Thursday, July 23, 2009

Need/want and a wonderful design... Flicka!

The other day I was listening to someone new to the whole idea of cruising and living aboard who as a single guy had decided that he needed "at least" a fifty footer...

The problem is that as boats get bigger costs have a way of expanding at a exponential rate so a fifty footer does not cost or take twice as much money to keep up it is a LOT more. Exactly how much more depends on a lot of factors but my rule of thumb has always been for every three feet over thirty feet LOA the cost of upkeep doubles!

With that in mind and the world in a recession with no apparent end in sight if any, maybe it's time to re-examine just how big a boat people actually need in the need as opposed to want equation.

Katy Burke penned what just may be the best book on living aboard a boat ages ago and her "The Complete Live-Aboard Book" was based on her experiences living on a Flicka (a twenty foot boat) and to this day remains in my mind the best of the bunch in the live-aboard-a-boat book genre.

While small, the Bruce Bingham designed Flicka is a real blue water cruising boat with more ocean crossings to its credit than I can keep track of, as well a long history of people living-aboard quite comfortably. Kawabunga just being just one such example...

Which brings us back to the need/want thing... You may want a fifty footer, but just maybe what you really need is a twenty footer. Then again, maybe not. But it is something to keep in mind and even if you opt for a bigger boat there is a great deal to be learned from those who live and sail across big oceans on small boats.

Speaking of the Flicka... CKD is expecting the molds for the Flicka in the very near future and will be able to provide hull and deck kits for home builders. They are also working on a wood kit if you feel the urge to build a Flicka in wood... How cool is that?

For more information on the Flicka you might want to peruse a great resource for anyone!

Just an aside, but the first boat I ever actually built was a ferro cement Flicka back when I was doing boat work to pay for college... Loved the boat then and still think it is one of the best designs ever!