Re: Intro and question

Nick D

Guys, I was bugged by the light airs comment in the magazine article and left a short comment there. Glad to see people speaking up here too, because the Flicka sails just fine and essentially as well as any other boat in "light air". It just takes a little more effort and focus. This is my first season with the Flicka. Last fall I took one test sail in under 10kts and found it sailed perfectly well, so we went ahead and bought it. To give you an idea if I know what I'm talking about, my wife and I raced about 1500 races in the past 17 years in one design and phrf, frostbite champ past 6 years in El Toros etc.. We've sailed this year now a few times and are blown away by the way the boat feels and handles in all conditions. Just a week ago the wind was a shifty 10kt or less and I was chasing a 40 ft Irwin and a big Hunter on a close reach and beat and they could only inch away a few hundred feet over a few miles because they had a favorable current in a deep channel with the noisy motorboats while I was gliding along outside the channel in 4 ft, far away from the traffic, tee hee. Our speed was between 3.5 and 4.2 kts with "old sails". Expecting a great summer!

--- In Flicka20@..., Richard Halmy <rmh4@...> wrote:

Hello, Virginia....

Your supposition about the gaff rigged Flicka's light air performance is correct. The edge in light air performance
over the Bermudan rigged boats is partly due to the increased mains'l area and the gaff rig. However, most modern sailors fail to recognize that a gaff rigged main is basically a modified square sail....and a square sail is a poor person's spinnaker. Off the wind, just when Bermudan mains start losing their efficiency and drive, gaff rigged mains come into their own. Thus, it is no surprise that from a close reach on south.....especially in light air, gaffers move exceptionally well. The Flicka is no exception. For a scholarly discussion on the history and merits of gaff rigs, please refer to Tom Cunliffe's superb book, 'Hand Reef and Steer' - Traditional Sailing Skills for Classic Boats.
(Sheridan House, 1992).

Aside from the beauty of classic sails, a gaff rigged flicka (usually, stays'l cutter rig) is a special boat, with excellent balance, strength and sailing ability. Not many of them around, as fewer than 20 were built by Pacific Seacraft, along with perhaps a handful of others.....There are many advantages to the gaff rig....simple, strong, no spreaders to fail, among a handful of advantages. Keep in mind that up to World War II, gaff rig was in constant development since the time of Christ....2000 years.....all of it done without computers!! So in that time frame, the rig was perfected
out of trial and error.... it proved itself, worked and worked well!

On the negative side, for single handers gaffers are certainly more a handful to sail, with multiple halyards, dousers, running backstays, and a lot of running rigging.... Also, while able sailors, gaffers do not sail to forty degrees on the wind, still, if a thing of beauty is a joy forever....that perfectly describes the gaff rigged Flicka's looks and the pleasure of its delightful sailing capabilities. (Needless to say, my poor and humble opinion).

Best of luck in your search for the Flicka of your dreams.

Fair winds,

s/v Jake (gaffer) #168
Long Beach, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: vjmurph <vjmurph@...>
To: Flicka20 <Flicka20@...>
Sent: Thu, Jun 16, 2011 3:22 pm
Subject: [Flicka20] Intro and question

Hello all,

I am saving my pennies for a Flicka, after going around and around about many different boats. I always come back to the Flicka, in part because she has everything I want and nothing I don't, and in part because she really makes me smile. I am sure that is an experience many of you can relate to.

I am slowly reading all the past info from this great group and the Flicka site, and I have run across something that I don't see addressed any where.

One big gripe people who don't own Flickas seem to have is that they don't perform well in light air. I have read quite a bit from owners disputing the scope of that accusation, but these are Rubenesque little cruisers so it is no surprise that they need a little more push to get going.

I read an article which mentioned that the increased sail area of a gaff rig would be the best option to increase speed, especially in light airs. I might be misquoting that a bit, but that was my takeaway from it.

What says group about this proposition? Lord knows gaff rigs are pretty enough on the Flicka, but are they better for light air than the sloop or cutter?

Thank you all so much for contributing to a wonderful resource, and I hope to join you soon as a besotted Flicka owner!


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