August 27, 2014 7:00 am

Bluenose II regulator questions ship’s stability report

LUNENBURG, N.S. – After several project delays that have kept Nova Scotia’s Bluenose II from sailing this summer, the stability approval process for the iconic schooner is now also behind schedule.

The province has confirmed the ship’s regulator, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), has “follow-up questions” for the ship’s designer, Lengkeek Vessel Engineering.

Approval of the stability report from the ABS was originally due to be delivered by Aug. 27, but will now be delayed at least two weeks.

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READ MORE: 4 things you didn’t know are sending the Bluenose II project awry

The report contains a series of measurements taken on the ship used to predict how it will perform while under power or under sail. The measurements are taken by the inspector — also the ship’s designer in this case — and sent to the ABS for approval.

The provincial government says officials aren’t concerned by the delay.

“We expect that the stability book will indicate that Bluenose ll will meet all stability requirements for her role as Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador,” said spokesperson Darcy MacRae.

The government expected the Bluenose II rebuild to cost $14.4 million, but it has since ballooned to more than $19 million.

Earlier this week, Premier Stephen McNeil confirmed the Bluenose II will not be open to the public until at least 2015.

Government disputes builder’s claims

There is also an ongoing dispute between the government and the ship’s builder, the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance (LSA). The builder says it has already performed at least $24 million worth of work — not $19 million — and is asking the province to pay the full amount.

A mediator is currently looking at both parties’ claims.

Cost comparison

No matter the outcome of the dispute, the Bluenose II will still be one of the most expensive schooner reconstruction projects ever.

Even after adjusting for inflation, other schooner rebuilds in the past decade have cost much less (amounts represented in millions of dollars):

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© Shaw Media, 2014

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