Ship-Building Alive and Well in Nova Scotia

27 10 2015

Ship-building is alive and well in Nova Scotia. The Densmore Cousins built their first Halifax schooner, based on the design of a 100-year-old fishing schooner that sailed off Georges Bank. Peak oil? Bring it on. We’re ready to sail.

Cousins waited for Stewiacke River tide to rise and boat floated with it

CBC News Posted: Oct 27, 2015 12:46 PM AT Last Updated: Oct 27, 2015 2:55 PM AT

A schooner hand-built by two cousins launched on the banks of the Stewiacke River on Tuesday.

A schooner hand-built by two cousins launched on the banks of the Stewiacke River on Tuesday. (CBC)

Five years of commitment was tested today when two cousins from Stewiacke launched their 24-metre wooden schooner.

Evan and Nick Densmore’s ship sat on the banks of the Stewiacke River waiting for the tide to rise. The Densmores had hoped the new moon tide would lift the boat safely over sandbars and shoals into the water — and it did.

The crowd gathered at the river bank cheered as the schooner gracefully slipped into the water just after 2:30 p.m. AT.

There was a chance the boat could become stuck in mud or not float at all, if the construction wasn’t sound — but none of that happened.

“You got a half an hour window to launch, if you don’t hit that you can wait until tomorrow and the next set of tides is next month. It’s a do or die situation for sure,” Evan Densmore said earlier on Tuesday.

Evan Densmore Stewiacke schooner

Evan Densmore and his cousin built at 24-metre wooden schooner by hand. They’re launching the boat today. (CBC)

The cousins were in their early 20s when they started work on the schooner.

The Densmores’s great-great-grandfather was a boat builder too, and their grandfather, Dan Densmore, helped them design their schooner.

“Five years building this boat, some days you get drug down a little bit,” said Evan Densmore. “It definitely takes a bit of commitment to get where I am today.”

The design is based on a 100-year-old fishing schooner used around Georges Bank off Nova Scotia.

It’s made from a wood-epoxy composite with eastern spruce and local red oak, and weighs 65 tonnes.

“I really love building boats and I really love the enthusiasm, the excitement when people come down and seeing it. I’d definitely like to stay in the industry,” said Evan Densmore.

In previous interviews, the cousins said they eventually want to sail tourists around the East Coast.




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