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Thread: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

  1. #1

    Default Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    I have the plans for this, and am quite serious about building something of this order in the spring. I would build the 18ft version, and have flush decking and the standard sail configuration.

    However, previous threads on this were somewhat disturbing, particularly the remarks of one experienced poster that this was the only boat ever to have frightened him. I do not care to be frightened, and don't want an unforgiving boat. The account given was that there was no progressive resistance to wind induced heel. As the wind pressure rose, the boat heeled, and showed no sign of stopping.

    Mine will be sailed off the North Norfolk coast in the UK, basically in the North Sea, and in the Wash, as well as inland on the Broads. So I really cannot have a boat that is on a knife edge of knockdown whenever the wind rises.

    As an alternative, I've looked at some Michalak designs. The AF sail model prompted the remark from one builder that he changed it out, because he wanted something he felt safe about taking his wife out in, on a windy day. OK, this is not for me either. Then I look at Jukebox2, which is basically a knockoff of the AS19, and this looks more the part. So this is where I am going at present, towards Jukebox2.

    But what I'd really welcome feedback on is, whether the view of the Pelican is correct. Is it really this hair raising? What about the one that sailed to Hawaii? What about the other feedback that praises it as stable and sea worthy and tolerating high winds and fairly rough water? All these accounts cannot be right. Which is more credible, and why?

    I like the Pelican design greatly, the room, the simplicity, the solidity of the thing. But I do not want to be either flat over in the North Sea, or with heart in mouth in case. I can see that the relatively narrow bottom might lead to tenderness, but I can't understand why the marked flare does not lead to progressive resistance to heeling.

    Look forward to hearing!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    I suspect that the Great Pelican is a much stronger and seaworthy boat than most Michalak designs, particularly those designed for comfortable cruising in protected waters.

    You may want to consider a more homegrown design. It is my understanding that the North Sea has a particular set of wave conditions that has created many of the local boats used for the past 200 years or so -- so why not benefit from other's learning? In particular the pram bow of the GP may not work well, but again I'm just basing my guess on an old statement by a British sailor comparing Dutch pram hulls to British sharp-bow designs, where he said that the pram bow might be stopped cold by waves under some conditions.

    Let's see what the UK contingent has to say....
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    The Great Pelican was not designed for those waters. It was designed for San Francisco bay, which at times can be like a confused seaway when the wind blows down the bay.
    One of my sons wanted my old Pelican, then a year or so later it was destroyed on the highway...I drew a new hull which was more friendly to the Greater Seattle-Vancouver area where he sails. You might have a local designer make some alterations to the hull which will entail adding a slightly higher displacement bottom/ballast/deeper centerboard to the hull. Then I would think, for it's size, it would be a good boat for the area in which you wish to sail.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
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    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Having sailed on the east coast and a bit in your area, I am curious about your choice. Bluff bow transoms don't sound a great idea, especially in small boats. Are your ideas influenced by quick build times? If so, a long micro might be a good bet. Pretty simple for a good result.Or even the normal Micro, proven cruisers. Look at Selway Fisher for more trad. lines, also fast builds. ( But not quite as fast as the square types).
    As for the scared types. There is always one who is unsure of his capabilities rather than the boat's. If several people post worries (Stevenson Weekender) take notice.
    Where you are, good windward ability is a plus as is shallow draft. So a centre boarder might be useful. More important is a cuddy that won't take in water if you overdo it, so you get back up.
    Short answer is we need a bit more info.
    There are much better boats than you are looking at, but they take longer to build. A Cape Cutter 19 is a proper sea boat. But will not be a 'spring build' A Bolger Micro might be. Let us know more.
    A

    A simple hull is only part of the work. The rig and fit out can around 2/3rds of the build.

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Brother Paladin

    could you give a brief description of the nature of the changes you made. Also IIRC the winds in the subject cruising area are extremely variable and the ability to shorten sail of great importance. Would not an eaasily shortened Junk sail be appropriate for this venue?

    BTW glad to see you on here and hope you had a good Christmas time.

    Chase
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    You have a couple designers much closer to home with some very good designs. I'm thinking of Iain Oughtred and Paul Fisher. Iain's boats might be more complex than you're after but Paul has some very simple to build designs you might want to look at http://www.selway-fisher.com/PocketC.htm . Some are even flat bottom although I think you'd be better off with a chine or two.

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Quote Originally Posted by ChaseKenyon View Post
    Brother Paladin

    could you give a brief description of the nature of the changes you made. Also IIRC the winds in the subject cruising area are extremely variable and the ability to shorten sail of great importance. Would not an eaasily shortened Junk sail be appropriate for this venue?

    BTW glad to see you on here and hope you had a good Christmas time.

    Chase
    Chuck has generously sent me the lines for Chelaydra. Its vee bottomed and about a foot longer than GP, with the bow transom higher out of the water. I think it woud be perfect with a junk rig.

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    If you follow the UK advice, you might think about the YM senior, originally designed by Kenneth Gibbs and redesigned for stitch and glue by Selway Fisher. The design is supported by Maurice Griffiths society, so that's pretty local http://www.eventides.org.uk/senior.htm#SENIOR .

    I'd say John Welsford's Pathfinder trumps all.

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Chase...I have printed the plans and the individual frames, the bow is a bit more pointy......will send the full set as soon as I add all the scribblings.....it was designed with the junk rig in mind...I'll send you the junk rig details when I get them finished.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Thank you much brother. Here at Lake Sunapee we have one of the hot spots in the US for international Star boats. The Sunapee Yacht Club holding the International finals a few years ago.

    On the other hand down lefty's area I used to go out in the early evening after work from Clinton with Dad to teach him sail control, and watch all the race boats. On one weekend down there in Old Saybrook we were out further up towards Mystic and watching the standard 27 to 45 ft ratings rule race boats. A nice forty ft something Junk came out with a three mast rig and just ran by them like they were towing sea anchors. When the racers made the mark bouy the junk turned with them and went wing and wing against the racers down wind spinnakers for a while to prove his point to them. That really showed the racers how slow they were.

    So I know a junk rig on the right hull can be exceptionally fast and due to the ease of reefing, the full on low wind sail area can be greater.


    I want to develop the rig and show the Marconi folks my stern. Recent racing designs like the Port Townsed with rotatable controlable aerodynamic gaffs have proven as have the Long Island skimmer ice boats that a modern gaff or sheperd's hook gaff can be the fastest kind of sail on many rigs. It creates a high aspect sail effect with a much lower mast and center of effort than a Marconi rig can. I believe the same methods from these types of performance gaffers could be used with a junk rig to add even more sail shape control to the junk rigs already vast sail shape control. THinking of ways to control the rotation of the top two Gaff/battens is where I am headed at this time

    Chase
    Last edited by ChaseKenyon; 12-28-2009 at 04:38 PM.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    This is what Captain Short said:

    "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."

    "...She stands up easily in gusty winds without any other ballast than her crew on the weather side of the cockpit..."

    An article in Small Boat Journal by an owner speaks of broad reaching in 20mph winds and having a fine time, though with strong weather helm enough to make one need the long tiller. It says that the pram doesn't slap, but simply rides over the waves.

    This however is what Earling2 says, and it sounds like the voice of personal experience.

    "I was all ga-ga over those boats until I owned one. They probably would make a pretty cool gunkholer but here are what I see as the downsides to that boat:
    ..... The boat is pretty well balanced and sails surprisingly well given the shoe-box shape, but contrary to what people seem to believe about them, if you don't have plenty of live ballast with you who knows what they're doing, and aren't asleep at the wheel, then you need to make absolutely sure you reef early. You see pictures of Gt. Pelicans in SF Bay, in a stiff breeze--well rest assured those people are skilled. It will go over, and fairly readily in puffy conditions. Very little reserve stability. The (unbelievably) high freeboard makes it seem all safe and cozy... and it IS a huge comfy cockpit. However, being non-self bailing, if you swamp, you're in a world of inconvenience."

    and a little later in the same thread

    "The Pelican I had did not actually capsize, but it went way way over on its side, and staggered back up in the gusts. (steady around 10, probably 15-20 gusts) I was alone. My body weight was negligible, plus there's no way you can optimally locate your weight. It has such a tremendous amount of freeboard that when it goes over like that, the windward rail pushes your weight to the center of the boat so you're basically like a monkey clinging to a barrel as it rolls underneath you. You find yourself walking on the leeward seat, and then the leeward coaming, rather than being able to heave your weight to the windward rail. There was little-to-no reserve stability in those flared sides--the way a boat that DOES have reserve stability will fetch up at a certain point and refuse to go any further (or round up). The reason is that transom bow and wide aft transom. There's very little curve in the sides compared to a pointy-bowed boat. So as it heels, the boat really isn't rolling any significant midsection into the water, like a "normal" boat, or even a catboat, which loses steerage, becomes asymmetrical, and rounds up. In other words, the transom isn't THAT much wider than the bow. What it's shoving in the water is a fairly straight run of side planking --so the profile of the waterline doesn't generate much extra displacement as it heels. Good for steering, bad for picking up stability as it heels or safely rounding up. Yup--it's a centerboard boat, you can't expect it to act like a keel boat, so I was fooling myself. But having sailed about a zillion boats, I can honestly say that's the only one that ever scared me. The reason I didn't let out the sheet is because I wasn't holding it. There's a strong sheeting effort in that big sail, and I was feathering along in the gusts... not the kind of boat you expect to have to sail like a Laser. So partly my bad. As I said, with enough attention being paid to all these things, the boat's not too bad. But if you're going to sail an unforgiving boat, seems like it might as well be sporty and fast and graceful."

    I've decided on centerboard, so no Micros. Also I really, really don't believe in no-flare sharpies, having sailed a sharpie with flared sides, I think no flare in a flat bottomed boat is simply idiotic. Notice that the Atkins are with me on this one! Selway Fisher, I do like Goshawk which was referred to on the earlier thread, but its a more complicated build.

    The Michalak design's merit is that it can be built as robust as you like, it is ballasted, its not too pronounced a pram, it has considerable rocker, and it does have some flare to the sides. If the AS19 and AS29 are decent designs, I think it should be too I would not have the bow open as he does (or as the Micro does). This is not really about walking out onto the beach without getting the feet wet, not in this climate.

    Both designs are roomy, which is rather important, both are centerboards. Yes, ease and speed of build is rather important, the building accomodation is quite limited.

    I really like the Pelican, and was on the point of just going for it, but came on Earling2's account, and that really gave me pause. It seems like the voice of a real experience by an experienced sailor, and yet both it and the other accounts are hard to reconcile. Well, impossible. Can it really be that people are regularly sailing these things, behaving like this, right out on the SF Bay, as its described (I don't know it personally). Maybe ballast would make some difference? The thing I find hardest to grasp is why the flare would not lead to progressive resistance to heeling. In my sharpie, it definitely does. You do get overpowered, and you do have to let out the sheet, but the flare gives you the margin of safety of time. I am absolutely certain that with slab sides it would be over before you could blink. With the flare, you have time as the rail starts to dip, to let out the sheet. So why is this effect not operating here?

    In terms of ease of building, the three plank single chine sharpie type is obviously quickest since it can be built instant boat style, but going to 5 planks, that is, a narrow flat bottom and two side planks, that is probably doable, and seems to be what Paladin has done in his modification. In fact, maybe you could get a similar effect by building with the original, but adding a metal shoe. Michalak talks about adding lead ballast in one of his articles by having a double layer of ply on the bottom of a design, then bolting billets of lead through it. Manageable, and avoids casting and then handling huge heavy units.

    At the moment, Earling2's comments cary a lot of weight for me. Of course, there is no comparable voice of experience on Jukebox2, it might be even worse!

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Earling2 comments are consistent with Captain Short's. Captain Short said you need the live crew to keep her on her feet and as Earling2 admitted he had no ballast of any kind. He also admitted, if I remember correctly, that he should have reefed earlier. So much of seaworthiness is between the ears of the captain of a boat. I think that a Great Pelican could be handled safely in tough conditions but like others have said there are other designs that have self-righting abilities and with self-bailing cockpits that would be more appropriate for your average North Sea conditions.

    More importantly than the design (IMHO) is the designer. If he or she is dead, they're not going to be able to provide much support for you during your build. If I were you I would go with a Dudley Dix design or one of John Welsford's. Both men have designs for modern boat building methods and have forums and seem to be particularly helpful with individual problems that you will probably have during your build.

    http://www.dixdesign.com/inspir19.htm

    http://www.jwboatdesigns.co.nz/plans/penguin/index.htm
    Last edited by kenjamin; 12-29-2009 at 09:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Those comments and my own experience is what prompted me to do a redesign on the Pelican. My son is a lightweight compared to me, and his lady friend is about 5'4" and a lightweight also. I dropped the flat bottom to a V, dropped the centerboard thru the middle of it making it 9 inches lower than before, and added 300 pounds to the bottom of the boat and almost as much in the centerboard.....it's like having 3 deck apes on the rail.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
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    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    If I were looking for what you are looking for, I too would go no further than the stretch micro. It will feel mighty secure and is said to sail in a very predictable manner. Although with Chuck's modifications to the big Pelican, I wouldn't be surprised if the that boat didn't have a similar feel.


  15. #15

    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    The appeal of the Micro series is understandable, but they have the large defect for the intended use of the fixed keel. CB is essential. The other thing is those box sides. Probably many will differ, some fiercely, but it reminds one a bit of the philosopher Nora Ephron, who remarked that any dish that is good with capers is better without them. Any flat bottomed boat that is good, and has vertical sides, would be better were they flared. Oh well, its my considered opinion, or maybe this is where one man's considered opinion becomes another's prejudice. One could fairly easily flare the sides using the usual computer design packages of course. But the fixed keel remains an obstacle.

    I found the earlier account of paladin's design changes, Chelydra, and they make a lot of sense, as well as apparently being similar in effect on weight distribution to the ones made by the people who sailed to Hawaii - they took out the CB trunk and added a weighted fixed keel. Don't recall the source for that.

    paladin, when you added the flat, did you do it with chine logs (assume this), or did you use stitch and glue to join the panels? Have you posted the offsets anyplace, also? If it comes to doing this, I can redo it as described and get the panel shapes out of the machine, but it might be nice to know one was building something that had been done, and that had been seen to work, earlier!

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    I wouldn't really call them chine logs, but more like chine stringers...they were about 2" x 2" before nothching them in place and almost half was planed away, I felt it easier than drilling holes for stitch and glue. The inside of the chines were beveled and then I laid a couple pieces of glass tape over them on the inside. I haven't published the drawings or numbers as I'm currently finishing the drawings for a couple of forumites. If you want to do it yourself.....
    I continued the lines forward another foot.....drew a line halfway between the centerboard forward log and rear log, down the center of the centerboard case to 9 inches below the existing hull.......I then drew the line as 8 inches wide at that point. Then, dropped the line down the center of the transom to 3 inches below the transom and 1 inch wide, and 2 inches below the center of the forward "transom" about 2 inches below the center and 1 inch wide, then drew a fair curve from the bow to the stern around the centerboard area.
    Then I dropped the entire centerboard case. The frames were made, but I left the frames inside the boat for other reasons....I made the frames out of douglas fir stair tread stock, cut in 3/8ths inch thick pieces, every other piece switched end for end and epoxied back together, same for deck beams. I ran a pair of 2 x 4's the length of the centerboard case on either side to a point about 2 feet for and aft of the case, and then between them, ran a single 2 x 4 to the bow and stern to stiffen the bottom.
    Double frames were made for the front of the cabin and below the deck, all were laminated and double thick. I wouldn't do that again.....I had extended the mast by one foot and instead of solid made a box spar, about 3/4 inch larger in both dimensions, 1 1/4 inch spruce walls , then moved it back from it's original; position by 4 inches. I drew (almost finished) a junk rig for it, but the new sails, slightly larger than the original sail well. I haven't seen the interior, nor has my son sent pictures, but the last note said that it's really quite comfortable inside with the new interior and the aft head...the lady friend liked the separate head. The best part is that anyone inspecting the boat would never find the head unless someone told them it was there. I'm working on some neat LED lights for the interior and for navigation.
    Last but not least....I had estimated the amount of ballast, he thought it was high......I had included a couple of batteries and water tanks...if the water tanks and battery are installed, it should work out just fine. He used 320 pounds of lead in the centerboard/keel. I drew the centerboard with about 200 pounds of lead in it, and a show on the outside of the boat. The bottom has a "grounding shoe made of 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 solid wood epoxied and shaved to airfoil shape under the boat, about 4 inches below the bottom, then I added a flat lead plate of about 500 pounds, and that was covered with 3 xynole layers for abrasion protection.....the only thing that seems different to him is that the boat sails like a much heavier one, but just as fast as before, smoother, with less pounding, seems drier, and the "convertible top" works great, keeps out mosquitoes and other critters.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Hey paladin,

    Thanks for the play by play of the conversion. I was with you until you added the 500 lbs. of lead. Is that now part of the grounding shoe? Is that shaped somehow to fit in with the shoe? And how much do we need to bribe your son to send us some pictures? I could help with that. Inquiring minds want to know. I hope I'm one of the formites you mentioned that would like the lines and other details of your more "shiply" Great Pelican. Hope you had a good Christmas. This Florida boy had his first ever white Christmas in Asheville, NC and did the Biltmore Estate tour which was great by the way. There was lots of the white stuff but I found it to be cold and wet. I belong in Florida I guess.

    Have a great New Year!
    kenjamin

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Yup....they grounding shoe was added to protect the bottom when pulled up on a gravelly shore, and the lead added because of the increased displacement...if you carried a bunch of water, a couple of batteries, and a solar panel for lights and gadgets you could get away with less or even an iron or sheet steel shoe for weight......the lady friend only sails on few weekends...he needed the weight.
    dunno about piks...I can't get a letter or phone call outta him for 6-8 months unless he wants money or something for his small business.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    If you're interested in the Pelican you should contact Lou Brochetti, I can send you his contact number via pm if you'd like. You can check out pictures of his boat at the following links:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirtsai...7604554323998/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirtsai...7604558437193/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirtsai...7600631855132/


    Dirtsailor
    DirtSailor

    It isn't going to build itself so get busy!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Most of us already have the Pelican/Great Pelican plans and were not satisfied with the performance/handling...that's why the redesign.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Quote Originally Posted by paladin View Post
    Those comments and my own experience is what prompted me to do a redesign on the Pelican. Most of us already have the Pelican/Great Pelican plans and were not satisfied with the performance/handling...that's why the redesign.
    I got my plans from Mr Short in Oct 1979 when it was for the twelve ft Pelican and had ask for more information about the chinese lug rig, He replied he was a tug boat capt and bar pilot and not a clerk. He wasn't to nice about it in his return letter, and it kinda put me off on building his boat.

    paladin
    when you finish your redesign I would like to get a copy if its affordable
    I still would like to build one some day and always liked the look of the pelican

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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    I'm probably one of the most affordable guys out there.....I'll post something here when the drawings are finished.....hang around.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  23. #23

    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Very nice pictures. Lovely work - mine will not look anything like this. And not just because of having a flush deck, I think its called optimistically workboat finish.

    paladin, thanks. One can see why this lower bottom panel and then the substantial ballast in addition would make a big difference. In fact, its interesting, one of the things there seems to be a good consensus on is that the double chine design with flat bottom plank, a sort of very wide keel piece, and two panels per side rising from that, makes a good and seaworthy design. Chebacco is like this, and one or two Michalaks are also. Possibly the wide ply keel piece and then the CB through it are easier for a amateur to do like this than the classic V bottom and timber keel piece.

    What is the resulting draft as you did it? A foot or more, one would imagine?

  24. #24

    Default Great Pelican vs. SF Pelican handling sailing qualities characteristics

    I owned and sailed regularly on SF Bay out of Berkeley (east bay) during the winter and often during the summer for three years during my teens, a San Francisco Pelican (12') which had a fiberglass bottom up to the waterline. I was 130 pounds and very fit. I never reefed the sail. It had no reefpoints, and was low aspect too, so I was not tempted. Nonetheless, I preferred sailing in small craft warnings because my boat, being heavy owing to the fiberglass, sailed better. In small craft warnings, which were usual, as a solo sailor I sailed upwind out of Berkeley without the jib, sitting on the side deck, and felt very comfy with my foot hooked under the stern portion of the coaming. I took a lot of spray over the bow, and now and then had the lee deck immersed to the coaming (don't put an obstruction there like a jib block mounted on a large piece of wood that directs water into the boat). I hiked out if necessary; generally I was sitting as in a chair - slightly leaning back, swaying out depending on wind and wave. As I learned when sailing El Toros in sailing class at the Berkeley Aquatic Park a couple years earlier, always keep the mainsheet in hand ready to release from the cam jam cleat. Once when under the Oakland Bay Bridge, with two crew, a downward blast of 10-15 knots hit us while sailing as a sloop rig. We were not moving fast as the wind had been negligible, so the force was not converted to forward motion. If I had not had my hand on the sheet, we would have been over. The only time I felt OK about not having the mainsheet in hand was when sailing the Herreshoff take off "Bullsey" keel boat sloop rigged and solo in Owls Head Harbor, ME during this same period of my life.
    When I sailed the SF Pelican with a single crew member of about 140 pounds or possibly my weight of 130, we always sailed as a sloop. Often in sailing the Pelican, I or we would be heading out of Berkeley when others were sailing in, or there was no one on the bay due to heavy wind (this was 1968-1971). In heavy conditions pointing, my friend and I would both be on the rail. For the forward crew member, it is comfortable to hike out with the forward foot hooked under the forward coaming. We used a cushion to make it more comfortable hanging the legs over the coaming. In the skipper's position, a cushion was inconvenient for tacking. But the deck was wide enough and at a good angle for sitting in such conditions. On a reach, he might not need to hike out. On a broad reach, I might not need to hike out, and in that case I sat inboard on the seats, which were about 4" above the sole. Once when reaching the CG helo flew over us just to make sure we were OK (no one else was on the bay due to the heavy wind). We couldn't have felt better.
    Sailing the SF Pelican downwind without the jib created very strong weather helm. In small craft warnings winds with gusts to 10 knots, the boat when sailed as a cat rig headed up and there was nothing I could do about it, so I always made sure I had about 20 feet between me and any upwind boat when sailing downwind. With the jib it was less an issue, and if the jib were wing and wing there was no significant weather helm.
    Regarding the bluff bow, it created a lot of spray in the sailing I did when pointing. On a reach, it was no worse than on a 23' Pearson Commander or Ariel (keel boat with pointed bow). Downwind, we surfed, however when the wave had passed to the bow, the bluff bow slowed us.
    I own a Great Pelican now that is fiberglassed over wood for the entire hull, up to the gunnel. Not my preference for building unless the scantlings have been modified, as the boat is heavier not only at the bottom, where it adds stability. Inertia however is increased somewhat. I have only sailed her once, in the Berkeley Marina in small craft warnings wind. Pointing with a single reef, with jib rigged, and a single crew of about 140-150, and me at a diminished weight of 115, hiking out was for me at 5'08" impractical without a tiller extension (I had an extension on the 12' SF Pelican). My crew did not hike out. The water was often up to but never over the lee coaming. I felt we were overpowered for our weight, which is significantly less proportionally than on the SF Pelican (What is the displacement of the GP?). Perhaps next time I will see hiking out as an option. It did not come naturally this time. We moved fast on the flat water (without spray of course). I will file another report when I sail out of the marina into real bay weather when I get a mainsheet long enough to let the sail luff on a broad reach, a second row of reef points, and possibly an extension for the tiller.
    I want to mention, the Pelicans, whether built by pros or amateurs, are not all built according to plan. The SF Pelican I sailed in my teens was built by a pro, but not built according to specs. Structurally, it was missing a member at the stern where there should be two. The Great Pelican my wife and I owned but never sailed decades ago, had a rudder that appeared, without measuring, to be well under what I thought was a necessary immersed depth. Short was very particular about messing with the design.
    I also want to mention that the dory, on which the Pelican series is based, was designed for the business of fishing, for men who were not well respected by the ship's master or owner, and who perhaps did not respect their own lives as much as the profit of a full load of fish. I am told the dory is considerably more stable with a load of fish. When Capt. Short brought out the Great Pelican, I read in the local Pelican newsletter that it was fitted with water ballast against the centerboard trunk. I also want to remind people who may not know, the SF Pelican when fitted with foam only under the seats opposite to the side on which the boom and gaff are situated, is self righting, at least in the test that was performed on calm water decades ago.
    Happy Sailing!
    Peter Metcalf
    Last edited by peterbmetcalf; 10-12-2013 at 12:21 PM. Reason: additional info re ballast and self righting, tiller extension

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Hi

    I presume you have 12ft length in mind?
    I would want something with a decent amount of stability.
    A Welsford scamp seems ideal, stability, shelter and sailing ability. I would not want a boat without any of these in the north sea,
    when I sailed there in a wayfairer it was hard work 3 up in a force 4-5. Its cold especially in a easterly wind.
    Do you have a mooring or are you trailer saying?
    How about pilgrim or even better a swaggie, I think John had the north sea in mind when he designed swaggie. Ideal for taking over to holland, if it gets rough just put in a reef and head below with the kettle on!
    Funny how a Nz designer designs so well for uk!
    Other designs that come to mind are Selway fishers pioneer but its a bigger boat.
    James.

  26. #26

    Default PS Re: Great Pelican vs. SF Pelican handling sailing qualities characteristics

    I received today from Mrs. Short, who sells the original plans, building instructions, etc. at pelicansailboat@msn.com, some Great Pelican drawings and study plans. On one is Capt. Short's recommendation that singlehanders place ballast such as water bags under the seats, or as an alternative, against the cb trunk, as well as a simple plan for ballasting the wood centerboard. It really pays to confirm that a boat is built to specs when evaluating one's own boat performance or that of someone else, as there are so many non-production companies and individuals building a small boat designs. My current boat, a Great Pelican, has a rudder that in the immersed portion is shorter by 10" and narrower by 4," well worth correcting. The rudder as Capt. Short designed it would shift the center of lateral resistance aft, thus reducing weather helm, whilst providing more depth and steerage on all points, most critically with the boat heeled. Incidentally, he shows foam blocks under the starboard seat with the gaff/boom hoisted on the port side, for self righting.
    Last edited by peterbmetcalf; 09-22-2012 at 03:48 PM. Reason: error in terminology

  27. #27

    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    wrong location...
    Last edited by peterbmetcalf; 09-22-2012 at 03:50 PM. Reason: miss-posted location

  28. #28
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    Smile Testing the limits of a Great Pelican-16

    I've been exhaustingly solo-testing my modified Great Pelican and it's very fast and safe even at winds 25+ knots and 4-6' seas! However, I these mods are mandatary for offshore sailing - 200# lead added to centerboard, hollow spruce mast, 7" longer rudder (adjustable 14" vertically), foam under cabin bunks / cockpit floor / 2 Styrofoam planks on seats, roller reefing jib and a set of reef points that converts main to a lateen rig (72sf). ps. Hank Jost sails are awesome!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    My description of my sailing my Great Pelican follows a too-detailed description of SF Pelican (12') sailing. So, here is the short answer:
    The New England dories, upon which the Pelican series is based, were intended to carry an enormous weight of fish. Remember, the fishermen, one per dory and operated in all conditions, and the men were typically working at the gunnel, at least judging by the painting(s?) I have seen. The hull of a dory can lean way over, with the water up to the gunnel, without passing the point of no return or becoming increasingly unstable. Their stability increases the more they are heeled to a degree far greater than virtually any other monohull type because they evolved for precisely that kind of work. Flaring sides gives precisely that advantage when attached to a minimal width flat bottom. Hence the SF Pelican, being only 12', is far more stable than any other centerboarder I've seen on SF Bay. Body weight and cargo (ballast) are critical in such small boats.

    The 16' Great Pelican is a SF Pelican with, if I'm not mistaken, something like 9 times the displacement owing to being 1/3 longer (volume goes up according to the cube of a proportional dimension). However, crew weight is still the same. The hull thus gives the impression of being unstable. Increase the crew weight proportionally, and the boat resumes its normal 12' variety of stability.

    Boats with more V bottom relative to length and breadth will be less stable since the depth of hull adds buoyancy in the wrong place - down low. So, such hulls are ballasted with people, cargo, or better yet, dense ballast, with the advantage that the ballast is deeper than in a flat bottomed boat. Remember, most cargo sailing vessels put in some kind of ballast - stones, if nothing else - to preserve stability. Once sufficient draft is obtained, both factors of hull form and deep ballast are significant. I like Palladin's design changes to the Pelican design and it merits a different name. It is entirely a different design with the advantages of flaring topsides and relatively deep dense ballast.

    So, these are your choices. Personally, I would put lots of ballast in the centerboard of a larger Pelican design to lower the CG way beneath the the center of buoyancy or waterline, and keep all the advantages of the flat bottom, which are beaching, an upright position upon beaching, shallow draft, and ease of construction. The pram bow is for ease of construction and has no advantages for sailing - lots of spray going to weather, and real impedance sailing downwind when it hits the trough of a larger wave, which is somewhat disappointing after surfing down the face. The Norwegian prams have a very small pram bow, and heavy rocker so that impedance is not such a factor.

    Remember, the Pelicans are, after all, flat bottomed and have very shallow draft without ballast, hence are very fast when kept on an even keel with sufficient wind to overcome the low tech heavy construction. Above all, do not underestimate the necessary ballast and placement if you make a big Pelican.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Being a Florida boy, I've always admired the Great Pelican for its shallow draft and the tremendous volume of its hull. Heck, my cat and I could live in one if we had too! I have plans for both the 12' Pelican and the little know exotic version of the Great Pelican, the Yangtze. I still someday would like to build the Yangtze Pelican in wood simply because no else has ever done it. I also wrote to Mrs. Short many years ago to ask permission to put one of my birdwing masts on the Yangtze and she was favorable to the idea.

    In the Texas 200, I motored past Donovan's Big Bird (Great Pelican) and my admiration for the design was renewed. In spite of her gaff yard breaking, Big Bird was charging right along in the severe high wind & high heat conditions. I took pictures of Big Bird at the time but managed to lose my camera during the event so those pictures are currently being eaten alive by the Gulf of Mexico.

    Anyway, I do think if I ever get the money, it would be great fun to build a great Yangtze Pelican (with a birdwing mast, of course!).


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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbmetcalf View Post
    Remember, the Pelicans are, after all, flat bottomed and have very shallow draft without ballast, hence are very fast when kept on an even keel with sufficient wind to overcome the low tech heavy construction.
    If they are "very fast" in some conditions why are they rated as considerably slower than an Optimist in strong winds?
    Last edited by Chris249; 08-16-2016 at 06:53 PM.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Have always liked this photo lifted from the book, "How to Beat the High Cost of Sailing." It shows Pelicans sailing in the waters for which they were designed. No telling how fast they're going but it sure looks like fun to me. It does look like they plane from time to time. Looks like the leaders are good at keeping their boats sailing flat.

    Last edited by kenjamin; 08-18-2016 at 07:18 AM.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    If they are "very fast" in some conditions why are they rated as considerably slower than an Optimist in strong winds?
    Large difference in weight???

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Quote Originally Posted by kenjamin View Post
    ...

    In the Texas 200, I motored past Donovan's Big Bird (Great Pelican) and my admiration for the design was renewed. In spite of her gaff yard breaking, Big Bird was charging right along in the severe high wind & high heat conditions. I took pictures of Big Bird at the time but managed to lose my camera during the event so those pictures are currently being eaten alive by the Gulf of Mexico.

    ....

    here you go, Ken



    she WAS moving smartly and made it into Mansfield Harbour under her own power, as i understand. STRONG TESTAMENT to the design

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Large difference in weight???
    Yeah, but the Pelican is also more than 50% bigger, which would normally result in a dramatic advantage in speed.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Quote Originally Posted by swoody126 View Post
    here you go, Ken



    she WAS moving smartly and made it into Mansfield Harbour under her own power, as i understand. STRONG TESTAMENT to the design

    sw
    On the other hand it's hard to think of a craft that can't be sailed downwind under a jury rig (even a Laser or Hobie 16 can) and it could be said that breaking a spar is not a great testament to anything. The Pelican and its variations looks like fun boats that are great for its intended purpose, of course. It's cool to see that it still survives even in class racing and wonderful to see people having fun with them. It's just that sometimes the standards that are sometimes applied to boat designs seems to be a bit inconsistent; for example it's hard to see how what is rated as just about the slowest class in the USA is "fast", and we see lots of criticism of the supposedly "expensive and highly-stressed bermudan rig" here and yet when a yard breaks it's used as part of the evidence that a boat is a good design.
    Last edited by Chris249; 08-19-2016 at 02:07 AM.

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Hey Chris, I definitely agree with you about one thing. That Texas wind would have driven a pine log all the way to Port Mansfield if it had managed to stay in the middle of the channel. When my motor quit on me, the wind was so strong I never lost steerage with my rudder and just sailed into the bushes to step my mast. Just me and my little sunshade was all the windage that was needed to get me to shore. Turns out that my motor had not overheated. In retrospect, it seems like I had somehow pinched my nine foot fuel line and cut the fuel supply to the motor. I think now that I had forgotten to take the motor out of gear before trying to restart the motor making it seem like it was froze up. A stupid mistake but I was very hot at the time and shocked that such a dependable motor had quit on me – lesson learned.

    In defense of the Pelican design, it's not always about racing, Chris. Sometimes it's about a unique lovable salty look or an easy build that makes a design desirable. Every single boat design is an accumulation of design compromises that make it more desirable for some things and less desirable for some others. It's not always about speed although I have to admit that's what made me build my Saturday Night Special and sell my SCAMP. What is amazing about the Great Pelican is the truly huge cockpit it provides and the huge amount of space available for storage. If I had a Great Pelican in the Texas 200 conditions it would have also had a nice bimini to keep me out of the sun – something you're just not gonna find on many leaner and much faster racing designs.

    What was later frustrating for me was knowledge that I had everything onboard my boat that could have wired together Donovan's busted yard. I had heavy copper ground wire, bolt cutter to cut it and plenty of bamboo which we could have used to mend the yard and hoist it again. When I passed Big Bird early in the event, Donovan was making good time on his own and I was just trying to survive the heat and we both waved the "I'm OK" wave to each other and there wasn't any nearby shore at the time. When he passed me after my motor trouble, I again gave him the "I'm OK" wave so he didn't stop for me. It was only later (after my brain had a chance to cool down) that I realized we could have jury rigged Big Bird's yard. So all this to say, there may be a slight advantage to a rig that breaks first at a place that can be lowered, repaired and put back into action.

    If Donovan returns with a new yard next year to the Texas 200, I sure would like to crew with him and experience that large comfortable cockpit, the great storage space and load carrying ability, and someone to talk with while enduring the severe South Texas conditions – I would provide the bimini and the ice cold lemonade!
    Last edited by kenjamin; 08-19-2016 at 08:13 AM.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Oh, I'm not attacking the boat at all, merely saying that it's one of those boats that isn't really "fast" objectively. As I'd noted a couple of times, the Pelican is great for what it is and what it does. It's also part of a really interesting and endearing US habit of sailing some really unusual boats (Cape Cod Frosties, PDRs, adult's Sabots and El Toros, etc). I wish we had that down here.

    As you say, it's definitely not about speed. There's no intention to criticise the Pelican or its performance in any way, just as it wasn't really criticism to say that my 1977 VW campervan was slow; it was simply stating a fact. It's just that calling some boats "fast" is a bit like describing a foiling Moth as a comfortable mini-cruiser for San Francisco Bay. Not only is it rather misleading, but it would also be ignoring the positive points of a boat that IS a good mini-cruiser (like the Peli) and the design trade-offs and compromises that are involved in both types.

    Re jury rigging; I find that modern non-stretch lines can be extremely useful, and because I'm really bad at boat maintenance I've had way too much experience in that area!
    Last edited by Chris249; 08-19-2016 at 04:54 PM.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Hey Chris, thanks for the clarification. Yep, the 77 campervan was slow but it only had about 42 HP to work with, right?

    I'm thinking about using some of that modern non-stretch line to rig a backstay for my new otherwise unstayed mast on my Saturday Night Special. My new mast is not overbuilt like my previous masts and I'm a little worried about busting it while setting a big genoa that I'm about to sew up. The genoa is a Sailrite kit left over from my Caledonia Yawl and it's quite large – should be interesting. I may have to cut it down a little to use it on the Special. Never thought I'd be racing around in a sailboat at my age but after surviving my experience in the Texas 200, I feel like I'm ready to press the limits of my mast design a little bit more. But I still don't want the new mast to fail as it was a solid week's worth of labor and quite a bit of expensive aircraft spruce and epoxy. Wish I had half of your racing experience right about now. Cheers!

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    hey KEN, 12 strand AMSTEEL BLUE. AWESOME stuff!!!

    really amazing specs!!!

    http://www.samsonrope.com/Pages/Prod...?ProductID=872

    easily spliced w/ simple items you already have around the house/shop(i use florist's wire)

    here'z a pic of me towing the grandson's 1-ton dually w/ my Jeep, connected w/ a piece of 7/64" AMSTEEL BLUE(gray)



    eye spliced to the chain & looped over the hitch ball



    one of the keys to that stuff is keeping it clear of sharp edges(nylon thimbles )

    it does not like knots, it'z really slippery

    locked & double locked eye splices will be your friends

    there is a method of suspending hammocks w/ AMSTEEL BLUE made up into WHOOPIE SLINGS that incorporates a slip knot where the stuff is fed back thru itsef that you might want to investigate

    in case you aren't already familiar w/ the stuff you can find a lot of information & instructional videos on the HAMMOCK FORUM

    https://hammockforums.net/forum/content.php

    make sure to have yourself tethered to the boat when you pop that WHOMPER!!!

    and DON'T FORGET THE PICS

    or it never happened

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Great Pelican, yet again, and Michalak's Jukebox2

    Thanks Steve, I appreciate the info on the Amsteel. I did buy a little piece of it for an uphaul on my SCAMP centerboard simply because West Marine was out of any different colors of line in the size I wanted so I bought about ten feet of that. It is slippery but it did tie off OK, functioned well and was comfortable to handle so I was pleased. For a backstay I promise to splice it properly so it can deliver its full performance potential.

    Getting back to the thread title, I've always liked this shot of a Great Pelican sailing:


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