Marcus Dixon

Pelican of London

Specifications of TS Pelican of London
Operations: Cadet Training, Charter, Corporate Team Building, Educational Programmes, Sail Training
Class: A
Rig: 3 Masted Barquentine
Year Launched: 1948
Length Overall (LOA): 45 Metres
Sail Area: 4000
Home Port: Bristol
MMSI: 235057366
Permanent Crew: 9
Trainee / Passenger Berths: 32

The Pelican of London is an ocean-going, sail training ship that is 45M in length, with 43 berths, a professional crew and registered and equipped for off-shore, worldwide, expeditionary voyages.

The ship has been specifically designed to give people an exciting, exacting and exhilarating seafaring experience for up to 30 trainee crew members. A voyage under open skies and to far horizons in which to enjoy life, make new friends, build confidence, work as part of a team, use perseverance, initiative and leadership to sail a tall ship to distant shores.

Part clipper, part pirate ship. The Pelican is a unique, fast, three masted Barquentine, the essence of blue water sailing. A Tall Ship, yes! But as handy as they come. This is a ship with wings, with a corsair rig and able to challenge vessels twice her size. Pace and space are what she offers. For comfort and style, she has few equals.

Based in Bristol, The Pelican sails throughout the summer on a series of voyages from the UK to European harbours, including maritime festivals in historic ports and competing in Tall Ship Races. The ship also offers Oceanography Under Sail which brings together sail training with and appreciation and understanding of marine science. In October each year the ship leaves on an amazing six-month educational Trans-Atlantic voyage visiting France, Spain, Morocco, the Canaries and Cape Verde on her way to the Caribbean islands and Costa Rica. The Pelican sails in February to her home waters via Cuba, Puerta Rica, Bermuda and The Azores.

Built in Le Havre as a deep water trawler by Augustine Normand, Le Pelican was completed in 1948. The hull design was based on the French clippers of the 1870s. After working in the Arctic for 20 years and time as a Baltic Trader, the ship was acquired in 1995 as a restoration project. Pelican was meticulously reconstructed from keel to masthead over 12 years, whilst under continuous survey by the MCA and Bureau Veritas. Only the elegant hull is original. She was cleared for worldwide operation under British flag in September 2007, classed as a 'new' sail training ship.

Pelican's exclusive rig, derived from the Barbary Coast pirate ships, enables her to sail closer to the wind than other square riggers. The secret of Pelican's truly great sailing performance is in the sail combination on the foremast, the geometry of which mimics the lateen sail of the Xebec. Even with a 3-masted rig, sail management is easy and not crew intensive. In reasonable conditions Pelican has cruised at 10 knots under sail and points within 40 degrees of the apparent wind, unheard of in a square rigger.

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