Hello Fans of Porcupine and BMC, At roughly 42 by 15 feet, Porcupine inhabits a rather large section of both the BMC boatshop and our current organizational focus. She is by no means, however, the only vessel our students and staff are working on. In fact, BMC’s 92nd boat — our second St. Ayles Skiff — will launch this afternoon. Students from the Bayfront Alternative Education Program, apprentices from Project Sail and Project Voyage, and BMC volunteers all contributed to the skiff’s construction under the watchful instruction of our aptly named boatbuilder, Jodi Carpenter. Their labors will come to fruition as the
Porcupine Hiatus For two weeks, I briefly hung up my quills to serve as Chief Mate aboard the Barque Elissa. Launched in 1877, this 205 foot iron-hulled ship sails out of Galveston as the official Tall Ship of Texas, but only for two weeks a year. The remaining 50 weeks, she’s alongside as an exhibit of the Texas Seaport Museum, tended to by a Boatswain and an extensive volunteer core who are trained as her sailing crew. To fulfill Coast Guard requirements and manage ship and crew, Elissa’s sailing officers are selected from around the fleet based on three criteria—license of the
Wing & Wing, the official newsletter of the American Schooner Association included a story about BMC’s Porcupine Project in their Spring edition.
Here at the Porcupine Project, things are getting heavy. Or rather the latest drawing from Naval Architect Iver Franzen is of the heaviest part of Porcupine—the ballast keel. The hull came with some six-thousand pounds of internal lead in the bilges, but Porcupine will require about twice that much to safely ply Presque Isle Bay as a Schoolship. To maximize the effectiveness of this additional ballast, we’re applying a bit of STEM and putting it outside the hull. The idea of external ballast is well established—from classic yachts to modern racers, iron and lead keels have become the norm for over a
Maritime Educator and Project SAIL Instructor
Jodi Carpenter joined the BMC staff in 2012 as a Maritime Educator. Jodi runs the boat shop and directs the boat building programming for the Bayfront Alternative Education Program (BAEP) and Project SAIL after-school program. She has lead over 200 students in the construction of two St. Ayles Skiffs during the past three years. She also coordinates the Community Rowing Program, mentors a Project VOYAGE apprentice in carpentry, and won the "Fastest Time" award during BMC's Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta last year. Jodi is a positive, highly-skilled role-model for our female students to emulate. The door for women in the maritime industry is opening in many areas including the Coast Guard, where incoming classes have the highest amount of women of any military branch. Jodi was recently interviewed on the Plural of You podcast, which highlights leaders who have chosen to help individuals in unique ways. Jodi is a key member of the BMC team, and we're thankful for all her hard work.