For the first time in decades, there are schooners 'abuilding on the famed waterfront at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dawson Moreland & Associates are building not just one, but two 48' wooden schooners in the best of Maritime traditions. These 'twins' will be built simultaneously, frame for frame, plank for plank, alongside the historic Lunenburg Dory Shop at 175 Bluenose Drive. Follow their progress from keel laying to launch!

An artist's interpretation of the Twin Schooner Project

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sheer strakes

Now that the schooners are all framed up, it's time to add the sheer strakes. These planks define the upper edge of the deck and, in many ways, the schooners' shape. Dave and the gang are making them from Angelique, a rot-proof tropical hardwood that's awfully hard on tools. Seriously, sparks fly when you cut it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Steamy schooner videos!

Okay, so now that I have your are a couple of links to new videos of Dave and James installing steam-bent oak frames on the schooners. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The twin schooners are almost completely in frame.
Between each of the double-sawn Osage Orange frames are two of steam-bent White Oak and Dave is looking to soon put on the sheer strakes. This auspicious event may well call for a celebration, so stay tuned!
The old timers who drop by the boatyard on a regular basis tell us they approve of the construction to date, and that they’ll be “some strong boats.”
Once framing is completed, the schooners will be left to set up and season for the summer and early fall. This was the preferred practice in places like Holland and Germany where the frames of old pilot schooners were let to set for a year before planking to ensure the greatest longevity. This plan will also allow Dave to enjoy some summer sailing in his own fine schooner!
Construction will resume in late fall and continue through the winter and spring, with plans for a twin schooner launch in summer 2011.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The wonders of hot (wet) air!

Captain Dan and Dave survey the new steam box that's being used to prepare our steam-bent white oak frames.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Welcome neighbours!

It has been one of the many delights of this project to have so many folks dropping by to express their interest and enthusiasm in these new schooners being built on the Lunenburg waterfront and to generally 'check things out.' However it's an accepted quirk of Lunenburgers (and it's a Lunenburger writing this) that they genuinely hate the thought of bothering anyone and so for every person who's dropped by during work hours, there's been maybe five who only take a peak while they're out walking their dog of an evening or who drive down on a Sunday afternoon, banking on the fact that no one will be around. Being familiar with this, we've made it a point to provide events at which locals can comfortably, and safely, have a look around and learn about what's taking place here. One such event was held last evening when we welcomed members of the Lunenburg Board of Trade for an open house, known as a Business After Five. We were delighted to have such a strong turnout on what turned out to be a beautiful evening. As you can see, our visitors included both the young and young at heart.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A view of the boatyard

Here's a short - and we mean micro - video to give you an idea of the scene in the boatyard these days. Unfortunately, it was taken while most of the boys were off picking up a load of boat lumber but Dave's there in the background, fussing with one of the transoms. We'll try to do this from time to time, hopefully showing a little more action.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Captain Mitch drops by

What a pleasure to have one of Lunenburg's most respected old salts drop by the boatyard this morning.

Captain Matthew Mitchell, best known as Cap'n Mitch, is a veteran of dozens of Grand Banks schooners, some of Lunenburg's earliest draggers, and all of this followed by decades
as one of Lunenburg's most devoted tourism ambassadors in his work at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
In December, Cap'n Mitch honoured us by agreeing to join Bluenose II skipper, Capt. Phil Watson, in pounding the ceremonial spikes at our twin schooner keel laying. See
Today's visit (not his first since the keel laying) was a chance to check in on the vessels' progress. He had a walk around with his daughter Joan, surveying the scene with a knowing eye and gave us his stamp of approval and a promise to be back soon.

Peek a Bub!

Gary "Bub" Dares at work on the twin schooners in the Dory Shop boatyard.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final check

Master craftsman, designer, builder...Dave Westergard is a lot of things to this project. However one thing he has no desire to be is our poster boy. So if we manage to get a photo of Dave (he doesn't tend to stick around for the sake of composition if there's something he means to be doing), he's sure to be doing his thing, completely ignoring the camera and ultimately that can create the best images. Like this one taken as he surveys the newly installed transom with Lunenburg's Bluenose Drive in the background.