SF Bay Pelican
by Jerry Church
Sailing my Pelican
I think you may want to look at the San Francisco
Pelican. I acquired a fixer-upper example of this versatile
craft early this year as my first boat and my family and I are
really enjoying it. There is a family of boats, 12', 16', and
18' respectively. Mine is a 12. On Father's Day this year my
4 kids and I "broke 'er in" on a small local lake.
There is enough room for us all on board, for a while.
this photo was taken at
Spring Lake in Santa Rosa, California a week after Father's
Day, 2004 (we forgot to use the camera on Father's Day).
There are five of us in there, the 7-year-old is behind
me (in the stern)
(click images to enlarge)
Santa Rosa Sailing Club holds a sail-in-only campout
/ regatta on Tomales Bay every Labor Day weekend up here in
Northern California. About a dozen Pelicans show up for this.
Club members tell me they are amazed at how much gear the Pelicaners
haul into the campsite. It all has to come by boat, there is
no vehicle access.
|This one was taken a few minutes
later, with everyone aboard. The biggest is Brandon, then
Ryan, Gwendolyn, and Dylan is the little guy.
I've sailed my Pelican with 2 Dads, 2 12-year-olds
and 2 70 pound dogs with no trouble. One of the dogs tried to
save her tennis ball from the lake, and we didn't take on any
The Pelican's pram-type hull form has been described
as having a Chinese sampan bow with Banks dory flared hull.
It is 12' long and 6'2" wide at the rails. The mainsail
is a standing lug with a small jib on a removable bowsprit.
It weighs about 400 pounds on the trailer. It is constructed
from 3/8" plywood. Mine was built in 1966 and had been
neglected so it is now sheathed in fiberglass.
||the dry sail. This is when
I tried to figure out how to rig everything. I got some
of it about right
The Pelican is not a fast boat. It is quite seaworthy,
originally designed to be sailed during the summer on San Francisco
Bay. Afternoon winds reach 20 knots or more on a daily basis
there. We've never gotten wet in this boat, but we've never
been out in real waves, either. The SR Club president remarked
just last night that the Pelicaners always stay dry on Tomales
A search for "San Francisco Pelican"
will turn up lots of information on-line.
Just my own partial opinion, hope it helps.
Rebuilding my Pelican
|Before the reconstruction began
||This deck needs help
|Steamed and clamped gunwale - new side decks on the coaming
||During the reconstruction
|After photo with crew