Why I Bought a Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20

Flicka 20 in Jervis Inlet

Sampaguita Sailing up Jervis Inlet

People who originally ordered a Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20 could get a new, well built, high-end, blue water capable cruiser with or without big boat amenities. It had a design that sailed well and looked good. This strength and variety have been good for the second-hand market. Having owned the 1985 Flicka 20, Sampaguita, now for six years, I have a lot of first-hand experience to talk about the boat. However, when I was shopping six years ago, I only had folklore and internet research. I didn’t say, “I am going to buy a Flicka.” It was just one of many makes and models of boats I was eyeing.

I was also checking out Westsails, dreaming of a Bristol Channel Cutter, eyeing Dana 24’s, as well as other boats on John Vigor’s list of Twenty Small Sailboats To Take You Anywhere. A small, full keeled, good sailing, blue water cruiser built like a tank was appealing. I didn’t want to be limited to where and when I could go. A simple and small boat would be easier to maintain, and on the wallet. My reasoning was this would all allow me to sail more and increase sustainability.

As for the Flicka, I liked the price point, but I wasn’t a fan of the builders’ and buyers’ wanting to cram so much into this tiny boat. Namely, the inboard engine and the enclosed head. While both have their attributes, they meant more holes in the bottom and a loss of precious space. On a Flicka, an enclosed head felt like it took up half of the cabin, eliminated the settee berth and made it feel closed and cramped down below. An inboard engine seemed like overkill, was dirty, and expensive to replace and repair. An outboard would be adequate, simpler, and with the motor on the outside, storage space under the cockpit would be available.

I decided I would consider a Flicka if I could find one with an outboard motor and no enclosed head, under $20K. I wanted the extra room allowance these features would present. I happened to see one that fit that description on the Flicka20.com website that was in my local area, so I went to check it out. The timing was right. The money was right. So I went for it.

Flicka 20 inboard Engine Space

Storage in Lieu of an Inboard Engine

Flicka 20 Cabin

The Morning I Left to Circumnavigate Vancouver Island

I may be in the minority regarding the enclosed head and inboard engine, but not alone. The inspirational John Hazen sailed his Flicka, Windward Pilgrim, from Hawaii to Port Townsend, and also did a Vancouver Island circumnavigation. He lives aboard, and it too has no enclosed head or inboard engine. These features haven’t diminished my use and enjoyment of the boat. I have lived on Sampaguita for six years and traveled over 4000 thousand miles.

That is the short story of how I decided on Sampaguita. So far, no regrets.

Windward Pilgrim

Windward Pilgrim


7 Comments on “Why I Bought a Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20

  1. Pingback: Why do I Live on a Flicka 20? | Sailing With Josh

  2. Hoping you see this soon.

    Do you think a 58 kilogram 15HP Yamaha outboard hanging off the stern have any adverse effect of a Flicka’s performance under sail?



    • Hi, Thanks for reading. I think you can get away with it. Mine is about 49 Kg. 15 HP is likely more than you need though, but I understand if it is the motor you have. Make sure the bracket and mount is strong. The biggest consideration will be the extra hobby horsing potential and the ventilation factor is you find yourself in short choppy seas.


      • How do you plan to get around these considerations when you go offshore? What if you get a knock down and the motor gets flooded? Are you still planning to go offshore in the Flicka? I’m saving up for a Dana 24 with Yanmar inboard!


      • Hi Sarah. Good to hear from you. Well, that could happen and then I would have to sail, wouldn’t I? It has been done. I wouldn’t be able to fix it offshore and it would corrode. In which case, I might feel compelled to drop the weight. And then buy a new one when I could. I’ve heard of inboards not starting too. I guess we choose our poison, right? I really wanted a Dana and looked at many. They were out of my price range and the more affordable ones needed too much work. I periodically keep my eye out for them and would still consider the right boat. That seems like an excellent choice for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense. Sailing, what a concept. =) So r u still considering going offshore in the Flicka? Or do u want a Dana for that?


      • A while ago, I even had my eye on a Norsea 27. I really liked. Life is a constantly evolving play on a constantly evolving stage. Who knows what tomorrow may bring. Stay tuned.

        Liked by 1 person

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