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, January 23, 2012

These schooners be planked

A terrific crowd gathered at The Dory Shop Boatyard Saturday afternoon to help us put the last plank in our twin schooners.

As per usual, our boatyard celebration was accompanied by sub-zero temperatures but no matter! The crews of the Barque Picton Castle and the Tiare Taporo (also a project of Dawson Moreland & Associates) assisted in the preparation of several large pots of cider to keep our guests hands and insides warm. The gang also spread a carpet of wood shavings over the ground, providing the best no-skid you'd ever want to use and it looked pretty good too.

At the appointed hour, Dawson Moreland general manager Susan Corkum-Greek welcomed those in attendance to a brief formal ceremony that included remarks from Lunenburg Mayor Laurence Mawhinney and Dawson Moreland president, Captain Daniel Moreland, as well as the listing of all the craftsmen who have worked on the twin schooners.

"I greatly admire and respect the skills and talents of the people who put this together," said Mayor Mawhinney. "They are showing us the wisdom of what you can do with wood in a town that cherishes the wooden buildings, the homes, the churches, the offices, the stores....This is part of our history and heritage, but I think for most of us also it's a very vibrant part of our future."

It was actor Billy Campbell, owner of one of the twin schooners, who did the honours, both fastening the final plank and dousing it with rum (see below).

Currently starring in the hit AMC series The Killing, which films in Vancouver, Billy said he is always grateful for an excuse to be in Lunenburg. He also announced that he is naming his schooner,to be launched later this spring, the Martha Seabury, after his late grandmother.

"I loved her very much," he told onlookers. "I wish she could see this."
So now the deed is officially done, the cider (and rum) are gone and Dave and his gang can proceed with finishing the hull. They're all hard at it down there this morning - well, all except for Dave who is apparently deep in the woods looking for spars.

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