Utilizing the South Whidbey Yacht Club (SWYC) member’s resources, the SWYC members will endeavor to foster an interest in boating amongst individuals through a variety of member initiated Programs, in addition to those Programs specifically hosted by SWYC. The end result of the Programs offered will be to reach out to members of the community that might otherwise not have an opportunity to engage in a “boating experience”. In keeping with the existing Vision and Purpose of the South Whidbey Yacht Club (SWYC), the SWYC Guest Boating Programs will respect and utilize the natural environment of Whidbey Island and its surrounding Puget Sound waterways. Four specific Programs will be available to those individuals who might choose to participate:

(A) YOUTH AND BEGINNERS SAILING OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM will coordinate the use of member’s San Francisco Pelican sailboats and the resources of the local Pelican Viking Fleet III as available, to teach young people and beginning sailors the basics of small sailboat sailing. Students will participate in ground-based training and on-the-water experiences.

(B) INTRODUCTION TO BOATING PROGRAM will incorporate power and sailboat sailing on-the-water experiences for all ages and abilities utilizing member’s motor powered and sail powered vessels at the member’s discretion.

(C) BOATING EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMS will emphasize hands on boating experiences for all ages. Suitably experienced members and other selected qualified individuals will conduct various education and training activities for individuals wishing to become familiar with the many aspects of boating, learning new skills and/or enhancing their existing skills.

(D) SOUTH WHIDBEY YACHT CLUB MEMBERSHIP offers new boating experiences, introductions to new equipment and techniques, social gatherings, fellowships and importantly, FUN, with boating. Monthly meetings, boating events and Club cruises are just some of the ways to participate in boating. “Cadet” SWYC memberships for young people interested in becoming involved in sailing will be offered free for a trial period of six (6) months. Visit the SWYC Website at: for more information about the Guest Boating Programs.

All of the above listed activities will be a significant part of the South Whidbey Yacht Club’s Goals. We look forward to your active participation as a SWYC member in support of these Programs and your personal interaction with those individuals who choose to take advantage of the Programs offered by the Club’s individual members.

Beginning Training Vessel: The San Francisco Pelican

(The following was excerpted from a Nor’westing Magazine article by SWYC member Jill Brown. Thank you Jill, for your excellent description of the Youth and Beginners Training Sailboat).

Some people call it “the ugliest boat afloat”. Others call it the safest twelve-foot sailboat ever designed. In the late 1950’s, Captain Bill Short from San Francisco, California decide that he wanted a boat that he had not yet seen available for recreational sailing on the San Francisco Bay. He had spent 28 years as a tugboat captain on the Bay and he was familiar with its rough waters and tricky summer winds. An avid recreational sailor and boat designer, the boat he wanted was a heavy weather sailing dinghy that was roomy and comfortable for extra crew and family members and safe enough to sail alone. With these and other requirements in mind, Captain Short went to work. What he came up with and launched in 1959 was a plywood sailing dinghy that was a unique departure in both hull design and sail plan. Here is what Bill Short wrote about his creation in “Building the San Francisco Pelican: “It is a dinghy for heavy weather and yet a handy, fast center boarder”. The Pelican is an ideal boat for Junior Sailing programs. The boat is certainly safe for beginning sailors and while it’s an easy boat to learn on, learning to sail it well takes practice. The SF Pelican Class has, over the years, evolved the following vital statistics for the Pelican:

Length Overall – 12 Ft. 2 ½In. (Plus stern hung rudder and 4 Ft. Bow Sprit).
Beam – 6Ft. 1 ¾ In. Draft (Board up) – 4 In.
Draft (Board down) – 4 Ft.
Freeboard Amidships – 2 Ft.
Standing Lug Rig . Main Sail Area – 72 Sq. Ft. Jib Area – 33 Sq. Ft. (Most boats rigged with roller furling).
Capacity (Est.) – 1000 lbs. (At least 4 adults).
Race Crew – Skipper plus One.
Minimum Racing Weight – 390 Lbs.


There are currently ten Pelican Sailboats involved in the SWYC Pelican Fleet with more individuals expressing interest all the time. If this type of boating activity interests you, please visit our website for more information or contact Bill Brown at or (360) 222.3178.

SCHEDULE: Crewing and Training Opportunities – The Pelican Racing Events Schedule is published on the SWYC Website. Additional opportunities to participate with the SWYC Pelican Fleet are based on the Owner’s/Skipper’s availability and in coordination with other required resources and facilities being available.


Complete a “Hold Harmless” Agreement and a signed Permission Form from a Parent or Guardian (as required).

Note: Skippers and Trainers will dictate what participants will need to bring to any scheduled event based on the activities contemplated, i.e., knot tying, rigging, dry sailing, on-the-water sailing, field trip, etc.



The purpose of the Introduction to Boating Program is to provide, through the members of the South Whidbey Yacht Club, an opportunity to individuals expressing a desire to learn more about the many varied types of boating related activities that exist. Examples of these opportunities include activities such as short boat trips on the waters of Puget Sound that surround Whidbey Island or on one of the fresh water lakes and ponds that abound on the Island. Other activities that might be included would be opportunities to observe or experience other important aspects of boating such as boat building and repair, rigging, power requirements (both sail and motor), line handling and knot tying, boat maintenance, safety and many other activities related to boating.

Many of the Club’s members are experts or very experienced boaters and can help arrange and/or lead individuals and groups through the very interesting and informative boating experiences and activities.


Utilizing the wide variety of vessels owned by the members of the South Whidbey Yacht Club, arrangements will be made to have individuals participate in a visit to a SWYC member’s boat, a visit to their shop or a boatyard to observe a new boat under construction or repair, take a familiarization boat ride on a boat if this is their first experience in boating or crew on a boat taking a cruise or maybe even participating in a racing event. Individuals with special needs and official youth/care/help groups are welcomed. Those SWYC members belonging to organizations that assist special needs individuals, both children and adults are encouraged to offer their groups the opportunity to participate in the Introduction to Boating Program.

Reasons for participating in an Introduction to Boating Program activity are varied depending on the needs and desires of the individuals participating and the Owner’s/Skipper’s requirements and schedule. Arrangements for a specific scheduled event will be made through the Guest Sailing Program’s Coordinator, Ed Halloran. Mr. Halloran can be reached at or on his mobile telephone at (360) 914-1474.


Requirements for Participating:

Boating Education and Training Programs will be developed by South Whidbey Yacht Club members in response to needs identified by the members and the public. These activities are to be considered “service” activities that meet particular needs as required or identified. Activities can include hands on classes in areas such as boating safety, first aid, CPR, Navigation, Boating Certification and other related education and training requirements. Arrangements can be made through the Guest Sailing Program’s Coordinator, Ed Halloran. Mr. Halloran can be reached at or on his mobile telephone at (360) 914-1474

(D) SOUTH WHIDBEY YACHT CLUB INDIVIDUAL, FAMILY AND CADET MEMBERSHIP For more information regarding the South Whidbey Yacht Club and its programs, visit the Club’s Website at or contact our Membership Secretary, Mrs Pat Sasson by e-mail at or by telephone at (360) 331-5816.