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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Iconic schooners the subject of article and documentary

An article in the latest issue of Classic Boat, titled 10 Iconic American Boats, includes the 'working schooner' and Banks dory.

Of schooners, the UK-based authors write: "We are all familiar with the schooner America and how she trounced the English yachting scene in 1851. America's history created fast cargo, fishing and military ships and that heritage is seen in the consistent use, build and restoration of large schooner like The Pride of Baltimore II, Shenandoah and, of course, Dennis Conner's replica of America."

Of course we here in Lunenburg have had a long, and still passionate, affair with schooners. Indeed that's the subject of a new documentary airing Sunday, December 4 at 12 p.m. on CBC Television's Land and Sea (check local listings).

Brought to you by two bonafide schooner lovers - writer-director Capt. Tom Gallant, of the schooner Avenger, and producer Ed Peill, skipper of the Dorothy Louise - Nova Scotia Schooners takes an in-depth look at these traditional vessels and explores what’s involved with owning and maintaining a piece of living history.

The documentary was filmed this past summer and includes scenes from the Lunenburg Wooden Boat Reunion, the Nova Scotia Schooner Association's annual race week, the reconstruction of Bluenose II and Dawson Moreland's own Twin Schooner Project here at The Dory Shop.

“This documentary demonstrates what happens when people come together around something they find both important and beautiful” says Capt'n Tom. “It highlights one of our most significant Canadian cultural icons and underscores why these traditional skills need to be passed onto future generations.

"The beauty and grace of these schooners is captivating and I'll wager that anyone with even a drop of salt water in their veins will love this film."
So mark the 4th at noon on your calendars. And just in case you miss it, know that once the show has aired, it can be watched on the CBC TV website at

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Closing the gap

"The gap's getting smaller!," Bub said, biting into the slice of pizza that was his lunch today (sorry Bub, no secrets in the blogosphere!). And he's right. The gap is steadily closing and before you know it, it will be time for that very momentous occasion - the shutter plank ceremony. A la deux in the case of our twin schooners. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, post-lunch, Bub was fairing the rabbet or groove where the next plank will fit.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tops and bottoms

While Tony takes advantage of this outstanding Nova Scotia autumn to work on this suntan - i.e. complete the cabin tops aboard our twin schooners - Dave and the rest of the gang are down in the shadows hanging garboard planks.
They're making great progress and it won't be too long 'til we are ready for the shuttle strake (last strake of planking on the hull). Traditionally that's an occasion for celebration and you can bet Capt. Moreland will want to mark the event in style. Stand by for details!
Meanwhile, many thanks to shipwright Jamie Rogers who hung off the roof of The Dory Shop's plant 2 (a la Spiderman!) to get this aerial view for us. It's a shot poor Dory Plug could not ever hope to take!