The Dory Shop

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada | (902) 640-3005 |

Stories from the The Dory Shop

The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 1 - Introducing the Amazing… Schooner CALANOVA sailing from Lunenburg…

This exquisite and rare example of the master schooner builders’ art is…

LOD  - 26’ 5 1/2” – we round off down for some reason and call her 26 feet long
LWL - 20’ 10” – yep, just about right
LOA - 31’ – including bowsprit
Beam - 8’ – yep, perfect.
Draft - 3’ 6” – sweet, eh? Deep for sailing but can get anywhere.
Displ. - 7024 lbs. – good to know when lifting she.
Lead Keel - 2300 lbs. – about 1/3rd ballast
Fastenings – Galvanized and bunged, yes, bunged. Makes them last long. All the difference..
Centre line & frames : Oak – like all fast and able fishing schooners
Planking : Pine – and in perfect shape
Spars : Solid spruce - indeed
Standing Rigging : Stainless steel – might switch this out.                                                                                         
Running Rigging: Dacron, new 2014 – and as needed
Sails : Main, Fore, 2 jibs, Fisherman ( all in working order, fisherman like-new )
Engine : 14 h.p. Yanmar, under 42 hrs., stainless shaft, 2 blade bronze prop, stainless fuel tank
Designed & Built by: the under-revered nautical genius Stephen Slaunwhite at Mader’s Cove, Mahone Bay, 1986.

This eye-catching enchantress was commissioned by the Himmelman family. Named for Nova Scotia and California. Having three “A” in the name is excellent good luck. Capt Doug Himmelman was a deep water fisherman, Halifax Pilot and skipper of the famous schooner BLUENOSE II. The design directive was to model and build as deceptively diminutive a schooner that could deserve the name. And thus, it became so.

Calanova is a well-known and much-loved Nova Scotia schooner. She sails so much “faster than she should”. There is not a silver racing trophy anywhere near Lunenburg that does not have her name inscribed thereon! Engage at your peril.

In the final race of the 2013 Nova Scotia Schooner Association’s race week she lost her ballast keel due to corroded keel bolts and flopped over on her side. She was sailing amidst several other schooners, was quickly assisted and towed to the yacht club where she was righted and bailed out. No one was hurt and other damage to the schooner. David Westergard and John Steele, both well known boat builders, took her over and carried out a refit over the winter of 2013-14 to ensure this fine vessel keeps on sailing long into the future. In the spring of 2014, she was relaunched thoroughly overhauled and brought back up to snuff, with a new lead ballast keel, re-fit hull and deckhouse and an engine that had been serviced to include a new alternator, starting motor and wiring. Once again, she was in perfect shape. These gents wanted to save her, and then to get her into the hands of someone who look after her properly and keep her sailing.

While at anchor at Benoa, Bali on one of the Barque Picton Castle’s world voyages , friends visiting aboard at that magical island told me that these two schooner saviors were looking for the next owner and that owner very possibly should be me. One thing led to another, and…


Calanova’s accommodations include a hanging locker, galley with a Lunenburg Foundry wood stove, SS sink, marine toilet and v-berth. Her sails are in good enough shape (fisherman staysail has seldom been used) with like-new sail covers. Calanova is a joy to sail, she can easily be single-handed or comfortably carry 5 or 6 in her spacious cockpit. Now with an excellent cockpit cover to keep the rain out. The main engine purrs like a kitty cat. And she is just the prettiest thing to look at in the water, or, for that matter out the water, with such sweet lines. Could make a grown man cry…

Due to the beneficence of a private research grant tasked in researching the little known but important history significant to our Maritime world. Dedicated researchists have been combing the archives, digging deep, interviewing veterans and have been uncovering little known stories in the life of this legendary Nova Scotian schooner. In the coming weeks and months, we will be releasing some of this rarified history for all to enjoy and marvel at. Watch this space…Daniel D. Moreland Captain of Schooner Calanova.

Schooner Calanova under easy sailing conditions, outward bound for a sail about our ideal cruising waters out of Lunenburg along the south shore of Nova Scotia. Some many coves and islands.