Fans of BMC and Gunboat Schooner Porcupine, Porcupine’s Kickstarter campaign is offering some one of a kind rewards, and there’s only 60 hours left for you to back our campaign and claim one of them as your own! We’ve got great stuff, like authentic plans created by naval architect Iver Franzen and signed by the whole team, T-shirts with a special limited edition logo, chances to pre-book daysails and charters for Porcupine’s inaugural sailing season, and jars of golden swarf. The campaign is riding a cresting wave of success as it shapes up to make port on Friday evening. We started with high hopes and lots
Thank you to Project VOYAGE mentor, Anne Sinopoli, for her fine work. Anne is a 2012 Graduate of Clarkson University where she majored in Mechanical Engineering. Her job at GE brought her to Erie where she began to volunteer for BMC, first at our fundraisers, and then joined the Board of Directors in 2014. Anne’s enthusiasm is contagious! When she learned of a Project VOYAGE student who was interested in a STEM related field, she jumped at the chance to assist Ghana in pursuing her career path. Thanks to The Erie Community Foundation for funding Project VOYAGE. In
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.
A cubic foot of solid steel weighs 490 pounds. The same volume of lead tips the scales at 707. Depleted uranium? Eleven eighty-six. Roofing pitch? Sixty. The fabulous void filling “ballast steel” we discovered? Three thirty. We know all this at Team Porcupine because all these things are sealed in the now completed and installed ballast keel. Why all these different things, you ask? Because the keel was a puzzle, and each of these materials was a piece. Ok, not the depleted uranium, but I wanted to make sure you were paying attention. With a calculated weight based on every
Right now, you can see daylight through the bottom of Porcupine’s fiberglass keel in 14 different places. In some spots, you can see right up through the deck hatches. Normally, this is nothing to celebrate in a vessel of any sort. But in an out of the box project like ours, it marks a clear sign of progress for Team Porcupine, because these holes, all 1-1/4”, clear the way for attaching the ballast keel. The entire process of transforming our Bruce Roberts Spray 40 into Porcupine will be a series of puzzles. As our first one, the keel has proved tricky. Attaching a
Dust is flying, glue is flowing and big, heavy pieces of Porcupine are arriving by truck, ready to be assembled and installed. In the past few weeks, we’ve transferred Porcupine’s hull from the cradle she’d been in for the past 20 years or more and on to blocking and jack stands. This allowed us better access to the underside of her keel. With room to work and move under the hull, we created a plywood pattern for the top and bottom plates of the steel ballast keel. Since I first wrote about the ballast keel, there’s been a fair bit of head-scratching about
EASE began its 14th season of adaptive sailing on Friday June 20th! BMC started adaptive sailing in 2000, and the EASE program became established in 2001. This is the first and still the only adaptive sailing program in Pennsylvania. It serves the entire tri-state region. THANK YOU to the more than 20 dedicated EASE volunteers who organize, schedule, staff, and sail all day with the sailors, while parents, grandparents,siblings, and caregivers share in their experience while aboard the escort vessel, EASE-Y SPIRIT. EASE began with fundraising help from the Junior League of Erie to purchase two Access
One step forward in the Porcupine process required a step backwards. When we received the donated hull from the Palmertons, the interior they’d decided on was already partially installed. They’d obviously been working from forward—the “V-berth” was home to a guest cabin tricked out with excellent storage and varnished trim, all it wanted was a mattress to be move-in ready. Working aft, a convertible settee/bunk and a library complete with risers for chairs were close to completion. Behind them, the galley and the forward head and shower were roughed in and taking shape. However, since Porcupine will require roughly quadruple
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
The Erie Yacht Club‘s Log recently had a feature article on Christopher Laird, one of BMC’s dedicated volunteers and a inveterate sailor. Chris is a mentor for our Project SAIL and Project VOYAGE apprentices, assists with our events and boat projects, and participates in our Community Rowing Program. Chris also volunteers as an ESL tutor at the Multicultural Community Resource Center. Way to go, Chris!
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
THANK YOU to Gannon University‘s Chemistry Department and Environmental Science Club for doing their 2015 Day of Caring service at BMC. The volunteers did maintenance work on our gravel driveway and picked up trash around our waterfront campus. BMC loves its volunteers!
The spring session of Project SAIL started this week and we have another crew of motivated high-school students who are engaged and preparing for their futures. Apprentices are learning essential skills for succeeding in their education and careers, and becoming self-confident leaders for their peers and community. Way to go, apprentices!
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
Thanks to the generous support of Erie Insurance, BMC staff and students are assembling a new SawStop table saw. Table saws cause tens of thousands of serious injuries every year. In fact, there is a table saw accident in the United States every 9 minutes, and 10 amputations every single day. SawStop minimizes these injuries by stopping the blade within 5 milliseconds of contact, ten times faster than your reflexes can respond to danger. Learn more: http://www.sawstop.com/why-sawstop/benefits
While it was technically the first week of spring, the weather for last Friday’s “Gunboat Gathering” carried the bite of a wet winter wind across the largely ice-shelled waters of Presque Isle Bay. But inside BMC’s Boatshop, Porcupine’s first true public event was plenty warm and cozy with a sense of camaraderie. While we formally announced the Porcupine Project at our annual Ales for Sails event in February, Porcupine had to share the spot light with seven excellent local craft brewers. This time our Schoolship was center stage. Headlined by the formal presentation of a generous anchor grant from Erie