SAILING | BOAT-BUILDING | ADVENTURE 

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Schoolship Update

The below decks carpentry on the 1812 Gunboat Schooner Porcupine is mostly complete with all the fixed bunks, bulkheads, head doors, storage cabinet doors and drawers, sole, and ceilings in. The seven tanks are in place – two for water, two for fuel, and three holding tanks including one for grey-water. The rudder is installed. The two layers of plywood sub-deck are cut to fit and ready for permanent installation. The USCG Marine Safety Center inspectors were here recently with the shipwright and naval architect and they like the project, are pleased with the progress, and are very complimentary about

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Schooner Porcupine Happy Hour – 5 to 7 pm July 14!

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Schooner Porcupine, Join us for food and fun at an open house in the BMC boatshop, Thursday the 14th of July from 5 to 7 pm. See the construction progress on Schooner Porcupine. Learn more about the Schoolship for Presque Isle Bay and the other summer programming underway at BMC.

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SCHOONER PORCUPINE Kickstarter Campaign

Porcupine fans, we are underway on Kickstarter! Please check out our campaign, and see all the awesome rewards we are offering to backers!  Click here for a short descriptive 1813 Schooner Porcupine video.

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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

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Porcupine Featured in Wing & Wing Schooner Newsletter

Wing & Wing, the official newsletter of the American Schooner Association included a story about BMC’s Porcupine Project in their Spring edition.    

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A Well-Shod Porcupine

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

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1896 Lake Erie Fisherman

In 1896, Erie was the freshwater fishing capital of the world, (1880-1915). Blue Pike was the main catch; they are now extinct. Perch and whitefish were also caught, as well as sturgeon. I’m not sure what this particular boat was in the 1896 photo. The primary fishing boat in use in in Erie’s fishing heyday was the 29′ Erie Boat. We built a reproduction with school students, 4th grade through 12 grade.

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BAEP Students Boat Shop Work (March 2015)

BAEP students have been building the gunwales and the quadrant for the second St. Ayles Skiff and attaching them to the boat. Each student is also working on a customized wooden box using computer-aided-design software and the ShopBot CNC digital fabrication equipment in BMC’s fully-equipped boat shop.

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Here’s to What “Quill” Be…

Hello fans of BMC and the Porcupine Project, Today I officially join the BMC staff as Project Manager for Porcupine. In the six months since I first heard of and asked to be a part of this great new initiative, we’ve gotten the hull and engine into the shop, started discussions with the Coast Guard, solidified partnerships with local school districts, hashed out some preliminary drawings with our naval architect, officially launched Porcupine’s Campaign at the 3rd Annual “Ales for Sails” event, and received the first $25,000 anchor grant from Erie Insurance! With each step, the unknowns have been filed away

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New Video Highlighting 1813 Schooner Porcupine Project

Help Float Our Boat! Thanks to Dan Henninger and Ed Bernik for the awesome video about the Porcupine Project.

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Schooner Porcupine Center of Gravity Experiment

To determine the center of gravity, both fore and aft and vertically, of the Schooner Porcupine, we convened an accomplished team of friends. These locals included an engineer, shipwrights, boatbuilders, a sailmaker, a rigger, captains, carpenters, and sailors. Using highway scales, tape measures, plumb bobs, jacks, and trigonometry, this was accomplished. The current displacement of the Porcupine was also determined. These values give our naval architect an ‘as built’ starting point for calculations.  

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Second St. Ayles Skiff Nearing Completion

Students will be making and setting floorboards, applying varnish, and building and installing a coxswain seat on the second St. Ayles Skiff. Follow our students’ progress on our student written blog ~http://bmcstaylesskiff.blogspot.com/  

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Taco the Town Hauled Out for the Winter

Taco the Town, flying both hulls today! BMC’s locally built plywood and foam 39′ racing catamaran hauls out in the fall and gets launched in the spring with the generous, expert help of D H Steel. Thank you Ray and Dan!

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St. Ayles Skiff in WoodenBoat Magazine

From WoodenBoat Magazine #241, November-December 2014 – Launchings. We are very proud of our student’s great work.

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Taco the Town Is Back in the Water!

Taco the Town is back in the water! BMC’s 35′ racing catamaran is locally designed and locally built.

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Turning it Over!

On the last day of the school year, the high school students in the Bayfront Alternative Education Program (BAEP) turned over the hull of the second St. Ayles Skiff. “Hull-turning” is a significant moment in the boatbuilding process. These students leveled the strongback, set the keelson, planked the boat, laid the keel and outer stems, and turned the hull over. Over 200 BAEP students, Project SAIL apprentices, and student volunteers have worked on this skiff, which will be used in Erie’s first community rowing program at BMC.

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New Mast on Friendship Sloop Momentum

The Friendship Sloop Momentum sailing today with her new mast! She turns 50 this year.

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Friendship Sloop Momentum’s New Mast In Progress

After three months of hard work by our students and faculty, BMC finished installing a new mast on Friendship Sloop Momentum.  The mast is 37′, Douglass Fir, 16 sided and ready to set sail.

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New Cleats Installed on Momentum Mast

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