08/20/2012 03:13 EDT | Updated 10/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Cover dismantled from Bluenose II following two-year restoration in Nova Scotia

LUNENBURG, N.S. - A massive dome that has covered the Bluenose II during its rebuild on a Nova Scotia waterfront has been dismantled, signalling a major step towards relaunching the vessel.

The temporary shelter in Lunenburg has covered the schooner for the past two years during its $17-million restoration.

Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador will now need to be repositioned onto a ramp to enter the water.

Further preparations and tide conditions will be considered in determining when the vessel returns to the water.

The Nova Scotia government has said that the schooner is expected to be ready for public sailing next summer.

The government has yet to officially announce a launch date.

The Bluenose II, launched in 1963, is a replica of the original Bluenose, a Grand Banks fishing schooner that won worldwide acclaim for its graceful lines and flat-out speed.