Flicka News

Goodbye to Bruce Potter Bingham

With sadness I report the news that Bruce passed away on 1st November 2022 at the age of 82.

Bruce was born March 10, 1940, in Detroit, MI to Fred Parker Bingham and Ruth Potter Bingham. He attended St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, WI, before joining the Navy in 1959.

Bruce married Marcene Kohli on November 11, 1961, they were married for 5 years and had two children. He later married Susan Helms on June 11, 1983 and they were married for 23 years.

Bruce followed in his dad’s footsteps, becoming a Naval Architect with Charles Morgan in 1963 in St. Petersburg, FL.  During that time, his reputation grew as an artist, and he was soon creating yacht renderings for other boat builders and private yacht owners.

In the late 1960’s Bruce started Bingham Yacht Design in Santa Barbara, CA and became best-known for his 20-foot Flicka, with hundreds built in backyards world-wide as well as being manufactured by Pacific Sea Craft. His writing career began when he was commissioned to write and illustrate for Rudder Magazine.

In 1973, Bruce’s first book, Ferro Cement Design Techniques, and Applications, was published. Shortly thereafter, he began producing a monthly column in Sail Magazine, called “The Sailors Sketchbook”, that continued for 8 years.

Over the years, Bruce’s articles and illustrations also began appearing in Cruising World Magazine, Boating, Small Boat Journal, Yachting, Yachting World, and other periodicals. In 1990 Bruce began writing and illustrating “The Workbench” for Cruising World Magazine, which lasted for 7 years and was published as a book in 2004.

In 2010 Bruce’s boat Nikki, that he lived aboard, won the Racing/Cruising Florida Suncoast’s Boat of the Year. He had lived aboard several sailboats for over 30 years.

Bruce is survived by his Step-sister Uma Bingham of Eureka, CA, two daughters, Colleen Hailey (Ricky) of Bradenton, FL and Brenda Slavens (Ricky) of Indianapolis, IN, 10 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents Fred Parker Bingham and Ruth Potter Bingham, his step-mother Vivian Chester Carroll Bingham, a brother Fred Parker Bingham II, a step-brother Greg Bingham and 3 great grandsons Clyde Austin Weeks, Noah James Cleveland and Levi Joseph Cleveland.

Fair Winds Bruce and thank you for the wonderful Flicka.

Gus, Jan 2023