Controversy for Bluenose II

LUNENBURG, N.S. – Suggestions the famed Bluenose II schooner is coming apart at the seams after bystanders noticed cracking above the deck-line are much ado about nothing.

At least that is what the vessel’s operators say.

In fact, officials believe the schooner is in tip-top shape.

Andreas Josenhans, president of the Lunenburg Maritime Museum Society, says there’s nothing out of the ordinary on the Bluenose II, despite reports cracks were noticed by some last weekend in Halifax.

“Those are wooden bulwark, to prevent waves and splashing and banging, and so on. That’s all they’re for,” said Josenhans. “They’re not cocked. They’re not meant to be waterproof.”

Josenhans says gaps in the wood above the waterline are perfectly normal for a wooden tall ship.

However, the reported cracks along the schooner’s hull sparked safety concerns by some in the Maritime industry.

Lou Boudreau is a marine consultant on Nova Scotia’s south shore.

“You could see daylight from the outside of the hull to the inside of the deck,” he said, noting that at first glance, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. “But for a two-year-old ship, especially one that cost $30 million, you would perhaps expect it not to be doing that so soon.”

Boudreau says his main concern is safety.

“What happens if you go down under the transom, or down under the water, or on the stem somewhere? Are there other pieces that they’ve allowed, or they’ve neglected?”

Officials say the Bluenose II is functioning just as she should be, even arriving ahead of schedule yesterday, when she sailed from Halifax to Lunenburg.

“We look at her and say, is she doing her job? And the answer is, she’s doing it with flying colours,” said Josenhans.

Still, Boudreau remains skeptical.

“If they allowed something as blatantly obvious as that to go untreated, or unmaintained, if you will, what else is hiding down under there?”

CTV Atlantic

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