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Excuse me for I know I am sinning.
When I see photos of SF Pelicans under way, the bow is just plowing up water, the stern is creating so much turblance & suction it looks like the boat could not possabily move forward.
Now belive me, I want to build a Pelican, I have the plans in hand.
But I read the notes etc. and they talk about shifting forward or aft. My mind says No, Abort! Abort!
Has anyone ever extended the bow and stern rocker 12"ea. to reduce the drag. So she slipps cleanly through the water.
Sitting at rest, empty the hull looks fine, bow and stern are out of the water a bit. Looks good. Looks right.
Check out the Pacific Pelican = 14' (I think)
If I were to change the 12' Pelican at all, that is probably the way to go. However I have only seen one of the Pacific's. It looked very heavy, which would counteract all you are trying to do. If you built a Pacific with a taller mast, shorter yard, higher aspect jib (or none at all and substitute a mizen) you might have a faster, more weatherly boat, but it would be one of a kind, not eligible to sail with Pelicans, or any other class, so you won't know how it actually stacks up, or how your helmsmanship is, compared to others.
If you lounge thwartships, perched on the thwart, rather than sprawling in the stern, getting in the way of the tiller, the stern transom will be out of the water and your boat will be sailing on its designed lines and move through the water very quietly. I tell beginners to sail as though the drain plugs were not installed. (Actually you could just leave them but water comes in when you move aft.
Also, keep the boat as flat in the water as possible except in very ligth winds when a few degrees of heel will reduce wetted surface. Anyhow, if you keep the water flowing smoothly off the stern it does not seem to matter if the bow transom plows a bit. We learned that with the El Toros. Of course, if you are crashing into head seas, or a motor boat crosses your bow, you will be slowed, probably stopped dead in the water.
The 12' San Francisco Pelican is a fine boat. Serves its purpose well as a picnic boat, a camp cruiser, and a challenging tactical racer when competing with boats of a similar waterline length and displacement. You must balance the boat by sitting amidships. That goes for almost any boat. Gather a mob in the stern of a 6-Meter and it won;t compete with a similar boat sailing on its designed lines.
Design a longer, narrower, flat bottomed pram and you will probably have a good boat but it won't be a Pelican.
For everyone out there who wants a small boat with lots of speed, forget the Pelican, buy, beg, borrow, or build an International 14. Only 2 feet longer, and speeeeed. However, you won't be able to take your grandmother for a quiet picnic on the water, and you probably won't be able to transport all your family and their camping gear for a weeks cruise.
Thanks Jean for your insightful comments!
One thing I have noticed -- on the matter of small boats moving at ‘speed’ -- whether sail, paddle or row boats is: The fastest boats seem to leave a trail of air bubbles just after a small rise of water moving away from the transom. Now certain boats of clinker design, where the laps go under the boat to the keel show this phenomenon easily. I have witnessed those Pelicans that sail with their weights amidships, placing the bow down -- immersing the false stem -- generating these air bubbles which slip under the bottom of the boat releasing the suck or ‘sticktion’ of the water. Now I'm not speaking to what designer Phil Bolger calls chine vortexes which slow down all hard chine boats, especially when a boat of this type is heeled too far. As Jean says, the trick is to keep the bow down and the Pelican as flat as possible, to achieve and maintain hull speed.
On the matter of the Pacific Pelican the stats in the SBF library file show: LOA 14’ 7”, Bottom Length 13’ 1”, Beam 6’ 7”, Weight (w/ ¼ “ Decks & Sides) 540 Lbs., Total Sail Area 145 Sq. Ft., Freeboard (above WL) 24". These were built by the Bay Boat Co. in E. Palo Alto CA by a fellow named Joe Peeso -- late 70’s, early 80’s(?).
We received an e-mail from Jean, the editor of The Pelican Pouch. For more on the Pelican Dinghy use your browser: firstname.lastname@example.org
"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)"
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