BMC's Porcupine Project Launches Kickstarter

Category:  Community
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 at 2:03 PM
BMC's Porcupine Project Launches Kickstarter by Guest Author
Contributed photo

The Bayfront Maritime Center (BMC) will host a Kickstarter Launch Party on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 from 6-8pm in the BMC boatshop at 40 Holland Street, featuring tours of Porcupine and BMC's incredible Boatshop, music by Zack Orr, ​and refreshments. It's free and open to the public. BMC’s Kickstarter campaign will begin earlier in the day and is designed to help continue creating a representation of the historically significant gunboat schooner Porcupine, which will serve as the Schoolship for Presque Isle Bay.

The donation of a 40’ fiberglass hull from a couple in Ohio inspired the beginnings of the Porcupine project. The original Porcupine was one of the gunboat schooner ships under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. Daniel Dobbins and Ebenezer Crosby built the original ship in Erie, and the BMC is bringing the ship back to life.

To finish building the ship, Team Porcupine is using Kickstarter, a secure crowdfunding site that helps anyone raise money to support to their ideas. The project's Kickstarter link is

Porcupine will be a sustainable asset to the BMC and a new attraction to Erie’s Bayfront. The project is nearly halfway to its fundraising goal of $250,000, and the Kickstarter Campaign will help get Porcupine closer to launching and sailing. The goal of the campaign is the creation of a new, historically evocative deck - the next big step in Porcupine’s transformation.

“With Kickstarter, BMC is creating a new avenue for people who want to support, or become ‘backers’ of Porcupine," says Jamie Trost, Porcupine Project Manager and Captain. "It’s an exciting platform for getting involved with our project: Whether you’re here in Erie, or across the globe, your pledge is greatly appreciated, and includes one of our spectacular rewards.”

Once finished, the Schoolship will serve many duties. BMC plans to use the Porcupine as a historical and scientific regional attraction. The vessel will serve as a STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – classroom. Additionally, the Porcupine will serve as an alternative form of education for local youth who struggle in traditional learning environments. It will give students access to a variety of essential skills that they would not have received otherwise. These students will benefit greatly from the well-rounded history, STEM, ecology, and sailing programs that Porcupine will offer.

The BMC began operations in May 1998. It is a not-for-profit, community based organization providing engaging hands-on, maritime themed, educational, vocational, and recreational opportunities to the community.

Please contact Jamie Trost, Porcupine Project Manager, for more information: (814) 456-4077, cell: (814) 746-1394, or email:

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