June 18, 2014 8:45 am

UPDATED: More rudder changes needed before Bluenose II project complete

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government expects the steel rudder and steering of the Bluenose II will need further changes before the overdue schooner can be delivered to the province.

Kelliann Dean, deputy minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, says the province has been aware of problems with the rudder since 2010 and there have already been seven design changes.

READ MORE: Bluenose II coverage

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She says the province has to hold sea trials of the vessel to help determine the repairs that are needed to the troublesome rudder, which has been difficult to turn.

A precise date for the trials in Lunenburg wasn’t provided during Dean’s appearance before a legislature committee.

Dean says the trials require approval by the project team, the American Bureau of Shipping and the federal Transport Department.

The government had to abruptly cancel the ship’s pre-sea trial in May because of missing paperwork.

The cost of the problem-plagued Bluenose II restoration project is expected to climb to $19 million, $4.6 million over its original budget and is behind on its original delivery date of May 2012.

“There’s a growing level of frustration that this project hasn’t been completed,” Dean said.

The budget overruns and delays prompted Premier Stephen McNeil to ask the province’s auditor general to review the project.

Last month, McNeil announced that David Darrow, his deputy minister and the clerk of the Executive council, would assume oversight of the restoration.

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives say McNeil and Darrow should be the ones appearing before the committee.

With files from Brett Ruskin

© Shaw Media, 2014

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