Erie, PA — Having reached its original $5000 Kickstarter goal to build the deck on the gunboat schooner Porcupine in 48 hours, the Bayfront Maritime Center announced a “stretch goal” today to try to gain enough backers to complete the bowsprit as well.
The bowsprit stretches out in front of the hull to anchor the rest of the rigging to the hull. The Porcupine’s bowsprit will be a “birdsmouth” spar, meaning the Porcupine crew will use 18th century techniques to construct the bowsprit. The birdsmouth method creates a spar made from eight individual “staves” wood, connected with a joint resembling a bird’s beak. This adds stability and stiffness to the bowsprit.
To reach this goal, the campaign will need to meet or exceed $10,000 by the time the campaign ends on Friday, November 20th. If the campaign meets this goal, each backer (both new and old) will receive an actual cross-sectional piece of Porcupine’s bowsprit. This keepsake – perfect as a holiday ornament – shows the intricate details of the birdsmouth construction method first used by shipbuilders in the 1700’s.
The Porcupine Kickstarter page explains the next step in greater detail at www.kickstarter.com.
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 Bayfront Maritime Center is bringing the ship back to life.
Once finished, the new “schoolship” will serve many duties. The Bayfront Maritime Center plans to use the Porcupine as a historical, scientific and 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.
To finish building the ship, Team Porcupine is using Kickstarter, a secure crowdfunding site that helps anyone raise money to support to their ideas. Kickstarter campaigns offer donors rewards for their contributions. The rewards increase in value and exclusivity with higher donations. Kickstarter is a safe, easy way to donate, and donors are only charged if the project meets its goal. Currently backers have pledged $5654 for a variety of rewards ranging from signed naval architect drawings of the boat to books detailing the history of the ship and its various crews.
“With Kickstarter, the Bayfront Maritime Center is creating a new avenue for people who want to support, or become ‘backers’ of Porcupine. 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.” – Jamie Trost, Porcupine project manager and captain.
The Bayfront Maritime Center 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.
For more information:
Please contact Jamie Trost, Porcupine Project Manager
Phone: (814) 456-4077
Cell: (814) 746-1394