A Flicka 20 Sailboat Story
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!
images to enlarge)
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.
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?
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
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.
Traditional and hand made rigging.
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
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!
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
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.
African Flicka 20 Deck Plug. It's brand
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.
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
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
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.
Stern Cleats,note the hand crafted 316 stainless
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