The Pelican

Boats come and boats go here in the boat yard, and one of the boats that came in this season is one that is getting worked on regularly, unlike mine, which is trying not be a wallflower. Again. 

The boat in question is a 1973 Cheoy Lee called the Pelican, owned by David Lindquist and his wife.

David formerly had another boat that he rehabbed down in Mexico with the wonderful product Awlgrip, which has been much-touted here on the low end of boat rehab. Awlgrip is basically a turf in the form of paint, and enables sailors to crawl around on boat with water sloshing around without sliding off, a useful attribute for any paint on a boat. The person who invented Awlgrip has sold it and moved on to another invention, probably also for boats. 

Here is David of the Pelican, hard at work. By spring, he will probably be out on the water, while I will simply be cracking a beer.

The Cheoy Lee fills me with the rankest envy because of the interior finishes, which are not the downmarket shabby chic of the artist’s Spencer 28, but the realistic approach to sailboat rehab, and that is having nice things.

David acquired the Pelican by a not uncommon situation of someone with a fine but ailing boat they adored needing their slip for the new one. David’s first peek had the boat had the sale price at over $20K, then $16K, then when David stared the seller down with the NAME YOUR PRICE game, the fellow hemmed and hawed a bit then did the right thing and threw the boat into the great stream of boats with the faith that the prospective owner knew what he was talking about in terms of rehab. And it looks like he does.

A free boat, like my own. 

It is my observation that free boats cost $500. That is the tiny bite that makes you take it seriously. Then there’s what you put into them that, by a gentleman’s agreement with the eternal yacht club in the sky, the one that pokes its head into miracles like this, you never recover the cash. If you ever need to pay the boat forward, you send her into her new life in good form.  

So David had an adequate war chest to deal with the job at hand, and that is to put some serious work into a couple of the major systems and many of the finishes in a fifty-year-old gas-guzzling masterpiece. It is considerably better for the reality of sailing in the Pacific Northwest, and that is, there is only so much drizzling cold rope pulling and heeling over that one can do in a considerable lifetime of sailing before a sailor has essentially proved himself and doesn’t need to beat his chest. He can crack a beer and sit indoors while on the water and enjoy what is a part of his being that cannot be commanded but merely allowed. 

Not another stupid project boat.

Always another stupid project boat. 

All the regular goodies.

Here is how the vessel looked “in her day.”

© Joann L. Farias 2023