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Bluenose postage stamp of 1929
Career (Canada) Canada
Name: Bluenose
Launched: March 26, 1921
Fate: Sold out-of-country in 1942 to become a tramp schooner in the Caribbean
Career (West Indies)
Name: Bluenose
Acquired: 1942
Fate: On January 28, 1946 she foundered on a reef off the coast of Haiti and sank
General characteristics
Displacement: 258 tonnes (284 short tons)
Length: 49 m (160 ft 9 in) o/a
34 m (111 ft 7 in) lwl
Beam: 8 m (26 ft 3 in)
Draft: 5 m (16 ft 5 in)
Propulsion: Sails
Mainmast, height from deck 38 m (124 ft 8 in)
Foremast, height from deck 36 m (118 ft 1 in)
Sail area 1,036 m2 (11,150 sq ft)
Mainsail area 386 m2 (4,150 sq ft)
Crew: 6 Officers, Chief Cook, 15 Deckhands

Bluenose was a Canadian fishing and racing schooner from Nova Scotia built in 1921. She was later commemorated by a replica Bluenose II built in 1963. A celebrated racing ship and hard-working fishing vessel, Bluenose became a provincial icon for Nova Scotia as well as important Canadian symbol in the 1930s. The name "bluenose" originated as a nick-name for Nova Scotians from as early as the late eighteenth century.[1]


Designed by William Roué and built by Smith and Rhuland, Bluenose was launched at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on March 26, 1921, as a racing ship and fishing vessel. This was in response to the defeat of the Nova Scotian Fishing Schooner Delawana by the Gloucester, Massachusetts fishing schooner Esperanto in 1920. That race was sponsored by the Halifax Herald newspaper.

After a season fishing on the Grand Banks, Bluenose defeated Elsie (out of Gloucester), returning the International Fishermen's Trophy to Nova Scotia. During the next 17 years of racing, no challenger, American or Canadian, could wrest the International Fishermen's Trophy from her. It is notable that she was no mere racing ship, but also a general fishing craft that was worked hard throughout her lifetime. She fished scallops and other kinds of seafood, and at least once won competitions for largest catches of the season and similar awards.

Fishing schooners became obsolete after World War II, and despite efforts to keep her in Nova Scotia, the undefeated Bluenose was sold to work as a freighter in the West Indies. She foundered on a Haitian reef and was lost on January 28, 1946.

Fame and Commemoration

Bluenose, under full sail, is portrayed on the 1929 Canadian Bluenose postage stamp as well as on two other stamps issued in 1982 and 1999 and also appears on the current Nova Scotia licence plate. The fishing schooner on the Canadian dime, added in 1937 at the height of fame for Bluenose, was actually based on a composite image of Bluenose and two other schooners, but has for years been commonly known as the Bluenose. In 2002, the government of Canada declared the depiction on the dime to be the Bluenose.[2]

Bluenose and her captain, Angus J. Walters of Lunenburg, were inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955, making her the first and only non-human CSHF inductee until 1960, when she was joined by Canadian Hydroplane Champion Miss Supertest III. That same year another honour was bestowed upon the famous sailing ship when a new Canadian National Railways passenger-vehicle ferry for the inaugural Yarmouth-Bar Harbor service was launched as the M/V Bluenose.

Bluenose II

In 1963 a replica of Bluenose was built at Lunenburg using the original Bluenose plans and named Bluenose II. Built for the Olands Brewery as a promotional yacht, the replica was later acquired by the province of Nova Scotia as a sailing ambassador and continues to sail every summer based out of Lunenburg.

Bluenose IV

In 2007, Joan Roué, the great-granddaughter of the designer William Roue, started raising funds to build a new Bluenose. She cited the need for a new ambassador for Nova Scotia and Canada, listing the particulars at a Bluenose IV website.[3]. The name Bluenose III is owned by the province of Nova Scotia, and Ms. Roué could not reach an agreement for its use on the new schooner so Ms. Roué and North Atlantic Enterprises are proceeding anyway, however, under the name Bluenose IV. An agreement was reached with Snyder's Shipyard to build the new replica when fundraising was completed. However as of 2009, Joan Roue had not succeeded in raising the required funds.[4]

In the media

Canadian Irish folk group The Irish Rovers released a tribute to the 'Bluenose' on their 1979 album 'Tall Ships and Salty Dogs'.

Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers honours both ships in his song Bluenose, found on his albums Turnaround, released in 1978, and Home In Halifax, released posthumously in 1994. A sailing ship called 'Bluenose' appears in the 1990s children's television program, Theodore Tugboat. The children's television series TUGS features a character named Bluenose, who may be named after the schooner.

The ship is also prominently mentioned in the Circle-Vision 360° film O Canada! in the Canadian pavilion at Epcot in Walt Disney World in Florida.

Selected books

  • Getson, Heather-Anne, Bluenose: The Ocean Knows Her Name., Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2006.
  • Keith McLaren. A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Race 1920 - 1938. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2006.
  • Marq de Villiers. Witch in the Wind:The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose. Toronto: Thomas Allen, 2007.


External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
[[Commons: Category:Bluenose

| Bluenose


See also

de:Bluenose fr:Bluenose it:Bluenose sv:Bluenose