POLITICS

Key facts you need to know about the Bluenose II schooner and its restoration

01/28/2015 12:21 EST | Updated 03/30/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - What you need to know about the Bluenose II and the ship's troubled restoration:

PROUD HISTORY:

The original Bluenose was a schooner launched in Lunenburg, N.S., in 1921 and became a legendary racing vessel, going undefeated before sinking in the Caribbean in 1946. The term Bluenose is well known for describing many things in Nova Scotia, including the people, who sometimes refer to themselves as Bluenosers. The origin of the word "Bluenose" dates back to the 1700s but where it came from is a matter of dispute.

LASTING LEGACY:

The schooner is considered Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador as it sails around the world and an image of the original vessel has graced the dime since 1937, as well as three postage stamps. The original Grand Banks fishing and racing ship won her first International Fisherman's Race in October 1921 and earned the title "Queen of the North Atlantic."

A LEGEND'S REBIRTH:

The Bluenose II was originally built by the Oland family and launched in 1963. It was financed by the family to promote Oland Brewery products but in 1971 they gave it to Nova Scotia.

AMBITIOUS RESTORATION:

A restoration of the Bluenose II was announced in 2009 with a price tag of $14.4 million, but the cost of the project now stands at $20 million with another $4 million to $5 million on top of that in dispute. The project was originally scheduled to be finished in March 2011 but the province is now aiming for it to be open to the public sometime this year.

BUNGLED PROJECT:

A report by the auditor general blames the cost overruns and delays on the province's decision to use the ill-prepared Heritage Department to oversee the project, which is normally responsible for promoting the province's culture and identity and wasn't equipped to handle a large and complex construction project.

(SOURCES: Bluenose II website, the Nova Scotia government and auditor general.)