The province is accepting recommendations from an engineering review of the steering system of Bluenose II.
The report, produced by Langan Design Partners, recommends replacing the ship’s existing steel rudder with either a wooden rudder or a composite made of fiberglass with a carbon stock.
The report said the weight of the heavier steel rudder would over time, shorten the life span of the vessel. The full engineering report is available at http://novascotia.ca/news/docs/2016/03/03/ .
The 2016 sailing season will take place as scheduled. Work to replace the rudder will be done during the fall and winter. Meanwhile design work is underway on a new rudder, including determining which is the better material to use.
“I want to be clear – this is not a safety issue,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Geoff MacLellan. “The Langan report’s findings are about eventual wear and tear on the vessel. While we can continue to safely operate the ship with the current rudder, we want to move on replacing the rudder now to avoid issues down the road.”
The province has also resolved the outstanding delay claims with the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance with a settlement from the province of $5 million of which $1.8 million had already been advanced prior to the final settlement agreement.
“Sixty thousand people enjoyed Bluenose II first-hand last season and we acknowledge the work of the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance and the role they played in bringing Bluenose II to life,” said Mr. MacLellan.
The settlement brings the total cost of the project to $23.8 million, which includes the cost of the steering system review.
The cost of the rudder is not expected to push the final total beyond the allocated capital budget of $25 million for the project.