From a Flicka 20 to a PS25 and back to a Flicka 20

That subject line will only make sense to a few boat-y people (and pocket cruiser nerds at that). Probably none of whom read my blog, but that’s okay. We’ve sold our Hunter in February thanks to a great broker who worked very hard, and now I’m looking for a new boat companion. For years I’ve been in love with Flickas, and I had a lead on a nice one. But then I found out that a Pacific Seacraft 25 was residing nearby, looking for a new home. Being such a fan of little bluewater tanks, I asked Greg if we could go visit, “just to see what one looks like”. Only 147 were ever made, I might not get to board one again.

You can guess how this turned out: I fell in love. That canoe stern, that grand hanging rudder that makes her look like a miniature Viking ship. There were no lines led aft (bless them). That round cockpit – everyone says “there isn’t enough room” in a double-ender, but they couldn’t be more wrong. That round cockpit just welcomes you. I couldn’t get enough of this boat. I still loved Flickas, but now I loved this boat, too, when I never thought I would. The cabin headroom is only 5’2″ and I am 5’9″. How could I be satisfied with that? How could Greg? The guy is 6’2″. To our surprise, it wasn’t an issue at all.

We made an offer, it was accepted, and I’ve spent the last two weeks swooning over photos of this boat, collecting photos of other PSC25s, and dreaming of all the places she and I would take our friends together.

Then came…..the survey. Many repairs came up, nearly all of which we weren’t anticipating. We talked about what to do. Do we ask the seller for a steep discount, and assuming it’s accepted, motor her straight to the boatyard and cross our fingers and throw ourselves on Neptune’s mercy?

While we were thinking about it, I decided to call up the owner of that Flicka nearby, who was still looking for her home. The owners were happy to meet with us today, and so Greg and I sent Finnegan and the puppy (oh that’s right, I haven’t introduced THE PUPPY!) to Grammy’s house and piled into the wagon and off we went. We had to take a ferry to visit this boat.

As we crossed the water, this is what we saw:


I waved my arms and squealed at Greg. “How can that not be a good sign!? This is clearly an omen that we’ve found our boat.” He laughed. He’s not superstitious the way I am, nor does he subscribe to omens. He’s a weird sailor. But, he’s letting me buy us a new boat, so I’m not going to argue.

We arrived (late! I am never late! thank goodness her owners were forgiving) at the marina, and there she was. A Flicka 20, stout as can be, sitting in the water, pulling impatiently on her lines, like she wondered why we were all packed so lightly for the trip she obviously meant to take us on. It was a small craft advisory warning, so we didn’t go for a test sail, but her owners let us hang out for over an hour. They told us to crawl all over the boat and investigate all the nooks and crannies while they left us alone to talk, and went off for a walk. Greg and I tried the v-berth, which was actually very comfortable – how is that possible in a twenty foot boat? He even tried the quarter berth, which would have been way too tight for me. He had to contort to get in there, but once he did, he said, “Oh, this could work. I could sleep here very nicely.”

It had tons of storage. It had a place for both of us to sleep comfortably. We could make a meal. We could walk around. There’s room on the foredeck to sit and read a book. There’s room in the cockpit for us and a couple of friends. She’s basically perfect.

After awhile they came back, and we talked. They showed us the “warts”, the things they’d been wanting to fix soon. They were so open and answered all our questions, even my curious ones about the outboard. I’m used to our old inboard diesel. He started it up for us, and we got to see the whole process, from priming the line (is that what you call it?) to flushing the engine at the end.

Finally we had to leave. I knew that I’d be walking away with a look of longing, but I was surprised to see Greg look back at her and then pause and take a good, long look. I laughed. “That’s how you know you’ve found the right one,” I said. “You don’t want to leave the dock.” It looks like Mr. Doesn’t Get Sentimental About Boats has found a boat he’s actually pretty excited about.

Now we just wait for the survey.




  1. Peter Krivcov says:

    First I want to say I hope you’re health is ok and spirits remain high. I admire you’re courage and positive outlook on life and adventures and the “small” things in life :). My wife and I are entering the next phase in life after shipping our son off to college earlier this year. We have been focused on the PS25 but lately find myself enamored with the Flick which I had always thought of as “too small” for us. I read in you blog that you were fixed on the PS25 but the survey did not go well. Curious to know if that was the main reason? or after owning the Flicka you’ve realized the standing headroom was bigger factor than you expected? Any other insight between the two boats would be great. Hope all else is well with you! Kind regards. Peter

    • Sewbiwan says:

      Hello Peter! My apologies for it taking two days for me to check my email and realize that your comment was awaiting moderation! 🙂

      Great question about the Flicka vs. the PS25, and of course there isn’t much I like talking about more than boats.

      Initially, after selling our Hunter 30, I was fixated on a Flicka, for lots of reasons. The size was very appealing. I’d “met” a couple in person and just loved them. When I found the PS25, it was at a local brokerage and I just wanted to check one out because I was a fan of small boats and Pacific Seacraft, and figured it’d be fun. When I realized it was in my price range, my ears perked up, and then when I boarded her, I was smitten.

      The main reason for not buying that particular boat was the survey, yes, but the reason I went back to searching for a Flicka after that, instead of searching for another PS25, was because of a few things:

      The standing head room was a bigger deal than I thought. I didn’t notice it being that big of an issue when I was on the PS25, but then whenever I boarded a Flicka, I would think, “Oh, it’s SO NICE having this headroom.” I realized that it did matter to me. In an overnight trip, I really want to be able to stand to dress, for instance. Sitting while trying to get clothes on and off is clumsy for me. It also made me feel less claustrophobic.

      The other aspect was the V-berth. In the PS25, the V-berth is a bit tight to get into, I had to sit down and then skooch my legs back to work my way into a horizontal position. Once laying down, I couldn’t sit up easily because there isn’t enough headroom there. In my Flicka, I can sit in the V-berth cross-legged and look around or read a book, and if I scoot over, there is still enough room for my hubby to slide in and lay down comfortably. I really love that. I love the feeling in the Flicka of the space seeming very open. It contributes greatly to the sense that the boat is bigger on the inside (like a Tardis!).

      It continually shocks me that my Flicka only 20 feet long. I figured, after owning a 30-foot boat for three years, that having a 20-foot boat would be cute and fun for awhile, but that eventually, I’d have to deal with feeling cramped. It seemed inevitable. So far, two years in, I actually feel like she gets roomier over time, which seems impressive to me. Can you tell I love this boat? I am in love with this boat.

      What I loved about the PS25 that sucked me in when I saw her, was the large cockpit and the really beautiful canoe stern. I love those sterns, I know a lot of people will gripe about how they actually make you lose cockpit room, but I just think they’re gorgeous to look at, and the cockpit felt plenty big. The one I surveyed looked like a little Viking ship. It was that charming quality that really grabbed me, and made me overlook the cramped cabin.

      The other thing I liked on the Flicka was that the bowsprit means we get a bit more sail area, and if I’m right, I think we go a little faster. The PS25 that we looked at had no bowsprit, and the broker said a lot of people install them for better sailing.

      In the end, I feel like I made the right choice for me, because the cockpit of the Flicka has turned out to be roomy enough, and I really feel the open cabin helps me personally cope better on overnights with being in a very small boat. However, when I try to imagine what it would have been like if the PS25 had worked out and we’d been sailing that for two years, I think I’d have loved that, too. As much as the Flicka? I’m not sure, but probably close!

      I hope that’s useful! If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. If you end up in Seattle, feel free to drop me a note and I’d be happy to let you see Elska!

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