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Old 13-08-2017, 19:49   #1
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Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

Hello all!

This may not be the correct thread to post this under, but this is my first post and I'm still learning. Anyways, I am selling my house (house is on the market) and I calculate I'll have at least $40k on hand after the sell. I have been thoroughly researching various yachts to try and find the "right one" but have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing and I'll need to compromise. Not a problem though.

The plan is to live aboard and single hand her. I'm about to start a marine technology program, so I'm hoping to be relatively self-sufficient and do most of the work on her myself. I have narrowed my list down to the Westsail 32 and the Flicka 20. I'll be living aboard and single-handling her. I'm going to start out easy and gradually work my way up to sailing offshore and exploring exotic locations. My monthly budget will be between $1k-1500/mo. I have no ties to any location, so I'm willing to move as needed.

I guess I'm looking for some advice on which one would be better for a single-hander, pros and cons of the yachts, and any other advice or critiques of my plan. I'm new to all this, so if some of you experienced sailors think I'm being foolish or have any ideas to improve upon my plan, they are very welcome! I have thick skin, so don't hold back.

Personal facts: I'm 32 y/o, 5'10", 275 lbs. In case that matters
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Old 13-08-2017, 19:55   #2
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

The W32 will have a ton more room and sail much faster. The short water line Flicka really only shines in my eyes if you plan to trailer it to places, then go exploring.
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Old 13-08-2017, 20:10   #3
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

Not sure how your short list contains two boats that are very, very, (very) different. don't think either boat is a particularly good choice for the budget and needs you have.
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Old 13-08-2017, 20:24   #4
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

As I said, I'm a beginner at this. So two boats that look similar to me might be vastly different to an experienced sailor. I'd love it if you would elaborate though! I'm trying to absorb as much knowledge as I can.

The similarities to me are that they are both relatively small, (one much smaller than the other) which makes them easier to single hand. And the aft deck seems conducive to fishing and shrimping/crabbing (I plan on fresh seafood being a large part of my diet). Other boats I've seen have cluttered or small cockpits with all sorts of gear hanging off the back, making fishing more difficult. To me, the main difference is size. But I'm sure there's a lot more to it, which is why I'm looking for advice and feedback. Thank you!!

I'm also open to any recommendations on other types of boats anyone thinks I should look into. I don't really know anyone in the sailing community so I've been doing this on my own without anyone else's input.
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Old 13-08-2017, 20:37   #5
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

I suggest getting some experience sailing on as many different boats as possible. Maybe sailing lessons, hang around yacht clubs and marinas on weekends. This is to get some background knowledge to inform your process. I think you have a lot to do before deciding on what boat to buy. Getting on this forum is a good start.
Best wishes!
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Old 13-08-2017, 20:54   #6
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

I'm not in any rush to do this; I want to wait until I have the requisite knowledge to make an informed decision, which includes sailing lessons. The problem with that is I live in Anchorage, AK and there's not many options for sailing classes up here. The one class there is up here is closed for the winter. So I figured I'd wait until after my program to take the lessons and then buy the boat. I don't want to take the lessons now, forget what I learned during the program, and then have to retake them after I graduate. I'm glad to know I'm on the right track though coming here!

Can anyone throw out a few pros and cons of each boat? What I'd be faced with once moving aboard? Thank you to all of you who have contributed, I'm very grateful
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Old 13-08-2017, 21:03   #7
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

I would inspect many different boats in your price range and see, if I could find one very well maintained that speaks to me at an affordable price.

It seems that you like old fashined syle long keel boats. I would like such a boat too.

But probably the flicka20 is way too small as a live abroad, if you have averange needs.

And the westsail32 may be more expensive than the asking price before you can sail it. So take good care.
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Old 13-08-2017, 21:25   #8
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

Thanks Martin,

What are you referring to when you say I'll have to spend more than the asking price getting her ready to sail? What kind of expenditures came to mind? And do you mean that after I buy the boat I will be spending additionally the cost of the boat preparing her? I hope to pay around $25k-30k on the boat and then plan on having an additional $15k-20k leftover after I buy the boat for unforeseen expenditures. Is that budget realistic?

You all have been so very helpful! I have been scouring the internet for answers to these questions. It's so nice having experienced sailors point me in the right direction and correct my naïveté. Thanks again!
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Old 13-08-2017, 21:42   #9
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

Man, there is a lot of daylight between those two boats. A common refrain here is to google "atom boat list" for a long list of boats under 32' which are "bluewater". "Mahina boat list" is another good one. At 5'10" you should be able to find standing headroom in any number of smaller boats, but at 275lbs you may want to be sure you can walk the relatively narrow sidedecks of most of these boats without too much trouble. On my 27' for instance, you have to swing pretty low underneath the shrouds on your way forward.

The stark choice and the main considerations you give suggest a lot more research ought to be done. Both would be easy enough to singlehand. A small cockpit on a small boat offers more cabin space for the size and are generally considered more "seaworthy" as the boat has less chance of foundering if the cockpit gets pooped. But maybe more importantly, a large cockpit on a small boat will leave less space inside for the galley, head, main cabin, v-berth, etc.

The type of boat you should get is a very personal decision. Everyone has their own criteria and it's really really hard to know what you actually want until you get out there. So take what is said by other sailors with a big grain of salt and try and get as much experience as is practical before you buy. Maybe look at some larger boats that are "less bluewater" as well. A lot of boats will get you there. More important than "bluewaterability" is knowing your boat, being able to vouch for its systems, and being able to deal with issues as they arise. Walk the docks and talk to other sailors. You shouldn't have any trouble getting aboard a few for some daysails.

Have fun in the search and good luck!
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Old 13-08-2017, 22:04   #10
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

We built a W32 from a power away kit, lived aboard and sailed to Tahiti and part way back over 3 years. The Westsail is a great boat for a live aboard and long distance cruising. They will make respectable passages but are not 'fun' to sail. Kind of like a motor home in comparison to a Miata. They'll get you there in relative comfort and can carry, literally a ton of supplies, doing it but going around corners fast is not their thing.

As far as cost. The newest W32 is nearing 40 years old. There is going to be some maintenance and replacement of equipment no matter how well cared for the boat. It will be on its second engine and maybe ready for its third, rigging may be ancient, sails worn out, etc. It'll require careful inspection to be sure you aren't biting off more than you can chew. Some things to look out for are fuel and water tanks, rot in the boomkin and bowsprit, cracks in chainplates and tangs. Not anything more than a boat of similar age but things to look out for. Also the W32 is 32' on Deck but over 40' in length from boomkin to bowsprit and displaces 20,000# so are not small boats. I'd sail my old W32 to SoPac again where it's been 3 times already, yes in a heart beat. Just want you to know what you're getting into. They are also a steal at today's asking prices.
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Old 13-08-2017, 22:23   #11
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

W32

What two folks did:

Am I the only one still swaying? | Sundowner Sails Again
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Old 13-08-2017, 22:27   #12
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

What considerations should I be looking for? The main considerations I've been looking for are: easily single-handed, offshore capable, plenty of food storage, at least one double birth, low-ish engine hours, and preferably no wood or foam core. I'm leaning towards the Westsail 32 for a variety of reasons, but I can't get over the Flicka 20. It just seems like such a neat little boat, but I'd only get one with an enclosed head, or I'd build an enclosed head. The cockpit doesn't need to be large, just laid out in a way that allows me to land a fish or fit shrimp pots. All of my other wants are negotiable.

I already live a fairly minimalistic lifestyle. My needs are low, so I don't foresee living in a small boat to causing me any distress from a lack of room for my belongings. As long as I have food and my books, I'm happy.
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Old 13-08-2017, 22:58   #13
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

If it seems that I lean toward the Westsail, it may be because I own a Samson C-Mist 32, which is like a ferrocement sister to the W32 , so I am much more familiar with it than I am with the Flicka. For some background on the Westsail, I'm suggesting some reading on the design. It is descended from the Colin Archer 47-foot Norwegian pilot / rescue boats that had to go out and work in any weather. Engineless. John Atkin scaled it down to 32. Atkin "Eric". Kendall 32. Westsail 32. The winner of the first single-handed round-the-world nonstop sailing race, Robin Knox-Johnston, sailed a very similar design. He didn't win by having the fastest boat, but by being the only one of the nine entrants to finish. His book is "A World of My Own." Through the Westsail Owners Association you can find the story of "Satori," a W-32 that survived the Perfect Storm in the Atlantic.
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Old 13-08-2017, 23:13   #14
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibrowne View Post
What considerations should I be looking for? The main considerations I've been looking for are: easily single-handed, offshore capable, plenty of food storage, at least one double birth, low-ish engine hours, and preferably no wood or foam core. I'm leaning towards the Westsail 32 for a variety of reasons, but I can't get over the Flicka 20. It just seems like such a neat little boat, but I'd only get one with an enclosed head, or I'd build an enclosed head. The cockpit doesn't need to be large, just laid out in a way that allows me to land a fish or fit shrimp pots. All of my other wants are negotiable.

I already live a fairly minimalistic lifestyle. My needs are low, so I don't foresee living in a small boat to causing me any distress from a lack of room for my belongings. As long as I have food and my books, I'm happy.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sound like they both meet your needs but you're hung up on one being more cute than the other. I had a dilemma like that one time choosing a girlfriend; one was more cute than the other. But, I finally spent some time with both and found out what was on the inside. You know that old cliche , "You can't tell the book by looking at the cover." ??
I haven't sailed either one but I've sailed little ones and big ones and the big ones are a lot more comfortable. I would buy the biggest boat, all things being equal, that I could afford.
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Old 14-08-2017, 00:02   #15
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Re: Westsail 32 v Flicka 20

Are you staying in Alaska specifically Anchorage area and sailing south 'one day'? Or buying in the south and staying there?
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