09/06/2013 09:43 EDT | Updated 11/06/2013 05:12 EST

Bluenose II to begin sea trials as it enters one of final stages of restoration

LUNENBURG, N.S. - The Bluenose II is moving on to one of the final stages of its restoration, more than three years after the project began.

The rebuilt replica of the famed fishing schooner was undocked from the Lunenburg Marine Railway today and towed across the waterfront to a local wharf where it will begin dock and sea trials to ensure it is seaworthy.

The Nova Scotia government says the vessel will receive its rigging over the next few weeks.

The restoration carried out by the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance has cost about $16 million.

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.

It remains unclear when the ship will be available for public tours.