The Pelican sailing dinghy is the premier training dinghy for junior sailors in Western Australia. Developed over 40 years ago it is still the best two-man dinghy for young sailors to commence their sail training.
The Pelican is 2.9 metres in length, constructed of either wood or fibreglass, with either aluminium or wooden spars. The gaff-rig sail configuration, combining mainsail and spinnaker, gives young sailors a boat that is easy to handle, whilst at the same time teaching the fundamentals of sailing.
Who sails Pelicans?
The Pelican can be sailed by boys and girls from 8 to 16 although the latter age group may be restricted by physical size rather than age. Girls are at no strength disadvantage in a Pelican and compete very successfully with the boys.
A possible crew can be found from school friends and younger siblings. Its also a good idea to talk to the coaches, officials or volunteers at your sailing club. Factors to consider when trying to find a suitable crew are:
It can be a time consuming sport, so the crew should be as dedicated to sailing as the helmsperson, particularly as they become more proficient and start competing in regular races at your club and in regattas at other clubs.
Sailing successfully as a team requires compatibility between skipper and crew - sometimes siblings don't prove too compatible!
Siblings sailing together also makes a lot of sense for parents from an organising and logistical point of view.
Age, weight and size should always be taken into account when looking for a crew. A large, heavy forward-hand is going to find the bow of a Pelican a pretty cramped space and may cause the Pelican to not perform at its optimum level. Also a heavy combination is unlikely to have a very long career in Pelicans.
Maintenance, Repairs & Fittings
Louie Suriano at Boating Hardware has a complete range of fittings, ropes, etc, in addition to new hulls and complete boats for sale. Louie will also undertake repairs and maintenance. Boating Hardware are a major sponsor at PSA events. There are a number of other suppliers; consult the Yellow Pages.
Sails, Tuning & Trimming
Paul Eldrid at One Sails designs and manufactures a variety of sails for the Pelican. One Sails are a major sponsor at PSA events.