Born and raised in rural Central New York, my first chapter of life was focused on drums and percussion. I earned a B.M. from SUNY Fredonia and pursued a performing and teaching career for two decades. I was bitten by the expedition sailing bug while living in NYC, and a move to Seattle brought focus and culture to this new passion. While working at a local game store, I developed my skills sailing and living aboard small boats with multiple expeditions throughout the Pacific Northwest, including a solo circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. Other pursuits include expository and experiential maritime writing, SCUBA diving, canoe sailing, marlinspike, and bicycling.
I hold an Inland 50-Ton Master’s license with sail and towing endorsements and a Near Coastal OUPV license. Presently, I live aboard the Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20, Sampaguita, in the Washington Ship Canal in Ballard. I enjoy extended sailing expeditions and this site documents some of the explorations and adventures of the past few years.
If you are looking for info on how to cruise in comfort, speed, and style, you may be in the wrong place. While I do not feel uncomfortable, there are more challenges than most would tolerate living and travel on a small boat. With a hull speed of about 5.5 knots, speed means “how slow are we going?” As for style, that is a matter of perspective based on our values.
My reasoning to go small and make those sacrifices, was to gain the rewards of those sacrifices. I enjoy the challenge of sailing with less. A small boat sails more than a large boat in the NW. And there are the expenses, which are smaller too. When I was first introduced to sailing, it was in a very small boat. It was a minimalist and purist experience that I could relate to. If my first experiences were with a larger, high tech boat, it would not have had the same appeal. I would have seen the many expensive gadgets and thought, “this is unattainable for me.”
If you are still reading, there might be a romantic in you. That is easily cured. You will have your own story. If you are a Flicka owner, you definitely are a romantic, and this site might actually be relevant for you.
contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
wow! Windward Pilgrim is pictured so nicely ! Have a good trip! -John Hazen
John, your an inspiration!
Have an eighty-two flica with diesel and no head. I sail alone a lot and do not find the size with full stand-up headroom all that restrictive. What I do find is that I have a boat that I have tremendous confidence in and one that can handle the rough stuff when it comes to weather which not many 20footers with an eighteen ft waterline can do.
Gary, Thank you for reading. Some of us don’t need much room for comfort. I hope you continue to enjoy your Flicka. What’s the name, hull ID and location?
I have really enjoyed reading your blog and following your stewardship of Sampaguita. You have inspired me to take another crack at removing the tangs on my mast as you discussed in your blog – I think I needed more heat to encourage separation of the components. What is Sampaguita’s hull number and have you any information on which mast was used on early to mid 1980s Flickas? I may need to order a new compression tube and inserts. Cheers and fair leads with big blocks – Jamie White http://www.thesquarerigger.com
Jamie, Thanks again for the kind words. Sampaguita is hull #317. I sussed the mast to be a Kenyon 3350 MORC as per RigRite. https://www.rigrite.com/Spars/Kenyon_Spars/KENYON.php
Last I checked they have the inserts, called flange bushings. And compression tubes somewhere too. But any machinist can get those for you.
They are the 11/16th ones which is an unfortunate size. The corresponding tangs aren’t available anymore, so if you want to replace them its make your own or modify to a different size. No one does that odd size anymore. It makes swapping out complicated. I did that with the lower tangs and have something completely different going on there now. I didn’t like the alignment the dogbone tangs were giving me. I haven’t written about it yet. There are work arounds, but you can handle it.
RigRite is new old stock. I ordered a few things with mixed feelings. The sheaves I ordered for the reef lines in the boom had seen a little UV from sitting on the shelf somewhere all these years, I think. Two were pretty good and two were ho-hum. I ordered a round bar traveler that was excellent. Wilcox-Crittenden, but not the Schaefer on most Flickas. It works though. It was in a box all these years, while the other sheaves were in plastic baggies.
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Thanks for the information on our masts…I think I will try to renew the lower tangs at my next haulout! My Flicka “Dulcinea” is hull number 302 and should have the same mast as your beautiful Flicka has. Your blog and articles in various sailing publications are a fantastic resource and very much appreciated by all! Would enjoy sharing a pint or coffee one of these days. Please give me a shout if you are ever in the San Francisco Bay area – would enjoy taking you for a sail on Dulcinea sometime.
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Josh, do you know anyone with the original kit plans for the Flicka? I’ve tried many places and cannot get my hands on anything.
Tristan, I do not. Bruce Bingham lives in Florida, maybe he would know. Did you ask on the Flicka FB and Yahoo forum?
I did, Bruce passed in Nov of 2022 unfortunately. I’ll keep
hunting! This site is a fantastic inspiration, thanks Josh!
I hadn’t heard about Bruce, but I haven’t been on the Flicka Forums for a while. If you can ever pick up a copy of his Sailor’s Sketchbook, it’s awesome. About the plans. Ironically, it turns out my sailmaker has offered me a set of Flicka plans. I don’t yet have in hand, so I don’t know for sure what that means. I’ll get back to you when I have them in hand.
Funny about the plans! I picked up Bruce’s book about Ferro-cement construction and it is fantastic. I’ll definitely pick up the Sailor’s Sketchbook. Thanks for the response, curious to hear if the plans materialize.