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Bluenose II to return to wooden rudder, steel version proves heavy, clumsy

The Bluenose II is tied up in Lunenburg due to steering problems. Dave Squires/Global News

Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, the Bluenose II, is going back to using a wooden rudder after a massive steel version proved to be too heavy.

READ MORE: Government poised to spend millions replacing Bluenose II steel rudder

A study released in March called for a replacement of the steel steering system, which experts had previously warned would change the shape of the vessel and shorten its life.

Transport Minister Geoff MacLellan said today the final decision has now been taken, and the cost is being worked out.

The ship’s reconstruction has cost $23.8 million to date, and MacLellan says the overall project will end up coming in at around $25 million.

READ MORE: Former sea captain says province made ‘total hash’ of Bluenose II restoration

The vessel will be about $11 million over the NDP government’s first budget when it’s finally complete, if the latest Liberal government estimates prove correct.

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The project has been plagued by technical problems and delays of more than four years from original target dates.

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