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.