American Magic: People in the shed

Published on January 7th, 2021

Brian Porter

A former apprentice at Arey’s Pond Boat Yard and a graduate of The Landing School, Brian Porter is a member of the team that built the AC75 that the American Magic Sailing Team will be using to bring the America’s Cup back home. Interview by WindCheck:

Where did you grow up, and how old were you when you started sailing?
I grew up in Orleans, Massachusetts on Cape Cod and still call it my home. I was about 18 or 19 when I first stepped on a sailboat to go sailing. I hadn’t grown up sailing; I considered myself more of a powerboat person although I really enjoyed working on sailboats.

The first time I ever went sailing was when I had finished a new build for a customer. I was working as an apprentice at Arey’s Pond Boat Yard in South Orleans at the time, building custom catboats. My boss thought it was a good idea to get me out for a sail so I could learn more about how everything worked.

We took the new boat out for a shakedown sail and I remember to this day how cool it felt to be moving along under wind power without the sound of an engine for the first time.

What inspired you to pursue boatbuilding as a career?

I can’t really say any one thing in particular inspired me to become a boatbuilder – I fell in love with the building process. I loved building things from a very young age and I have my father to thank for that. He is a very skilled woodworker and he taught me everything he knew, including having an extreme attention to detail. I took that woodworking knowledge and just applied it to boatbuilding.

While working at Arey’s Pond Boat Yard I said to myself, “This is awesome. I get to build these beautiful boats and I’m getting paid for it.” That’s when I decided to make a career out of it. One of the employees at Arey’s Pond Boat Yard suggested going to a boatbuilding school to really learn the trade, so I enrolled at The Landing School in Arundel, Maine.

In my first year at The Landing School, we built a 30-foot cold molded performance sailboat where I learned about different boatbuilding methods. Learning all the materials and different ways to use them was all part of what I enjoyed. I learned everything about building a boat from start to finish, like setting up building jigs, to planking the boat, fiberglassing, fairing and painting, running wire, and installing the diesel engine and the supporting systems.

Seeing a boat take its shape is something I find very rewarding, and it’s all helped me become a well-rounded boatbuilder for American Magic. – Full report


36th America’s Cup
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:

• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAWN
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA) – WITHDRAWN
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAWN

Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
✔ March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
✔ October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
✔ February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
✔ December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match

Youth America’s Cup Competition (CANCELLED)
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021

AC75 launch dates:
September 6, 2019 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10, 2019 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2, 2019 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4, 2019 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1
October 16, 2020 – American Magic (USA), Boat 2
October 17, 2020 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 2
October 20, 2020 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 2
November 19, 2020 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 2


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