LilBoatThatCould

School | Sponsor:

Kennebunk Alternative Education

Taken from an article in the Portland Press Herald in Dec 2016:

‘“We’re hoping it goes to Ireland,” said Ellis, an 18-year-old student in the Kennebunk High School Alternative Education program. Eillis and his six classmates have teamed up with the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and The Landing School to construct a 5-foot self-steering boat that is powered solely by winds and currents. The boat – named “The Little Boat That Could” – is equipped with sensors and a camera and is capable of sailing thousands of miles. …

Students in the alternative education program take classes for the first couple of hours each day, then spend the rest of the school day in the community working on projects and learning about career opportunities. There are seven students in the program, which launched in 2012 to serve kids who weren’t finding success in traditional classrooms.

The choice of decoration was inspired by vintage suitcases covered with travel stickers. Before they turn over the boat to Educational Passages, the students will fill the hull with Maine-themed items, including a written history of Kennebunk and photos of iconic Maine scenes.’

The boat was launched near Georges Bank by a fishing vessel from the Portland Fish Exchange on Dec 29th, 2016. We were surprised the boat was underway that day with a strong northeaster affecting most of the mainland. Nevertheless, her adventure is underway. Her track can be seen here along with all the other mini-boats deployed this year.

On the last day of school, there was expressions of great joy when an email came in from Scotland:

“Good afternoon
I have attached photographs of a washed up object that has your contact details on it. It washed up in Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula, Western Isles, Scotland at 57° 28.2’N 007° 22.4’W.  HM Coastguard has recovered the unit today and is storing it in a local station pending a response from yourself as the presumed owner. I would be grateful if you could let us know what you wish to do with the unit and, if possible, details of where it was released from and when along with its purpose. Kind Regards, Stornoway Coastguard Operations Centre,HM Coastguard Battery Point Stornoway HS1 2RT United Kingdom, (+44)01851 702013zone35@hmcg.gov.uk “
See photo gallery for more photos in Scotland.
It was actually John and Angelica Dawson who first came across the boat while walking on the beach with their dog and notified Billy Sloan with the local police. After being recovered by the Scottish Coast Guard, the LilBoatThatCould was picked up by Marri Morrison, a primary school teacher from the nearby island of North Uist.
Marri has been involved with the rescue and repair of West,  another  miniboat that landed in Scotland in 2016 but that is another story  documented  here.  Marri is the aunt of Ru Morrison, one the leads of the US Integrated Ocean Observing Systems.  Ru happened to be headed to his homeland for summer vacation and naturally got involved with  the refurbishment of the LilBoatThatCould bringing it a new transmitter and sail.
Stay tuned for the continued story of the LilBoatThatCould!
You can see various press releases by clicking on the following links:
You can follow the twitter accounts at:
@lilboatthtcould
@KCTTrustEd.
There is also more information about those involved at:

Photos


Boat Specifications


has internally recording sensors and camera aboard