Pelican of London

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Last one.jpg
TS Pelican at sail in 2010
Name: Pelican
Builder: Chantiers et Ateliers Augustin Normand, Le Havre, France
Launched: 1948
Status: Arctic fishing trawler
Name: Kadett
Acquired: 1968
Status: Reclassed as a coastal trading vessel
United Kingdom
Name: Pelican of London
Acquired: 1995
In service: 2007
Status: In use
Notes: Rebuilt as sail training ship, 1995–2007
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 226 GRT
Length: 45.0 M (148 ft.) LE; 34.6 M (114 ft.) LOA hull
Beam: 7.03 M (23 ft.)
Draught: 3.95 M (13.0 ft.) (aft)
Propulsion: Volvo Penta TAMD 120A-CC 290HP. Reconditioned 2000. Load Test 310 HP 2004.
Sail plan: Main mast barquentine
Pelican at Liverpool, 2013

Pelican of London is a sail training ship based in the United Kingdom. Built in 1948 as Pelican she served as an Arctic trawler and then a coastal trading vessel named Kadett until 1995. In 2007 an extended conversion to a sail-training ship was completed.[1]


Built in 1948 in Le Havre, France, Pelican was originally a double-beam Arctic fishing trawler,[2] one of five identical ships built in Chantiers et Ateliers Augustin Normand, the shipyard founded by the Normand family. She was sold to a Norwegian firm and spent the next 19 years fishing the Arctic.

In 1968 Pelican was converted from a trawler to a coaster. Her owners renamed her Kadett. She remained Kadett for 27 years until in 1995 she again changed hands.

She was bought by ex-Naval Commander Graham Neilson who transformed her into a tall ship and renamed her Pelican of London. He had already undertaken a similar project with the TS Astrid. Working in Portland Harbour, Dorset, UK, Neilson and his team spent 12 years stripping back the trawler and rebuilding her as a main mast barquentine.[3] A moderate rearrangement of the mainmast standing rigging enables the yards to be braced to half the traditional angle when on the wind, giving the ship unusual windward ability for a square rigger. A trainee on the ship won the 2010 Torbay cup.[4]

As of 2012, Pelican of London is operated as a sail training vessel for young people, by the charity Adventure Under Sail.[5] Sail Training International ranks it is a Class A tall ship.[6] In autumn of 2012, Pelican of London was scheduled to become the first sailing ship in a century to make a trans-Atlantic voyage from the Port of Liverpool with fare-paying passengers.[7] It's not clear if this voyage took place. Pelican has completed a number of transatlantic voyages.[8]

Pelican of London was advertised for sale in 2012, valued at £2.45 million.[9][10]

In June 2015 it was noted as an attendee of Tall Ships Belfast 2015.[11]

In 2021 the ship embarked upon a thirteen-week research cruise organised by charity City to Sea and environmental research group Darwin200 to survey the extent of plastic pollution in UK coastal waters.[12]


  1. ^ "Tall Ship 'TS Pelican of London'". Weymouth Charters. Weymouth. Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  2. ^ Adventure Under Sail. "Ship specifications". Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  3. ^ Adventure Under Sail. "About The TS Pelican". Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  4. ^ STI - Race Trophies and Awards.
  5. ^ Kitching, Laura (21 September 2011). "Local school children invited aboard Weymouth's tall ship Pelican". Dorset Echo. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Elson, Peter (3 January 2012). "Tall ship Pelican to sail from Liverpool on transatlantic passenger voyage - In The Mix Today - News". Liverpool Echo. Liverpool. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Pelican of London
  10. ^ Adshead, Steve (3 May 2012). "Receivers pilot tall ship with view to sale". Smith & Williamson. Retrieved 22 September 2014. …have been tasked with securing a new owner for the 370-tonne sailing vessel, with offers around £2.45m.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Plastic pollution research ship moors in Bristol". BBC. 4 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.

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