I love you guys - seriously!
No calls for banning me for my satire from this group, and its fun sparring over semantics and such.
I like to have my beliefes challenged, unlike the comodores over at the Flicka20 Yahoo group. I stopped posting
my opinions and observations there because posts like my OP here and subsequent defenses of them were deemed "impolite" by the informal membership
board and a waste of time and resources by myself.
After a series of complaints, I wrote the head of the membership
comittee and told him I'd no longer post.
So he banned me from posting
So I sent him some really angry hate mail. I mean, really, really angry stuff, because my feelings were hurt.
Everybody wants to feel loved and accepted, even arrogant, concieted ******* know-alls like me.
I did this privately, because I believe hate mail should be a direct and personal thing - something shared only between mortal enemies, something to be cherished like a brief but intense love affair with your best freinds wife.
Frankly, I hate yacht clubs and the snobbery and exclusivity they embody., "Flicka 20 Yahoo group" is an online yacht club in my estimation, not a forum for rough and tumble argument and debate for improving the boat or sharing meaningful information about it.
Rather, its a social support network for armchair and weekend sailors and wannabees, with its values centered on "getting along with others" - which BTW I have always had trouble doing since I'm so intellegent, sucessful, and good looking, and I wouldnt want to belong to any club that would have me as a memeber anyway.
Anyone who thinks I dont respect the power of nature doesnt know me very well. I'll never intentionally put myself or my ship in harms way - and after sifting through all the ad-homenum attacks (I have skinny legs and a small penis too guys! Really, its like a baby's - which saves me a lot on those condoms, and gets me a deep discount at whorehouses)
One very important consideration, namely the very dangerous and proximal lee shore of a marginal anchorage gives me pause, and reminded me again of the importance qof selecting good anchorages
, and of having reliable, redundant ground tackle and knowing how to use it, so thanks for that.
The experienced tropical crusiers I've spoken with are unanamous about a couple of things:
You wont regret spending money
on oversized gound tackle, a watermaker
, and a decent bimini
/ awning. Dodgers rank fairly highly for mid lattitude offshore
folks, but I dont care for how they limit access and vision forward on a Flicka, so I removed mine and sold it. Light air sails
rank highly as well. Most value their inboard diesel
engines, but also report that they are often a headache, and that when they are most needed, they are most likely to fail. One couple I met had thier entire cruise
cut short by over 6 months, preventing them from sailing through the Panama Canal
and north to New York
, thier original plan, when it was flooded by following seas off Point Conception, and they were unable to find a competent marine diesel Mechanic
to fix it - Here in Marina Del Rey no less.
I met the charming young lady who was the skipper
while she worked at West Marine
trying to earn enough money
to pay incompetent mechanic
after mechanic who kept misdiagnosing the problem and failing to fix it, as thier dream of cruising the Carribean slowly died along with thier criusing funds.
The couple did not feel confident enough in thier sailing abilities to continue on without that engine
, and it was heartbreaking to see this beautiful, kind, intellegent and courageuos young woman and her boyfreind castaway in this s**thole of a city by that "reliable, powerful, essential" diesel engine
A small outboard
, by definition precludes over-reliance on mechanical propulsion
in favor of basic seamanship. It discourages the sort of risk taking like carrying undersized ground tackle and trying to outrun bad weather
- that a powerful inboard diesel encourages (they were running before a gale when unbeknownst to them thier crankcase flooded with seawater)
Bruce Bingham, the Naval Architect who designed the Flicka comissioned Pacific Seacraft
to build his Flicka for him. In an article from a 1982 Small Boat Journal magazine, he and his wife describe the specifications of his boat, along with the modifications they made to it. It was so heavily built that Bingham took to its interior
with a saber saw, (first to go was the inboard diesel mounting pad) and when he was finished, they had sawn over 400lbs of deadwood and fiberglass
from it without hurting its structural integrity - this according to Binghams wife, also a naval architect.
I was a licensed architect (buildings, not boats) for over 10 years. I have studied the the boat carefully from a structural standpoint. Its bulletproof - seriously - bullets would have a hard time making it through the 2-1/2" thick plywood
and glass bulkhead that seperates the cabin
from the cockpit
. Its decks are a 1" thick composite of 3/4" marine plywood
and 1/8" full roving GRP - on both sides- and the maximum span is around 4' on the foredeck, which is high crowned, giving it additional rigidity. The deck
is adhered to the hull
with some very agressive adheisive polyurathane, then through bolted every 8" bettween through-bolts there are lag screws attaching the teak
is deck-stepped, (So it wont tear a hole through the cabintop if lost) tabernacled, and its about 1/4 thicker, shorter, and stiffer than the masts of the 3 Yankee Dolphin 24s - another legendary small bluewater boat - docked next to her. It is tripple stayed latterally with exteral carrige bolts and (unfortanately) swaged 3/16" type 316 stainless steel
The cap shrouds are toggled and through bolted to the masthead just below the truck.
The big production boats I tour at the boat shows each spring flex and pop and groan when I bang on thier bulkheads - whereas banging on a Flicka bulkead results in a thud and a bruised fist.
The list of bluewater passages and cruises completed by Flicka owners is extensive.
Charlie Dewell, who I personally dislike because he was part of the Flicka 20 lynch mob
, but whom I respect for his sailing accomplishments, sailed "Kawabunga" from my home port to the Marquessas, then to Tahiti
, Palmira, Hawaii
, and then up over 40 degrees north lattitude around the Pacific high, where he lay ahull (he says he was too seasick to dig out and deploy his parachute anchor) through a force 9 gale without incident, returning safely to Marina Del Rey.
This South African sailor attempted to sail his Flicka - right after sucessfully circumnavigating a 19 foot open boat - non-stop around the world, via the southern ocean clipper ship route
, back in the early 90ies:
He logged a 137 mile day at one point, claims he saw 9 knots over ground (i've seen 8) and was faster than 40 foot former race
boat cruising in company with his "Selected Risks".
He lay hove-to in a 45 knot
gale for 36 hours in the alguhas current
off south Africa
, saying his Flicka "barely noticed" it. Then he rounded cape Alguhas (good hope) in good weather
and headed out into the southern Atlantic.
know what aborted his attempt to set the record
for smallest boat to navigate non-stop, unassisted via the southern ocean?
well, more exactly, his recalcitrant gasoline fueled genset, which took him several frustrating hours to disassemble, troubleshoot, and start, and he was reluctant to shut it down for re-fueling. He stupidly attempted to refuel it in mid ocean, in a seaway, while it was running, and predictably, it went up in flames.
.... and so did he. Still, he managed to reach St. Helena and medical
help in 5 days, under sail.
...and he has the class to aknowledge his "stupidy" at ignoring basic safety
and seamanship and for "letting the boat down".
There is no mention of a propulsion engine aboard "Selected Risks" and I dont see an outboard in the article photo
either. He certainly didnt have a diesel inboard, though one might argue it could have prevented his mishap.
Since there is so much ignorance and predudice here against this fine boat, here is a page full of links proving how capable she is:
This story is my favorite though:
..... Pounding against the bottom in the surf for 5 or 6 hours surrounded by lighting
and raked by microbusts and storm surf, and she comes through without a scratch, rudder
in tact, bilge
Try that in a fin keeled boat with a spade rudder
.... The results will be very different, I assure you.
Bingham deemed a 15lb CQR
and a 6 hp outboard adequit for he and his wife's 2 years of full time cruising thier Flicka, "Sabrina" in the Bahamas
, they crossed the gulf stream
without incident, and apparently never dragged anchor
and definately never shipwrecked.
I'm not yet contemplating offshore
bluewater passages just yet.
My immediate goal is La Paz
, and I'll not weigh anchor
from here or any safe harbor until the weather window is favorable.
is coastal, and can litterally be daysailed, with the exception of the 150 mile passage
from Magdelena Bay to Cabo San Lucas - its all downwind, and I'm bringing crew. The crux of this particular journey is supposed to be the passage out to Cedros Island, so you can bet your sweet ..... I'll be extra cautious there, and anywhere inshore for that matter.
Please worry about my motorcycle commuting, not my sailing. I'm so much safer at sea than on land its not even worth debating:
- sadly a well known local MDR marine services businessman was killed last month on his motorcycle - not his boat, his bike.
But I suspect the "concern" for my safety
expressed here is really the result of my opinions provoking a very different sort of worry in certain readers - the anxiety and anger that comes from having too much boat, too many "responsibilities" and not enough time to sail her.
You know deep inside that a smaller, simpler boat would get you out of port and experiencing the wider world - but the rot
has set in.
is in your mind, if not your ship.
Try taking both out once in a while, opening them up, and letting in some fresh air.