The 12-foot Pelican Designed by Bill Short

The Mighty Pelican

Designed by Bill Short in 1959, the rugged 12-foot Pelican is ideal for the high wind and chop found on San Francisco Bay, where the boat once numbered in the dozens. This past winter, West Coast photographer Erik Simonson caught Fleet 1 out racing the elusive centerboarders—which feature scow bows, chines and an old-fashioned sprit rig—on the Oakland estuary. For those interested, plywood kits for these great little boats can be had at Platypus Boats (


Pelican Specifications

LOA 12ft 2in
Beam 6ft 2in
Draft 4in (board up) 
Weight 390lb
Sail area 105ft2








Photo by Erik Simonson


Most Read on Sail

Also Popular on Sail


One comment on “The 12-foot Pelican Designed by Bill Short

  1. tiktaalik

    This looks like Gunter rig rather than sprit rig to me, but I'm not an expert. The sprit rig I'm familiar with has the upper spar spanning from low on the mast to an aft upper corner of the sail and the sail itself is more square. Please enlighten me! Thank you

Leave a Reply