SAILING | BOAT-BUILDING | ADVENTURE 

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All Schooner and No Skiff Would Make Things Dull at BMC

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 sleek, double-ended hull of Blue Pike floats center stage later today.

Boatbuilder Jodi Carpenter standing alongside Blue Pike. In the background, Porcupine, eagerly awaits her launch exactly 11 months from today.

Boatbuilder Jodi Carpenter standing alongside Blue Pike. In the background, Porcupine, eagerly awaits her launch exactly 11 months from today.

Created in 2009 to replicate the Scottish Fair Isle Skiff, over 65 St. Ayles Skiffs have been launched worldwide. Once afloat, Blue Pike will join her twin, Mighty Oak, to double the capacity of BMC’s Community Rowing Program. As evidenced by their worldwide popularity, the St. Ayles are nearly perfect for such a public program—lap-straked elegance makes them both eye catching and easy to maintain, high swept sheer lifts both bow and stern over choppy seas, four cross-banked rowers and a coxswain sit in beamy comfort, but can make the hull seem to fly.

Did I mention they’re sleek?

Jodi Carpenter and students rowing BMC's first St. Ayles skiff

Jodi Carpenter and students rowing BMC’s first St. Ayles skiff

The 1904 Manual for Seamanship for Boys and Seamen of the Royal Navy claims “a ship is known by her boats,” and those boats “carry the credit of your ship.” Perhaps it is the credit of not just your ship, but your whole institution, that goes with the boats. If so, we at BMC can be quite proud—gorgeous and seaworthy to behold, these twin skiffs were built by many hands, with much sweat and teamwork. This summer, those diverse hands will toil together at the sweeps, and the boats will respond merrily, carrying our credit across Presque Isle Bay.

All best,

Jamie Trost, Team Porcupine, and the BMC Staff

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