Steering problems force cancellation of Bluenose II sailings

For the second time this summer, a problem with the hydraulic steering system on the Bluenose Two has left the ship tied up, and tourists disappointed. Global’s Dave Squires reports.

LUNENBURG – For the second time this summer, a problem with the $700,000 custom built hydraulic steering system on the Bluenose II has left the ship tied up.

All sailings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have been cancelled.

A government official says the crew noticed a problem with the steering on Tuesday when the wheel was turned and the heavy steel rudder was slow to respond. An engineer from the manufacturing company, Kobelt Manufacturing in Vancouver, is set to arrive tomorrow evening to assess damage and determine if more cancellations are necessary to conduct repairs.

A failed bearing in the steering system on July 30 also forced the cancellation of tours.

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The cancelled sailings left many tourists in Lunenburg disappointed.

Lynell Wight is visiting from Ottawa with her family, and said they were looking forward to sailing on the historic ship.

“It’s hard but something you are going to have to face. I know other people who have tried to come and sail and it’s unfortunate if they come here and there is a problem with it,” said Wight.

Spencer Pomeroy said he has a sailing planned for this weekend, and he hopes the ship is fixed in time.

“I’m hopeful, I’m very hopeful. I’m excited to get out here and see what it’s like but I realize it’s their first season sailing again so there is bound to be some issues. But I hope they work it out,” said Pomeroy.

The Bluenose II is still open for public viewing while docked. A government spokesperson said repairs to the steering system are expected to be covered by Kobelt Manufacturing.

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