NEWS
03/03/2016 10:06 EST | Updated 03/04/2017 00:12 EST

Rudder replacement to push costly restoration of Bluenose II near $25 million

HALIFAX — The costly restoration of Canada's most famous sailing schooner, now pegged at $23.8 million, is about to get more expensive for Nova Scotia taxpayers.

The provincial Transportation Department says it has accepted a recommendation to replace the controversial steel rudder on Bluenose II with either a wooden rudder or a composite made of fiberglass with a carbon stock.

The province says the cost of replacing the rudder is not expected to push the final overall total for the project beyond $25 million.

A report by Langan Design Partners says that without a replacement, the weight of the current rudder would shorten the vessel's life span over time.

The installation of the steel rudder was singled out in a report last year by the province's auditor general for helping to delay and add significant costs to the project.

The restoration of the Bluenose II was announced in 2009 and was supposed to be completed by March 2011 at a cost of $14.4 million.

The Canadian Press