First Name: William James
Last Name: Roue
Sport: Naval Architecture
Inductee Type: Builder
Year Inducted: 2004
Home Town: Dartmouth
County: Halifax County

Naval architect William James Roue, designer of the legendary schooner Bluenose, had a lifelong passion for yachting. A world leader in the design of cruising and racing yachts, Roue also created plans for more than 100 commercial vessels from ferries to barges. He was born in 1879, the son of James Roue, one of Canada”s earliest makers of ginger ale. However, from the age of four, William loved sailing craft. By the time he was 16, he was an avid member of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and studying naval architecture. In 1920, after years of friendly rivalry between American and Canadian fishing schooners, the Halifax Herald established a formal race series for the International Fishermen”s Trophy. That year, elimination races in both countries selected contenders. The schooner Esperanto of Gloucester, Massachusetts defeated the Delawana of Lunenburg. Dismayed Nova Scotians hired young Halifax marine architect Roue to design a ship to challenge for the trophy. The schooner Bluenose was built and launched in Lunenburg on March 26, 1921. That October, after a season fishing on the Grand Banks, Bluenose defeated Gloucester”s Elsie and brought the trophy home. In an 18-year racing career, Bluenose did not give up the Trophy. The American schooners Henry Ford, Columbia, and Gertrude L Thebaud, as well as a number of Canadian vessels built in an effort to surpass Bluenose’s remarkable sailing abilities- were all defeated. Best known as the designer of the original Bluenose, Roue’s yachts, and schooners are well known in all North American waters. He died in Halifax in 1970.


• Designed Famous Fishing/Racing Schooner, Bluenose
• Joined the Royal NS Yacht Squadron
• Took Course in Mechanical Drafting
• Joined Family Soda Water Business 1903
• Began Career Naval Architect 1907, Yacht Babette
• WWII Designed Sectional Landing Barge for UK
• Designed Bluenose II
• His Vessels Won Numerous Local and Int’l Races