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The Case for Keeping the Pelican Dinghy 'the same'...

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We received an e-mail from Jean, the editor of The Pelican Pouch. For more on the Pelican Dinghy use your browser: pelican-sail@yahoogroups.com

"Guess I have said it before, but why change the Pelican? It is just fine the way it is. A neat little sailing dinghy which is extremely seaworthy and absolutely "people friendly". What other 12' boat can carry 4 adults comfortably and more if necessary? What other boat that can sail with four adults aboard and is small enough to be launched and retrieved without submerging the wheels of the trailer?

The boat can be hauled off overland by four fairly strong people and six not so strong. This proved an advantage when the wind shifted to the west, one day, and increased, sending rollers onto the ramp. We simply beached in a nearby park, got permission to wheel the trailers down near the edge of the sand, and carried the boats across the beach to the trailers.

True, the boat is not fast. But what is the advantage of speed through the water. If you need to get from place to place, put your Pelican on its trailer and drive at 55 mph or more to the new sailing site. If you want to fish, study the local birds, prove your skill by sailing through a crowded anchorage, or up a local river, you can launch from a ramp, from a beach, from a low float, and spend your time at your chosen location, not slogging through days of adverse winds and tides to get there.

Because of the portability and seaworthiness of the Pelican, local
Northwest boats have cruised Barclay Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, lakes and bays of the island, We have sailed among the Copeland Islands, north of Lund BC, Seachelt Inlet, Fern Ridge and the central Oregon lakes. One boat, we know of, has cruised the Columbia from Astoria to Portland; another, parts of the Snake River. We regularly race in lakes and salt water from Bellingham to SeaTac, including Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands, Lake Washington and Lake Whatcom. West to Sequim Bay. We have sailed Lake Ozette in the west, and east to the Potholes, and even into Idaho.

A longer boat makes ferry fares prohibitive.A heavier boat is more
difficult to manhandle ashore. A smaller boat would limit the crew and the creature comforts they like to take along.

We like our Lightning (half again as long, twice as heavy) for sailing in the confused waters of Lake Washington in the summer. It can drive through motor boat chop. It has its own racing venue. But there are inconveniences like stepping a 28' mast, maintaining a trailer that must be completely submerged at every launch and retrieval, painting twice as much boat, maintaining twice as much rigging.

We like our Pelican for all the problems of maintenance that it does not present. We enjoy cruises and day sails, in company with other
Pelicaneers. Most of all, we take delight in the winter racing in
various localles around the Northwest with the "frosting on the cake" of Fleet Championships Day when the top five boats sail a round robin, with each crew sailing each boat. And the next five sailing a similar series. It is fun, and very educational as you sail supposedly identical boats and find that they are so different.

So, lets not stretch the Pelican. (maybe just the stories about it)"

Jean


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  • The Case for Keeping the Pelican Dinghy 'the same'... - ThomV 06:48:40 04/19/04 (0)


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