Adeline at the dock

The Adventures of Adeline

Adeline Sea TrialsHi, folks. ‘Adeline’ is a Pelicano 20, a custom designed version of the Pelicano Bass Boat that Sam and crew built for Henry Clews and Nancy Chandler in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I spoke to Henry a few days ago, and he graciously agreed to write up his experiences with Adeline. He did such an excellent job that I’ll just hand it over to Henry…

ADELINE is our second Devlin boat. For the past several years we were the proud owner of KELINA, a beautiful 32-ft Devlin Topknot fast cruiser. We loved the boat, but we didn’t like the $5000 per year cost of dockage and storage here in New Hampshire – and that didn’t include maintenance on this 15-year-old-boat!

We decided a simple, trailerable boat was all we really needed, and after some discussion with Sam Devlin we hit upon the idea of trading KELINA for one of his Pelicano designs. His Pelicano 18 looked great, but we wanted a bit more room in the cockpit, so we agreed on a slightly stretched, 20-foot version.

Pelicano Custom

We shipped KELINA to Washington and in November 2014 he began construction of our Pelicano 20 which we named Adeline. She was completed in May 2015 at which time I went out to Olympia for the launch and sea trials.

Even though we’d owned a Devlin-built boat, I wasn’t prepared for the beauty and perfection of ADELINE; she was a real little jewel. So much attention to detail – everywhere you looked. (See: www.snodoglog.com/15-Adeline-the-boat-Pg2.html)

Adeline floatAt the launch, she floated perfectly on her lines. Even though I wasn’t initially a big Mercury fan, I was really impressed with the quietness and smoothness of the 115-HP engine. Then there was the speed and handling…. Wide-open throttle yielded over 35-mph. Even more impressive was the perfect banking on turns. Like a plane in a well-coordinated turn, she banked just the right amount to cancel out any sideward thrust. Very slick. Definitely love at first sight!

The original plan was to fit the boat with a 70 or 90-HP outboard, but when we noticed that the 115-HP Merc weighed the same as the 70 and 90-HP models we decided to go big. The boat certainly doesn’t need this much power, but what I like is that she cruises at 20-mph quietly and effortlessly at a mere 3500-RPM – full throttle is 6000 RPM.

Another handling feature I noticed immediately is how level she rides. Unlike many boats this size, the bow hardly rises as she comes onto a plane. There’s no awkward semi-planing speed that you must avoid. The boat is also fitted with hydraulic trim tabs, which allow for effective pitch and roll trimming at anything above displacement speed.

Just as I’d hoped, the boat was the perfect size for trailering behind a “normal” car. A single-axle trailer without brakes worked just fine. I’m guessing the whole package; boat, motor and trailer weigh a little less than 3000 pounds. In any case, she tows behind our 2008 Toyota Highlander very nicely. I know, I towed her over 3000 miles from Washington state back to our summer home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire – most of the way at 70 mph. (I saved the $3500 shipping cost by doing this.)

Trailering Adeline

Here in New Hampshire, we paid $500 for the seasonal use of a local boat ramp along with on-site storage. (Although a bit pricey, this was a lot less than $2,500 we paid last year for a slip for KELINA.)

With a little practice we found we could launch and retrieve the boat in a matter of minutes. Storing her dry meant no bottom growth issues. But more importantly we soon discovered we had a boat we could “take anywhere”. By water we took her up some of tidal branches of the Piscataqua River to places like Dover and New Market – some 15 miles inland from river’s mouth on the Atlantic Ocean.

Our first long trip was 200 miles down to Mystic, Connecticut where we attended the Wooden Boat Show. (See: http://www.snodoglog.com/15-Adeline-the-boat-Pg3.html) After the show, we took a little cruise out into Long Island Sound and across to Fisher’s Island, NY.

Adeline at show

Since then, we have taken advantage of her easy portability to travel to various places in Maine, home of our six grandchildren – as well as my wife, Nancy’s parents. (See: www.snodoglog.com/15-July-Pg1-Adeline-in-Maine.html)

As you can see in the photos, we’ve had many fun adventures over the summer with our ADELINE. (See: www.snodoglog.com/15-July-Pg1-Adeline-in-Maine.html). The kids loved driving her and even navigating in some thick Maine Fog. (See: www.snodoglog.com/15-Aug-Pg2-Peaks-I.html and Page 3).

On several occasions we found places to beach the boat and go exploring ashore. A feature I love about this boat is her full-length stainless steel shoe that protects the keel during grounding or beaching, and the relatively low freeboard which allows easy entry and exit from the boat – although we do now have a proper swim platform with steps for boarding from deep water.

In July, we trailed the boat some 750 miles to Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada to visit some boating friends who have a summer cottage on an island – accessible only by boat. (See: http://www.snodoglog.com/15-July-Pg2-GeorgianBay.html). This proved a fun and beautiful adventure. Traveling by road, we were able to experience in a week a trip that would have required almost two months in a (non-trailerable) boat. (We have friends who spent the whole summer going up there and back.)

In September we again took the boat up to northern Maine to visit Nancy’s parents in Dexter, and then another 50 miles north to Greenville and Moosehead Lake.
(See: www.snodoglog.com/15-Sept-Pg2-Moosehead-Lk.html).

And finally, in October we were able to come by boat to my brother’s new waterfront home in Portsmouth. (See: www.snodoglog.com/15-October-NH-Fall-Color.html)

As the summer season draws to a close, I can say we have certainly enjoyed the versatility of our new little ADELINE.  There’s a lot to be said for simplicity. Servicing & winterizing the boat this fall cost $200 – instead of $2000 for our previous boat.  And winter storage (in our own garage) will be free.

Finally, for the fun of it, I put together a map showing some of the far-flung Travels of  ADELINE.  (See: www.snodoglog.com/images/NE-US-Map-LEM.jpg.) We did cover some ground!

In fact, we used her much more than the larger, non-trailerable (and much more expensive) KELINA.  ADELINE has proven to be the perfect boat for us to share adventures with our children, grandchildren – and even Nancy’s parents!

There’s no doubt that there’s a huge pride of ownership that goes with this boat. Everywhere we go, we get stares and comments – a bit like driving a Lamborghini! It really is that kind of boat. It’s quite obvious; nobody has ever seen anything like her!

Adeline at the dock

(Ed.) Henry was also kind enough to send us some detailed data from his onboard systems:

According to our trusty Vessel View 7, total engine time is now: 57 hrs 26 min; total distance travelled (by water) is: 454.7 mi; total fuel used: 80.9 gal.  It also says that our average speed was 7.9 mph, and our average fuel burn was a mere 1.41 gph.  Which is probably more than you really wanted to know!

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