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!
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!
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
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.
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
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 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.
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
Gage, one of BMC’s current Project VOYAGE apprentices, completed multiple projects in the past few months. Thanks to funding from the Erie Community Foundation, Gage and other Project VOYAGE apprentices are learning valuable job skills through one-on-one, long-term mentoring with accomplished professionals. Gage is working with Christopher Laird, a retired FMC mechanical engineer who is also an accomplished boatbuilder and carpenter. With Chris’ assistance, Gage built a shelf for his sister and a wine rack for his mother. Gage has learned construction drafting, the milling process, and how to professionally finish his projects. Chris said that Gage “is motivated to
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.
Project SAIL apprentices rowed again today. First there was some dry-land training to learn the commands needed to manage the skiff. Some of these apprentices are refugees and new Americans and they are learning English at the same time! Most of the apprentices have NEVER been in a boat before, and this is a boat they helped to build – BMC’s first St. Ayles Skiff, Mighty Oak.