Power Pelican Part 1

By Rich Green - McMinnville, Oregon - USA

Part One - Part Two

I've been a sailor for most of the last forty years. I love sailing. There is simply nothing like the feeling when the wind catches the sail and you begin to move. Oh my. It's wonderful. As a result, I've owned several boats consistently over my time from my first boat at age 22. Those boats include my first eight foot sailing dinghy to a thirty two foot LOD cutter rig and several boats in between. During most of my life I had the good sense to moor a boat with a cabin that could be lived on if needed and in fact did live on one boat for nearly four years. What a great life that is!! The simple fact is that I've been a fair ne'er-do-well in my time and might be homeless at any moment. I found early on that it's so much better to be a yachtsman than homeless... though the line between the two cuts pretty fine.

Every boat I've ever owned I have, by virtue of my predilection toward do-it-yourself'ing, refurbished, rebuilt, built from scratch or bare hull, or just worked on constantly to "improve" said boat to my vision of how it oughta be. I've rerigged, redesigned, and remodeled until somewhere along the line I got tired of it and I got, well, older... and then I got.... gimpier than I thought I would get. Suddenly pulling strings and doing the dance on deck that a well sailed boat requires became more than my various health issues wanted me to do. I tried moving down to smaller boats and filled my driveway with trailer boats, much to the consternation of my wife. Alas, down sizing was to no avail as I struggled not to capitulate to my body and mind telling me I ought to try something different, ought to give up what I have loved in order to preserve my well being. But I love sailing speeds, cruising from town to town, anchorage to anchorage at six or eight miles per hour, being a gentleman of the waters. Hard to give it up. Thus was formed my idea to convert a sailing hull to power status. There would be sailing speeds, economy of operation, easy handling, and cabin comforts to soothe my tired bones.

The Power Pelican project started nearly twenty years ago when I obtained plans and was going to build a Great Pelican sailboat designed by William Short and purchased the requisite sheets of eight foot and sixteen foot marine ply for the hull. I liked the sailing qualities, the simplicity and the space. This was my first attempt at real trailer sailing but it was sidelined by an O'day 28 which caught my eye as a good buy followed by a Freedom 25. The marine ply was stored along the lee side of the house and worked around and moved around as needed. But it remained what I refer to as leftovers, not a 'fridge full but a shop and grounds full. Finally ready to use those up and with no interest now in building a temporary building in the driveway to house the project, nor interest even in building this boat, I came upon both motivation to get it built, fiscal resources, and a builder who specializes in Pelicans of various sizes at around the same time. I took my vision to Jeff at Platypus Boats now in Goshen, Oregon. He drew up a print, we came to agreement in a contract, and my LAST boat is now underway.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves but this boat will be powered by an under ten horsepower outboard in a small well. It will be large cabin, small cockpit, wheel steering, remote controls by the helm, two long bunks, small galley, internal storage, a large fore hatch from which to do the foredeck work, everything I could think of within easy reach without ever going out of the cockpit or onto the side decks or foredeck, it says here in the book.... as my old friend Verl was so fond of saying. Because of the nature of this first time project of a Pelican as a power cruiser, Jeff has been doing a mockup of one side of the boat from which we have tweaked this distance, straightened that line, shortened this cabinet and lengthened that one. At this time that's where the project is, hull done, interior and deck under consideration and construction, in short, on the way.



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