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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!

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.    

Spring Session of Project SAIL Underway

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!

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

BMC Purchases Cutting Edge SawStop Equipment

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:

Porcu-pining for Spring

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

BMC Through the Years Collage

Through the Years: Building a canoe under the watchful eye of Buzz 1998; A new garboard for the Friendship Sloop Momentum 1999; Looking up; Early EASE Program, the first and still the only adaptive sailing program in Pennsylvania 2000; A boatload of sailors aboard Taco the Town 2001; Young Helmsman, timeless.  

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.

Join us for the Gunboat Gathering on March 27th

The Bayfront Maritime Center invites the public to “Break the Ice” on Friday, March 27th from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.  

Renewing History, With Slightly New Quills

Hello fans of BMC and the Porcupine Project, Each step of the Porcupine Project draws the plan closer to actuality by some measure, large or small. As one of these steps, the recently received accommodation plan is more of a bound forward. It represents the convergence of physical space and philosophical plan into a tangible form. And it confirms that our donated hull and our envisioned programming will join almost seamlessly into the Schoolship for Presque Isle Bay we’re striving to create. No official historic document exists detailing how the original Porcupine was laid out. While that gave Team Porcupine no clear starting point, it’s allowed us

Catch Our Drift; Join the BMC Mailing List

Sign up for our mailing list to receive the latest news about BMC’s hands-on programming, updates on events like Ales for Sails and the Cardboard Boat Regatta, and follow the Porcupine Project’s progress. Click here to sign up:

Shipwrights Mock-up Porcupine

Bob Arlet and and David Bierig mock up the transom and bow shapes of the Schooner Porcupine, while Nick Rinn works with Project Voyage apprentices.

Throwback Thursday Photos

A Throwback Thursday Album, because there are too many wonderful moments here for one photograph to capture.

Accommodating Images

Hello fans of BMC and the Porcupine Project, Porcupine’s path from concept to sailing will be paved with drawings from our Naval Architect, Iver Franzen. Each one is meticulously crafted and necessary to both evoke the vessel’s 19th century namesake and obtain United States Coast Guard certification. The first of these, the Lines Drawing, is complete and in our hands. Historically called the draught (pronounced “draft”), this technical extravaganza compresses all the information necessary for shaping the hull into a single page. It can be a dense and dizzying document to the unaccustomed. In contrast, the next set is arguably the most accessible and fascinating for

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.

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

Family at BMC: Former Project SAIL Apprentice Brings Cousin to Program

Ciza (L) a sucessful Project SAIL apprentice, graduated from high school and is working in Erie. He brought his cousin, Stephan (R), for his first day of Project SAIL today.  

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

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