What a wonderful boat is the Pelican






This two man dinghy was developed over 40 years ago as a training yacht for young sailors. The hull is 2.9m in length and constructed of wood or fibreglass, with a gaff-rig sail and wooden or aluminium spars.

Pelicans have two sails: the mainsail and a spinnaker. It is an excellent yacht for teaching the fundamentals to junior sailors.


Theoretically, anyone can sail a Pelican. In the past, the Geraldton Yacht Club has held Parent Skipper Races where adults have the chance to sail in a dinghy with their child.

However, racing of a Pelican is generally restricted to male and female junior sailors aged 8-16. Physical size will also come into the equation when determining when a sailor has outgrown a Pelican.

As with all two man boats, it is important for both the skipper and crew to be dedicated to sailing. Crews can be recruited from schools or younger siblings or children of other sailors. Things to consider when choosing a crew could include:

  • the crew should be as dedicated to sailing and improving their skills as the skipper, particularly in the lead up to a regatta.
  • sailing requires teamwork, so the skipper and crew must get along well. Sometimes siblings can be a good combination, but other times can be a disaster
  • siblings sailing together works well from a logistical point of view
  • age, weight and size are important when looking for a crew. Someone who is too heavy or too tall might find it difficult moving around the bow of a boat, while someone who is very light weight may not be strong enough to haul in the spinnaker.


Pelicans have been the primary junior racing yacht at Geraldton Yacht for many years. The size of the fleet has fluctuated greatly over the years, but the junior sailing program has produced many dedicated and talented sailors.

Racing is coordinated by the Junior Rear Commodore who, along with a number of parent and club volunteers, assists the Juniors to rig their boats on Sunday mornings and mans the rescue dinghy. Various training sessions are also held throughout the year.


To find out more about sailing a Pelican at Geraldton Yacht Club, contact the club on (08) 9964 1664 or email them at

You are also more than welcome to visit the club on Sunday mornings from October to May to check out what's going on. 

Click here for: Pelican Class Association

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