A Brief History of the Bluenose
Bluenose was a Canadian schooner from Nova Scotia, a celebrated racing ship and a symbol of the province. The name "bluenose" originated as a nick-name for Nova Scotians.
Designed by William Roué and built by Smith and Rhuland, Bluenose was launched at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on March 26, 1921, as both a working cod-fishing schooner and a racing ship. This was in response to a Nova Scotian ship's defeat in a race for working schooners established by the Halifax Herald newspaper in 1920.
After a season fishing on the Grand Banks, Bluenose defeated Elsie (out of Gloucester, Massachusetts), returning the trophy to Nova Scotia. During the next 17 years of racing, no challenger, American or Canadian, could wrest the trophy from her.
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 on January 28, 1946.
Bluenose and her captain, Angus Walters, were inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955. 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 under full sail has adorned the Canadian dime since 1937, has been portrayed on a postage stamp, and appears on the current Nova Scotia licence plate.
Her daughter, Bluenose II, was launched at Lunenburg on July 24, 1963, built to original plans by many of the same workers. She cost $300,000 to build. She was sold to the government of Nova Scotia for $1 and serves as a goodwill ambassador, tourist attraction in Lunenburg, and symbol of the province. During the summer she visits ports all around Nova Scotia and the world. Bluenose II does not race.
Bluenose II, like her mother, had the largest working mainsail in the world, measuring 386 m2 (4,155 ft2); she has a total sail area of 1036 m2 (11,150 ft2). Currently, the sloop Mirabella V has the largest working mainsail in the world, measuring 1557 m2 (16,760 ft2).