The Online Magazine For Amateur Boat Builders














Entry #5


drawings - stats - boat - budget - explanation - bio



Beam - 8'
Length - 16'
Freeboard - 30"
Draft, board up - 4"
Draft, board down - 4'
Weight - 480 lbs.
SA - Main - 120 sq. ft.
SA - Jib - 58 sq. ft.



Pelican Design(s)

My entry into the River Cruiser Contest is to use one of Captain William H. Short's Pelican designs with significant internal construction modifications and enhacementsfor the River Cruiser application. The Pelican Family are “unique centreboarders, combining the lines of a Banks fishing dory, with a Sampan bow, shallow draught, flat, surfing bottom, constant flare angle at chine”. With either a traditional Standing Lug rig, or a Junk rig option.

I plan a light weight plywood hull, probabally Stitch & Glue construction, with high quality Fibreglass/Carbon Fibre seams inside and out, to get a modern monocoque construction with some battens and bulkheads for stiffening.

I plan outboard well(s) for Electric Trolling Motor(s), possibly in an ultra modern, AZIPOD Mode; a housing for a “dippy” , disapearing propellor installation, driven by Pedal Power or an electric motor; and a novel Daggerboard/Keel with Roller Blade wheels to aid in Portage mode.

The initial Budget Planning allocated one half (½), $2,500 US to materials,; and one half (½) $2500.US, to consumeables ($1,800.00 for food). Now it looks like the Hull, with used but serviceable hardware from Marine Consignment stores and/or eBAY. as well as begged, borrowed &/or stolen appurtanences will come in at less than $2,500 US: leaving more monies for a more sumptious and varied diet, as well as miscelaneous unforseen cost(s), ie. a bigger contingency fund.

I used Kit and Hull Only prices from a Comercial builder of Pelicans as well as correspondance from/with Members of the Yahoo Group Pelican-Sail to coroborate my hull building estimated cost(s). 

My choice, will be an open cockpit, lightest weight, plywood version, of the Great Pelican: sixteen (16') hull.. If cost of material gets out of hand the fall back is to the smaller Pacific or the San Francisco Bay Pelicans.



Tilt Up- with lanyard control for raising/lowering, from inside the cockpit, at a/the, normal operating position(s).


Replace the centreboard /trunk, (for more functional space in the cockpit), with a unique, dagger board/winged keel, fitted with Roller Blade wheels to facilitate rolling the boat on launch/retrevial ramp as well as on the public thoroughfare(s) in Portage Mode.

In shoal draught (Portage) mode the winged keel will fit into a recessed well leaving only the bottom half of the Roller Blade wheels exposed. The wing is to give a wide footprint for the rollerblade wheels.

Size/Sail Plan(s)

The River Cruiser requirements, for two (2) people, in reasonable comfort, to operate the boat for long ten (10) to twelve (12) hours per day, will require a largeish hull, hence the Great Pelican (16'); with a/the Lug Rig as low cost, auxillary power.The Sails will be begged borrowed or stolen so as not to apply to the overall budget limit(s).

The boat will have a Roller Reefing/Furling Genoa: and I am also considering an Asymetrical Spinnaker, on a retracting, articulated, bowsprit.

Mast and Spars, will be made with, used/damaged/cosmetically challenged, Wind Surfer masts. To keep the cost(s) down. Available in Vancouver for $10 to $15 Cdn.: trim off the damaged portion(s), spray on some paint and away we go.

Standing Rigging will be made with modern, hi-tech, rope, (Spectra/Dyneema, Zylar, Kevlar, Vectran).

Alternate Sail Plan

An alternate Sail Plan would be as a Square Rigged, single masted, Cutter/Sloop. Two (2) Square Sails, Course & Topsail; a Gaff rigged, fore&aft Spanker; as well as the headsail(s) described above.


The Portage Mode will be as follows. Take the boat out at a public Boat Ramp/Marina above theshoals/rapids. The DaggerBoard/Winged Keel will be raised with the hull (upper portion of the recessed well), sitting, balanced, on the top of the Wing.

The Roller Blade wheels protruding below the bottom of the the Boat. The transom mounted rudder will be removed, stowed in the boat: and be replaced with a wheel assembly to give a tricyle landing gear effect for better balance whilst being towed.

The towing vehicle(s) will be “folding bicycle(s)”: purchased used, via a Marine Consignment Store and/or Ebay. Better yet, begged, borrowed, or stolen. Possibly a local Taxi or a Rent-a-Wreck.

Sponsorship(s)?? (Consumeables)

The project will try to find Sponsors to donate “goods and/or services” and/or provide them at cost, so as to keep the Project Costs to a minimum; and meet the Contest Budget constraints/rules. Goods and/or Services that must be counted in the $5000 US Budget will be valued at Cost, Wholesale, or lowest price(s) charged to a “Most Favoured Customer” in the past twelve (12) months preceeding the the Contest/Race.

A significant effort will be made to recruit a national Fast Food Chain that has a varied and healthful Menu. If discounted food is not allowed then the Budget will show two (2) meals a day at Mac Donalds using their Budget Menu. The food budget will be supplemented with extensive fishing; as well as foraging for local fruit(s) and vegatables.

 Retail, non-discounted food estimate/budget: $5.00 per meal, two(2) meals per day, ninety (90) days, equals $900.00 per person, times two (2) persons equals, $1,800.00.



The main down river mode will be muscle/calorie power from, one (1) rower as well as, one (1) sculler. A portion of food, supplied by Sponsor(s), at cost, will be allocated to “Caloric Fuel/Energy”, in the accounting/spread sheets.

*Oars- A pair made up of two(2) or more, sections to facilitate stowage. Light weight and strong to reduce rower's fatigue. Will probabally be, new, custom designed, companions to the Scull and Steel Wrist II.

*Scull(s)- Stern mounted, either a conventional North American scull, (simple oar, Gunning or Bahamian/Carribbean), or a Chinese Yuloh. The Scull(s) to fitted with the newly developed Steel Wrist II that takes the skill function, out of conventional sculling.

Auxillary Power

Auxillary Power will come from various sources all borrowed or otherwise scrounged so as not to apply to the $5000 US budget limit. Basic sail(s) will be borrowed from the the Pelican Fleet(s).

*Alternative Sails- To be acquired at cost/wholesale from Sponsoring Sail Maker(s).

*Oars- A 2nd pair; pair made up of two(2) sections to facilitate stowage.

*Electric Motor(s)- In well(s), with a solar powered, top-up/recharging system to augment shore power recharging,. Components to be begged, borrowed, stolen, or if need be, purchased used, at Marine Consignment stores and/or Ebay. 

A more esoteric Electric Trolling Motor installation would use the Foot Pedal Steering and Speed Controls brought out to a/the normal operating position(s). In a twin, motor/well, installation one would have a modern AZIPOD system now being implemented on the latest Cruise Ships, Tugs and other “work” boats.

*Internal Cumbustion- Outboard Motor(s):

- Four (4) horsepower, Four (4) Cycle: (less environmental impact), mounted on the transom; to be acquired as the electric trollong motor(s) above.

-Alternative motor will be a British Seagull; two (2) cycle; the traditional “character”/standard motor, for the Pelicans. This would also be keeping with the genre of boats featured in DUCKWORKS. We will then be seeking sponsorship as well as oil, at cost/wholesale, from TORCO RACING OILS, to supply us with their, Smokeless/Biodegradable product(s).


I am seriously considering the implementation of a bicycle-pedal power propulsion unit. Mechanical units supplied free/loan from Sponsor/Manufacturer, labour is external to Contest BudgetLimit(s).

I am leaning towards the the layout seen in the Dorycycle design of Philip Thiel, Naval Architecht, Seattle, WA. I am also considering an implementation as seen in boats from Nauticraft.To maintain the designed shoal draught I would implement the drive shaft and propellor in a shallow well, as done in the, “dippy” boats, seen in Eastern Canada, (disappearing propellor).


*Food-High Carb Diet

*Sun-On good days

*Petroleum – Short duration maneuvering and/or emergency(s). If donated/discounted goods and services are allowed then a national Oil Company will be recruited.

Budget: see above

Explanation: see above


Jordan J.Dobrikin

Vancouver BC Canada