for the Economic Summit meeting of the Leaders of the G-7 countries at Halifax, Nova Scotia

Visited Gloucester, Mass., and hosted a reunion of crewmembers of the original Bluenose and of Gertrude L. Thebaud.

First ship to pass under the Confederation Bridge (links Prince Edward Island to the mainland of Canada) upon its opening on May 31.

Conducted a National Tour, including a visit to Thunder Bay, Ontario, her deepest sail into Canada’s heartland.

Visited the waters off Haiti where Bluenose foundered on January 29, 1946 and cast a wreath of remembrance.

Participated in Newfoundland’s “Soiree ‘99” in celebration of that province’s 50th Anniversary of Confederation, including visits to St. John’s, Harbour Breton and Marystown.

2000 July
Participated in “Tall Ships 2000” gathering of world’s fleet, including visit to Bermuda, ports along the Eastern Seaboard of USA, New Brunswick and Quebec, and led the Parade of Sail in Halifax Harbour in Canada’s largest nautical celebration of the new millennium.

Participated in American Sail Training Association’s “Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge”, including visits to Kingston, Port Colborne, Cleveland, Sarnia, Windsor, Detroit and Bay City.

Hosted pilots and spouses of 434 Bluenose Squadron (Combat Support) of Greenwood, Nova Scotia, for a sail off Lunenburg which included a fly pass by jets of this historic squadron, whose aircraft bear an image of the ship on their tail fins.

2005 February
Bluenose II was voted No. 1 in Classic Boat magazine’s top 200 classic boats of all time.

2005 February 4
Province of Nova Scotia announces Lunenburg Museum Society will assume operations of Bluenose II, effective 2005 April 1, taking over after 10 successful years of operation by the Bluenose II Preservation Trust Society.

2005 April 1
Lunenburg Museum Society assumes operations of Bluenose II.

2009 May
Province of Nova Scotia announces Bluenose II will undergo a major refit, estimated to cost $14.4 million. The project was initially announced to
see work happen in 2010 with Bluenose II returning to the water for the summer of 2011.

2010 July
Work started on the restoration project.

2010 December
A Halifax newspaper reports much of Bluenose II had been deemed construction waste and put through a wood chipper.

2012, September 30

A new Bluenose II is launched.

Principal Statistical Data of the Bluenose and Her Replica Bluenose II
Source: Bluenose II Launch Program, published by Oland & Son, Limited

Length Overall (excluding bowsprit)
143 ft.

Length of Waterline
112 Ft.

27 ft.

15 ft. 10 ins.

Displacement Tonnage
285 tons

Sail Area
10,000 sq. ft.

Bowsprit (stem to tip)
17 ft. 6 ins.

Sail Plan


1. Jib topsail

2. Jib

3. Jumbo

4. Foresail

5. Fore gaff topsail

6. Fisherman’s staysail

7. Mainsail

8. Main gaff topsail