by William Short
Big brother of the famous San Francisco one-design, this Pelican is suited for cruising rough waters
The Great Pelican is an enlarged version of the immensely popular one-design, The San Francisco Pelican. She is 16 ft. long with an 8-ft. beam and over 30 in. of freeboard amidships. Built with a cabin for cruising, you’ll often find this little boat out as far as the Golden Gate on a windy day and, as any West Coast sailor will tell you, this is as rough as inland sailing can get. We even heard from one Great Pelican owner who had sailed his modified home-built down the Pacific Coast to San Diego and then, with his wife as crew, crossed to Hawaii. I would never have recommended such a voyage, because I think of the Great Pelican as a weekender for inland or coastal waters, but I am constantly amazed at the voyages the little boat makes, and it is not limited to the West Coast. I had a call recently from an owner who had sailed his Great Pelican from New Brunswick, Canada down to Florida, and a builder in Nova Scotia claims that the boat is ideal for rough coastal waters.