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Ales for Sails 2016 is SOLD OUT!

We’d like to thank our supporters for another sell-out event – four years in a row!!

Genuine Sanctuary Moment

Bayfront Alternative Education Program (BAEP) students experienced  a genuine Sanctuary Moment yesterday. Students returning to their home schools expressed sincere gratitude for the program and our talented and dedicated staff members. The day started off highly emotional-Smiles and tears from students who initially came to the program displaying tough exteriors, minimal hope, anger, pain, no trust for adults, and closed to communicating their feelings, needs, and aspirations. Today, they reminded us why we do what we do! To hear them say, “Thanks for putting up with us, keeping it real with us, not giving up on us” made me proud


You know you want one, and you can get them on Eventbrite when you buy your tickets to this soon to be sold-out event. See the Schooner?

Under 60 Hours Left in Porcupine’s Kickstarter Campaign

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

Mentoring in Action

  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

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.

1813 Schooner Porcupine

A new Erie Times New’s article updating the construction progress on Erie’s historic 1813 Schooner Porcupine.

Porcupine is “Keel-ing” it, so May the Swarf be with You

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

The “Light” and the Heavy

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

Bigger, Stronger, Porcupine-ier

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 Begins 14th SEASON of Adaptive Sailing

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

New from the Inside Out

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

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

BAEP Students Make Mother’s Day Gifts using Computer-Aided Design and CNC

Our BAEP students made some beautiful Mother’s Day gifts!

BMC Volunteer Featured in Erie Yacht Club’s Log

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 in Lone Star Waters

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!

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!

Visit our Events Page to learn more about what's coming up at BMC!

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