--- Issued August 13, 2015

Our young HACE residents learned how to sail during this summer’s sailing course offered by the Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies under the watchful eye of Richard Eisenberg, executive director of the Center, and volunteer adult mentors.

Sixteen youths from the YMCA Kids Club and the John E. Horan Garden Apartments participated in the sailing program.

One of the boats they sailed was “The Erie Boat,” below, a replica of the 28-foot cat-ketch that made Erie the freshwater fishing capital of the world in the late 1800s.

The Erie Boat was the vehicle that men used to work the pound and trap nets along the Lake Erie shoreline. It was said that the blue pike were so plentiful that, "you could walk from Erie to Canada on their backs." And it was on their backs that Erie's economy was built and the young town's prominence as a significant Great Lake port grew. The plans for the Center’s Erie Boat came from Howard I. Chapelle's, American Small Sailing Craft. Chapelle is recognized as the dean of indigenous watercraft and described the Erie Boat, "as the product of two or three builders at Erie and built nowhere else."

The youths also learned, below,  to build cardboard boats for the August Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta.