June 24, 2014 2:50 pm

Bluenose II turning problems make summer sailing unlikely: Darrow

LUNENBURG, N.S. – The deputy minister overseeing the restoration of the Bluenose II says problems with its rudder can be fixed but it probably won’t be sailing this summer.

David Darrow said following sea trials Tuesday, the restored historic schooner will need a hydraulic system to make it possible for sailors to easily turn the 3,200-kilogram steel rudder.

READ MORE: Bluenose II coverage

He says the four-hour test off the coast of Lunenburg was otherwise successful, but it confirmed the rudder is just too difficult for most people to operate.

The trial was supposed to happen last month but it was cancelled at the last minute because of missing paperwork.

The Bluenose II has been undergoing a multi-year restoration that’s been plagued by budget overruns and repeated delays, the latest caused by a problem with the vessel’s steering system.

Darrow said it’s too early to say exactly what installing a hydraulic system will cost, but the government will inform the public as soon as it has a figure.

© The Canadian Press, 2014