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Weymouth's Tall Ship Pelican To Undergo A Major Refit

Tall Ship Pelican

(Updated 7:34am 15th March 2016)

9:09am 14th March 2016

Friday saw Weymouth's tall ship Pelican being hauled out of the water at Hythe, Southampton, for essential refit work.

Charity Adventure Under Sail, who operate the Pelican, has been fundraising locally towards the cost of the refit which includes a brand new engine due to be fitted this week.

Tugs arrived at the ship at 1100hrs to start pulling Pelican into a submerged cradle.

At around 1230hrs the tide began going out at a fast rate, revealing the ship's lower hull, and by 1300hrs machines were started, connected to cables which hauled the ship - all 226 tonnes of her - up a slope and clear out of the water. Pelican stood a whopping 37m above the bottom of the careenage.

For Brandon Ridgeway, 17 from Weymouth, this was his first glimpse of the tall ship Pelican. New to Adventure Under Sail, Brandon has started as an apprentice Administrative Assistant for the charity.

"Seeing the whole ship out of the water was the highlight of the day for me. It showed the enormity of her.

"I've enjoyed being on board today and meeting the crew."

When identifying a new engine, Adventure Under Sail decided to equip the ship with an environmentally friendly model to match their 'green' ethos.

Rikk Butler, CEO for the charity, explains: "Our new engine is IMO and ECA tier III compliant. This means we are more efficient, use less fuel and produce less emissions, and we will be able to visit ecologically sensitive parts of the planet such as the Baltic Sea and the USA coast where regulations on emissions are much tighter.

"In time we hope to start using bio-fuel in the engine too."

The passage from Weymouth to the dry-dock at Hythe was an exciting one for the crew as weather conditions were relentlessly bad with high winds and rain. Captain Mick Cunningham was in command and says: "The crew had to skilfully navigate the ship through the Needles in the dark approaching them sideways at 11 knots.

"I was very grateful for the permanent and volunteer crew on board whose sailing experience and skills were invaluable. Without them, Pelican would not be here today."

Pelican will return to her home-port by the Easter weekend and begins her first fully booked voyage on 28th March.

Places on day sails, youth voyages and adult voyages are still available to all with no previous sailing experience needed. See adventureundersail.com for more information.

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