Schooner VIRGINIA halts operations

The Virginia Pilot reports VIRGINIA has been recalled to Norfolk to be laid up for lack of funding. Fortunately she has a lot of friends in Hampton Roads who will be rallying to keep her in commission. See the comments following this Virginia Pilot News Story

Come on Virginia, you have 7.7 million people to Nova Scotia's 0.9 million. Old BLUENOSE II is still spreading goodwill in behalf of the province. She's 12 times older, with 60% more displacement, compared to VIRGINIA, but the Novies have found a way to keep her sailing.

Bluenose II and Virginia small.jpg109.98 KB

Schooner VIRGINIA not-so-good news

Since the original December 2009 post on this topic BLUENOSE has obtained the necessary funding for a total restoration, but the situation has not improved for VIRGINIA. Here's the up-to-date story

Sch VIRIGINIA news from the Virginia Pilot

Schooner VA halts operations

Unfortunately, the saga of the Virginia will probably not end well. In an economy where people are still losing their livelihoods and homes, her situation is by comparison, inconsequential. Yes, Bluenose II got over $12M for restoration - but you're talking about repairs with a final decimal. It costs Virginia at least $800K- $1M to *operate* annually, exclusive of any potentially large repairs. You're right, she's only 6 years old and fallen by the wayside, but that is bound to happen when you concentrate on getting something built without creating the equally important financial plan to keep it "afloat".

The perfect example in this endeavor is the the creation of the schooner Sultana: the process started in 1997 with planning for not only the construction, but also the funding that would keep her operational. Sultana finally launched in March 2001 and has been solvent ever since. When anybody even whispers that they're thinking about building a vessel on that grand a scale, (I) tell them to contact Drew McMullen.

January 2011 update

The latest from the Virginia. The comments from the local population are not, in my opinion encouraging. It seems that she needs a good PR person driving the show. While partnering with Nauticus is probably good for the short term, the entire tourist portion of Norfolk seems to be in trouble.

Jim and Sandy Davis
S/V Isa Lei

Newspaper editorial on schooner VIRGINIA

Here is a January 19, 2011 opinion piece on VIRGINIA. Note the public comments.
Virginia Pilot Editorial


Poor old BLUENOSE II. She wore out from overuse. So here’s what they’re doing about it in Lunenburg. BLUENOSE II Restoration

And VIRGINIA. She’s getting worn out at a much faster rate from underuse. Seems like only yesterday we were amongst the schooners Lane Briggs had lined up at her keel laying ceremony. Too bad. There’s no shortage of kids in Virgina who would benefit from time spent on a schooner.

Thanks to Jim Davis for spotting the webcam link!

Al Bezanson

Bluenose II

Al and Jim - Many thanks, would not want to miss the rebuild off this legendary schooner. I understand her charter will allow her to race and not just be a bystander like II. Can anyone affirm that information?

B2 Racing

Sorry, Peter, but not so. In spite of appearances this is a REBUILD not a new vessel ;-) so as far as I can tell the old rules will hold.
Alex Rhinelander
Schooner COMET II

To Bad

Too bad- a return of the International Schooner race would have been fun. I heard the project had caused some ruffled feathers when they chipped most of the old boat. Is that also untrue?