Robert Radcliffe’s Flicka 20 for Sale

The late Robert Radcliffe was an avid sailor who loved sailing his boat Blowfish. His wife, Shoko, has reluctantly put Blowfish up for sale.

Here is some information about the boat from Robert’s friend and previous owner of Blowfish, Alex.

Blowfish was a one-off hull, built of FRP plastered over steel mesh.  she weighs 3.5 tons, and so is a bit heavier than other Flickas by about 250 kilos.  She has plywood deck and house, and was very well built by a shipyard in Maryland. My father and I built her deck, cabin, interior, etc. She is now 40 years old, ragged but right, a bit scuffed and grimy, but seaworthy and sound. In recent years she has been well maintained by Robert and the mechanics at Oita.

She was originally a gaff-rigged catboat when she sailed on the Chesapeake  (then name “Tureen”) and was converted to sloop in 2000 when she came to Japan. She has a jib boom which is a pain (I’d lose it).  She has two good Honda 9HP outboards. The older one (2007) is long shaft with a big flat screw; it drives her very well and quietly. The newer one is short shaft with a higher pitched screw; Robert bought it for the electric starter after he was too weak to manage the other, manual-start engine. I add, she used to have a BMW inboard, but I could no longer find parts for it (and so it was removed.)

Sails are solid, new in 2000. Roller reefing on the jib, and all sheets and halyards lead to the cockpit, so she is easy to singlehand. Full keel, so an easy cruiser – she is no race boat, but a solid blue water passage maker.  Standing room in the cabin, quite a lot of boat for a 20′ waterline.

Oita is a good berth – cheap, excellent staff, great sailing ground, and an hour or so away by plane.  I would keep her there.

Blowfish is currently tied up in a full-service marina only a 10-minute walk from Oita Airport (the marina is to the south of the landing strip). Annual marina fees for the boat are said to be very inexpensive and Robert said it was cheaper to keep the boat in Oita and fly down four or five times a year than to keep the boat in the Tokyo area. With the marina so close to the airport, there are many benefits to keeping Blowfish in Oita.

The asking price is ¥300,000. This is primarily to cover the costs of the 2017-18 marina fee, recent interior woodwork and new bottom paint both done by the marina in May.

If you’re interested in Blowfish, you can contact for more information. More photos of Blowfish are expected to arrive soon.



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