Copyright 2017 - Woods Designs, Foss Quay, Millbrook, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL10 1EN, UK
  • home built Flica 37

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran

The hard chine Flica 34 was one of my first cruising designs. I keep it in my portfolio because it is still a great cruising boat. Stable, lots of room and comfortable to sail and live aboard, with a good load carrying hull shape. In fact I like it so much that I used a similar hull on the later Romany and Mirage designs. It is possibly the most sailed of my designs, certainly there have been dozens of ocean crossings (one Flica has made at least five Atlantic crossings) and a good number have been used as charter boats.

In the mid 1980's, when Palamos Boatbuild wanted to develop some larger designs, we used the Flica 34 as a basis of a new design that would be more cruising orientated than the performance cruiser Banshee being developed at the same time. That way potential customers would have a choice. If they wanted performance they bought a Banshee, more comfort a Flica. 25 years on it is important to remember that the original buyer was offered a choice in boats. If he chose a Flica it was because he didn't want performance, prefering comfort instead.

The Banshee was 35ft long and as we planned to use the same hull for both boats the new production Flica became a 35fter. As a result all the dimensions were slightly larger, so there is more headroom on the bridgedeck, a bigger heads, more room for engines and generators etc.

The first ten or so boats were Flica 35's but, later, transom steps were added to lengthen the boat to 37ft. The rig and general layout remained the same, except that the Flica 35 (like the 34) had a deep cockpit and the 37 a raised cockpit.

This was done for two reasons; first to give extra room below so that the aft bunks could be awthartships, and thus be in "cabins" rather than just bunks. And second because people didn't like the deep cockpit as it was hard to see forward over the cabin top. Of course by raising the cockpit some people then felt exposed and vulnerable to waves from aft (but the aft platform did offer reassurance). It was a compromise choice, but in the event once the 37 was on the market no one bought a 35. So clearly people prefered the raised cockpit.

Palamos ceased trading in 1989, but people still wanted to have a Flica 35/37. So I modified the production boat drawings to suit home builders. Originally these home built boats had strip plank cedar hulls and plywood decks but later I added details so people could build in foam sandwich. But the round bilge boat is harder to build than the sheet ply original and, because it started life as a production boat, the 35/37ft plans are not quite as comprehensive as the 34 plans. Thus the standard Flica plans I sell are for the 34ft hard chine plywood version. But the 35 and 37ft versions are still available to special order if requested, but please note these only have round bilge hulls, not chined.

Probably the one disadvantage of the Flica is that it has a relatively small rig, so performance suffers in light winds. Having said that, I do have a bigger fractional rig drawn for the 35 and 37 versions which adds a big boost to performance.