Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

Bluenose launch in 1921


Bluenose - Birth of a legacy

The original Bluenose was launched as a Grand Banks fishing and racing schooner on 26 March 1921 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. It was designed by William Roué and built by the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard.

Bluenose Captain Angus Walters and the builders who crafted the sleek vessel had something to prove. Their sights were set on the International Fishermen's Race. For a working fishing schooner, speed was a tremendous asset. Those who made it to port first fetched the best price for their catch. The Fishermen's Race was no token competition for privileged yachts. It was a real race for the hard-working vessels of fishermen who made their living on the sea. Nova Scotia's pride and shipbuilding reputation sailed with Bluenose.

From the moment Bluenose took to the sea, it was evident she was a vessel unlike any other. When she took home her first Fishermen's Trophy in October of 1921, the legend began. During the next 17 years, no challenger — American or Canadian — could wrest the trophy from Bluenose. She earned the title "Queen of the North Atlantic" and was well on her way to becoming a Canadian icon.

Bluenose came to symbolize Nova Scotia's prominence in the fishing and shipbuilding industries. She represented Canada around the world. In 1933, Bluenose appeared at the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago, and sailed to England's Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935.

The majestic image of the Bluenose has adorned the Canadian dime since 1937 and three postage stamps, as well as the Nova Scotia license plate.


Bluenose II - The legend reborn

Bluenose struck a reef off Isle aux Vache, Haiti on 28 January 1946. Despite the loss, the legacy and admiration for the once mighty schooner lived on in the hearts and minds of Canadians — especially Nova Scotians.

In 1963, Bluenose II was launched. It was built by many of the same people who had worked on the original vessel at the same shipyard in Lunenburg. The project was financed by Oland Brewery to advertise their products, while also promoting Nova Scotia's maritime heritage and tourism. William Roué, the designer of the original Bluenose, endorsed the vessel. Captain Walters sailed on the maiden voyage.

Bluenose II was gifted to the Government of Nova Scotia in 1971. It continues to serve as Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador — an enduring symbol of the province — living history under sail.


Goodwill Ambassador

Bluenose II sails out of Lunenburg and visits ports throughout Nova Scotia and North America. It is regularly open to the public, offering cruises and onboard access to its many admirers. In its role as an ambassador, Bluenose II has been a frequent presence for trade visits and international promotions for Nova Scotia and Canada.

The historic vessel, with its unrivalled legacy, is a living reminder of the glorious sailing era. For an entirely new generation, it serves as a fitting introduction to Canada's maritime heritage.


Visit the Nova Scotia Archives website to read more about the history of the original Bluenose and Bluenose II.