A Flicka 20 Sailboat Story  

By Roy McBride - Cape Town, South Africa - ckdboats.com

With the recent launch of a new open decked ‘Flicka 20’ in Hout Bay Harbour, Cape Town, South Africa, a new chapter in this tiny pocket cruiser's long history has just begun.The boat is named ‘Godspell’. It has an important roll to play in the local community and because of this the boat was partly Catholic Church funded. Peter and his son, who thought up the idea spent some fourteen months in her creation. To a standard so high and full of tiny details that have you staring at the boat for a long time, trying to take it all in!

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SV Godspell

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About the Flicka 20:

The original design of the micro cruiser came from the board of Bruce Bingham; that was in 1972, when a magazine published the boat's lines, something we see very rarely now. In 1977 Bruce sold the world production rights to Pacific Sea Craft (PSC) Who have been contacted and have said they are not interested in this design anymore. It seems Bruce had a chance to design what will be forever one of those tiny boats that can go just about any place, from the West Coast, USA to the Pacific Islands, Transatlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, they have traveled the world and can be recognized instantly. Finding one near you may be easy, as some 800 plus boats have been built, making this design one of the best of its size there is.

Godspell's Compass Box

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With a length on deck of just 20 feet but with full six feet standing headroom inside, it was a great design that became as much a cult as anything. We hear of over four hundred and fifty plus having been built in GRP (glass reinforced plastic) (2003) if this is the case it is one of those designs that are now timeless and with a little searching you will find one that is priced just right for you?

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Godspell's Figure head (chained on, just in case)

To my mind ‘Pacific Sea Craft (PSC) in the USA built most of them (434?), excepting that some were also built by NorStar, said to be around twenty boats and Westerly Marine fitted some of them out. Some have been built here in South Africa as well. Bruce Bingham thinks he sold 400 sets of plans, so they have been built as one offs world wide. As of 2001 PSC decided to re-launch the Flicka design but needing a block booking of four to five boats at US$59,000 each. Not enough orders were taken and the design was moth balled. looking at their web site www.pacificseacraft.com the page on Flicka is now closed and no further support will be given or phone calls about the boat will be taken,so an end of the line for Flicka with PSC.

Godspell's Traditional and hand made rigging.

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The original South African boat was taken from the designers lines, then used as a plug at some later stage. Either way, the moulds to the hull and decks are alive and very well and safe on a farm here in the Cape.

They had moved around some over the years too; the plug we have in Cape Town started off its life in Durban 1000 miles north east of the Cape, then the hull mould was stored around ten years back in the boat park of the Hout Bay Yacht Club. Later, it was moved to a place named Noordhoek, a farming and horse riding community across the bay five miles off. When a group took over the mould to go into production locally, the deck and interior moulds were produced. After a year had gone by they saw nothing but the new moulds to the decks and interior but not a single complete Flicka, they pulled the financial plug on the project and liquidated!

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Flica 20’ For Sale @ R42,000 - only US$7000. This hull is fitted out in a waterproof ply, a deck will need fitting as well; that will be an extra to the indicated price.

In all of this time only two hulls and the interior & deck moulds were made. To date not a single deck has come off the deck plug, so its still quite new. But that is as far as they went. Then came a forced sale and Peter, the present owner was able to buy the entire lot and be able to contain them all on his own farm (Flicka’s like farms it seems). Peter knew of another Flicka hull, it was in the same village as he lived, an offer was already out for that hull and before he knew it, he owned that one too! It is the boat in the picture above.

The writer went into some serious discussion to take over the moulds, plus at least one hull and deck unit. This came to nothing and the deal was never discussed again. Then the news comes out that just a few weeks back on a Saturday morning, the first of the three boats would be launched! Peter the builder had always said he would first do an open boat version for day trips around the bay. He reasoned that it would be a better vessel to take under-privileged local community children out on. Looking at the stunning example he has produced, he is right too. This will be one of the options available soon.

The South African Flicka 20 Deck Plug. It's brand new.

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New boat purchases? The position in April 2006 is that we have a set of moulds in good condition, plus two complete hull and bulkheads, available for sale right now. Sales and shipping world wide would be by CKD Boats cc, Cape Town, fax & phone 021 510 7206 or www.ckdboats.com the email address is on the site.

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Flicka 20 - Hull # 3

This hull has its fiberglass interior mouldings in place and is for sale, either as is or as a completed boat to a sailaway boat. The price is subject to final specifications.

Anyone wanting to buy a new Flicka will do well to look at whats possible from Cape Town, South Africa. From a Hull Deck and Bulkheads, with the option to take the moulded interior as well, to a fully fitted out boat ready to sail, equipment subject to the buyers wishes.

Why buy in Cape Town?

Cape Town is now the hub of a fast growing boat building industry, with the SA government input of repayable low interest rate loans, funded trips to boats shows around the world and award winning boat show trade stands (Miami Strictly Sail 2006) Each year locally built boats take prizes in every category, remember that is against the worlds best and most well known and established boat yards. The other interesting piece of information is that due to the global position of Cape Town, at the end of the African continent, most boats sail on their own bottoms to their new owners and the ‘Flicka 20’ will be no different, excepting that her size does mean she could travel as deck cargo on a ship.

This growth in the marine industy has done the Cape Town area a lot of good. South Africa is a country hungry for employment. In addition, the South African ‘Boat Builders Council’ is professionally managed and is fully backed by both the City of Cape Town and national government. Each year brings new levels of excellence. One of which is training college for boat building artisans, formed in July 2005, a vital development, as at a last report, it was said that the country had over sixty boat yards now. Many need new and qualified tradesmen, now thin on the gound in a growing market but the new college will soon start supplying this need.

Back to the ‘Flicka 20’

Vist the FLICKA website Try www.google.com enter Flicka 20 sailing yacht, lots of interesting sites available.

Godspell's Stern Cleats,note the hand crafted 316 stainless steel work.

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The story of FLICKA may well end here, production wise at least, unless orders are a possiblility. The design is quite at home on a lake or a dam. It can be trailered to most places and weighs in around 2600 kgs, so the average 4x4 can tow this boat with ease. Then of course you can cross oceans in it!

Regards Roy Mc Bride
Founder, www.ckdboats.com

Cape Town,
South Africa