COMMUNITY BOATBUILDING PROJECTS
The USS Trippe is BMC’s representation of an early 1800’s commercial sailing vessel, which was outfitted to fight in the historic battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. It’s also one of the BMC’s most significant community boat building projects.
The original USS Trippe was built in the fledgling port of Black Rock as a merchant vessel. As the War of 1812 reached the Niagara Frontier, she was bought by the U.S Navy and hastily converted into a warship. The Trippe was the smallest vessel to fight in the Battle of Lake Erie. Our boat began as the personal project of the late Kevin McCarthy and evolved into a full-fledged BMC volunteer-built project. When the boat is launched, she will serve as an operating example of a traditionally rigged Lake Erie sloop.
The Buffalo Wailer is another community boatbuilding project underway at our 90 Arthur St. shop. The Wailer is a newly built example of a historic, locally significant design: the Lake Erie shallop. Prior to the age of motorized boats, shallops like this were the typical commercial fishing boat in Buffalo and Lake Erie. At 20’ long, the Wailer is a shorter, more nimble version of the traditional shallop design.
This project has been undertaken by a capable and dedicated crew of volunteers. When launched, the Wailer will join the BMC’s on-the-water fleet and offer new opportunities for youth and community sailing programs.
The Erie Traveler is a 52-foot replica Durham boat built in 2016-2017 at the Buffalo Maritime Center by a team of 40 volunteers for the Lockport Locks Heritage District.
Based on extensive research, the boat is a replica of those that were in use on the Niagara Frontier when the Erie Canal opened and were quickly repurposed to the canal.
This year, the boat begins its sixth season in Lockport, New York where it is used by the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation to demonstrate the functioning of the restored Erie Canal Flight of Five locks.
BMC’s On-the-Water Fleet
The BMC maintains and operates a fleet of boats based on traditional and locally relevant designs from the age of working sailboats and early motor launches. We believe that sailing traditional craft deepens the understanding of the history and the relationship of Buffalonians and our local waterways.
The Buffalo Maritime Center partners up with the Traditional Small Craft Association (TSCA) to encourage the use of traditional wooden boats and the BMC has a local chapter of the TSCA. In fact, sailing our on-the-water fleet is a TSCA/BMC activity! For more information about TSCA, please contact Roger Allen at email@example.com.
At 28’ long, this example of a Lake Erie shallop has been the flagship of the BMC’s on-the-water fleet for many years. Built in 2007, Scajaquada was one of the BMC’s earliest boat building projects and has since spent many seasons on public display at the Commercial Slip, the Terminus of the Erie Canal. A true working exhibit, the Scajaquada offers the public an opportunity to sail with us on this historic type of boat.
The Scajaquada is currently undergoing a year-long restoration project but is anticipated to be ready for the 2022 summer season.
The White Electra is an example of an early 1900’s electric launch. Boats like this were used to ferry passengers at Buffalo’s 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Our boat was completed by BMC volunteers and is used to offer the public free boat rides and tours of Buffalo’s Inner Harbor.
The O.K. Clark is an example of a “No Man’s Land” type boat, a small boat developed in the Mid-1800’s for use in the Atlantic Ocean on the south side of Cape Cod. Although not a type common to the Great Lakes, the boat is a seaworthy and stable part of our fleet. The O.K. Clark can usually be seen at the Commercial Slip in the summer and is sailed as part of the BMC’s free public sailing program.