Annual Spring SKYHAWK Sunglasses Sale (2 for 1)!

We’re getting a late start on our spring SALE on our best-selling SkyHAWK sunglasses, but we’ve decided to extend it until May 30 so you’ll have lots of time to order your sunglasses! So buy any pair you want (just $14.98/pair!) and e-mail your FREE second pair desires to us and we’ll send both pairs out right away along with a lanyard and a Nylo-silk case for each!



Yachtsman II

Perhaps you already know which SkyHAWKs you prefer (I know many of our boating friends have old favorites) but here’s the link to our Marine Store anyway!

Enjoy the spring … and doing all the ‘get-ready’ things that that entails. Me, I’m finishing up several onboard projects and have already launched ‘Kokomo’  for a seven day and night voyage on the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and S.F. Bay!  SkyHAWK SALE ENDS May 30, 2016! Note: S/H is a total of $4.88 for the two pairs, lanyards and cases to anywhere in the 50 states.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Restructured Pricing On The Nicest Rosborough We Know Of!

We’ve changed our pricing on “KOKOMO”, with twin Honda BF 150’s, Simrad autopilot with remote, Raymarine electronics suite including E-120 chartplotter, AIS, 48-mile radar, depth sounder, a wonderful 6-wheel salt water trailer by King, etc. and a looong list of other features you can review at If your looking for the best-commissioned vessel on the water and one that has been maintained to impeccable standards, please take look at “Kokomo’s” features and pedigree! Once again, ALL the details are at!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


On this first day of spring we thought you’d like a SALE on our best-selling SkyHAWK sunglasses! So buy any pair you want (just $14.98/pair!) and e-mail your FREE second pair desires to us and we’ll send both pairs out right away along with a lanyard and a Nylo-silk case for each!



Yachtsman II

Perhaps you already know which SkyHAWKs you prefer (I know many of our boating friends have old favorites) but here’s the link to our Marine Store anyway!

Enjoy the spring … and doing all the ‘get-ready’ things that that entails. Me, I’m finishing up several onboard projects and launching ‘Kokomo’ in a few days for five days and nights up the South Fork of the Feather River!  SkyHAWK SALE ENDS April 20, 2015!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One-year test results: Three Extraordinary Boating Products

We promised you tests after approximately one-year, and so we’ve checked out (and used unflinchingly) these products for at least one full year. Here are the results:

“CABIN WOOD CARE” (See “Easy Interior Teak Care” in the Op Ed Section) – reader and fellow boat owner Tammy Goddard brought this to my attention approximately three years ago and, after coating Kokomo’s teak with it then, I couldn’t be more pleased with this teak care product. It goes on really easily (no messy painting), can over-spill onto nearby paint with no problem, takes very little to coat and leaves my teak looking new (even removes water spots and stains!). To learn about Cabin Wood and where to get yours, see our article in the section of this site.  1-10 score: 10!

“AUTOTETHER” WIRELESS IGNITION KILL SYSTEM (Do a SEARCH for ‘Autotether’ on the top right of this page) – This device has been interesting and wonderfully freeing to use! It let’s me roam about the boat while the auto-pilot is engaged,

final product photodoing chores, straightening up dock lines and fixing drinks, etc., while not worrying that a sudden pitch might throw me overboard and the boat would continue without me. The “” has delivered everything it promised, and I tested it before writing this follow-up and found the batteries up to shutting off the boat when the remote fob (which I carry with me on a lanyard) contacts water. NOTE: I’m sad to say that the company seems to be out of business, because my rebate check “came back”  and I haven’t had any luck in reaching them since.  1-10 score: 8

“BAZOOKA BAILER” BAILING BOAT HOOK (See “Bazooka Bailer” in the ‘Gear & Electronics’ section) – Once a topic of the “great new product buzz’ in boating, the discussion around the “Bazooka Bailer” has become somewhat quiet. Maybe that’s because, though the bail feature certainly worked initially, it became clogged in relatively short order and unusable as a boat hook (won’t extend or retract and therefore cannot be locked into position) or a bailer (it’s clogged and won’t pump water). I’ve spent too much time trying to unclog/fix it already, and so I give it a score of 2 on the 1-10 scale. 1-10 score: 2

I’ll review several more products in future articles, and I hope you’ll let me know of any experience you’ve had with a boating product that you’d like reviewed. Thanks for reading!



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Tube Video of The 4th on the Sacramento/San Juaquin Delta

Thought you might enjoy this collage of wonderful photography by Judy Irene ( mixed with my music (“Passage” from the ‘Rain On Steaming Pavement’ album by Steve Reeves) from 2014’s 4th of July yacht trip with the Chico Yacht Club to the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. It’s entitled  Passage (click on the word). Thanks Judy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our Beloved “Kokomo” Goes Up FOR SALE!

I really think it’s the most expertly-rigged and outfitted RF-246 I’ve ever seen; maybe the finest overall vessel of its type in existence today … but I’m not objective. You take a look and see what you think.”  –  Steve Reeves

It is with heavy heart that I put my beloved Rosborough RF-246 up for sale. I’ve spent the short time I’ve owned her perfecting her for expedition cruising (little or no marina support) but, alas, health problems and a sudden divorce force her sale. I look forward to meeting her new owners and to hearing about her ongoing adventures.

This site is headed by photos of the boat, and everything about “Kokomo” can be seen at Be sure to read “30 Years Later- We Finally Found Just The Right Boat For Us” (on either site; use the SEARCH box) and go through the extensive equipment list in “Specifications: Kokomo“. I absolutely love the quiet, smooth and responsive power of the twin Honda BF-150 (CARB-compliant) engines (300hp!). It truly is the best outfitted and powered vessel I have ever seen.

It comes with a galvanized, triple-axle salt-water optimized trailer with hydraulic over electric brakes, the perfect tender (see the photo), etc., etc. I’ve spent lots of time and money getting it just right … so you won’t have to.

The price for the vessel  is $105,000 firm. For a total of $125k (replacement is twice that) I’m willing to include most of the items on the specifications list. If you have additional questions after studying the extensive information at the website,, please e-mail me at



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Have you got an ALPHA LIST onboard and ready?

There are many checklists that go through your mind when you’re preparing to take your yacht ‘out’, but I want to suggest that (if you don’t already have one) you create an “Alpha Checklist” for your vessel, and get in the habit of using it whenever there are passengers aboard.

What’s an Alpha Checklist? Is it the safety checklist (life vests, PLB, radios, etc.),  or the mechanical checklist (engine oil check, water pump, etc.), or maybe the prep-checklist that goes through your head whenever you leave the slip (blower, plugs, scuppers, bilge, etc.)? No, it’s a seldom written vital list of important things you should say to every passenger before every voyage.

The Alpha Checklist should be shared verbally, before you leave the slip, and each passenger should know where the written checklist is so that he/she may be able to refer to it during the voyage, or if you’re ‘not available’. Some savvy yachtsman may even make copies of the checklist and distribute them, so that each passenger has a copy on their person.

The Alpha Checklist has three primary (and multiple secondary) purposes. It lets passengers know: (1) where the boat’s emergency equipment is located and how to use it, (2) how to operate the vessel, radio, and emergency beacon in the event you are incapacitated, and (3) what to do in the event of fire, flooding and hull-breach.

The emergency plan detailed in your Alpha List may include role assignments in the event of an emergency, including who’s responsible for the ditch bag and critical supplies (water, food, etc.), assignment of a person to see that everyone has a life vest and that they’re put on correctly (children first), a radio operator (who’s responsible for interacting with the Coast Guard and rescue vessels as well as operation of the vessel’s EPIRB or PLB; usually the skipper), an individual in charge of weather exposure (blankets, coats, etc.), a person responsible for role-call (how many passengers are aboard and is everyone accounted for and assembled in the proper location) and an individual charged with getting the dinghy(s) or life raft(s) stocked, untethered and ready to launch. The roles can be assigned by simple numbers (that correspond to numbered roles on your Alpha Checklist), although if there are a lot of young children it’s sometimes helpful to have ‘titles’ for each duty.

On my boat, we adopted an Alpha Checklist on the first of this year that takes about 8 minutes to present verbally from start to finish. Additionally, I keep a laminated copy in an open-faced compartment near the radio. I had always mentioned where the life vests were, how to get to the ditch bag and pointed out the fire-extinguishing equipment, etc., but now I take the time (usually while the engines are warming up) to share all pertinent info, including the basics of VHF radio operation, with every person who voyages on “Kokomo”. The result has been that passengers (often beloved family and friends) feel much better briefed on the boat’s systems and their personal safety and I feel much better in the case of the skipper becoming incapacitated.

Take the time to add an Alpha Checklist (named this because it should be presented first!) to your boat’s inventory. You never know when it’ll be necessary for your passengers to be prepared for emergencies and – one thing’s for sure – you won’t want to be in the impossible position of trying to impart these points in an emergency situation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When you need an MMSI # and your DSC …

A re-print of an important article – Your delightful weekend cruise from Pt. Townsend, WA to Friday Harbor, WA in the San Juan’s has

turned to a nightmare. One minute you’re laughing at one of Hal’s out-of-date jokes – a fine example of Audrey’s famous Bloody Mary’s in one hand and the other draped across the helm – and the next you’re scrambling because the boat has hit something,  something big, and you’re not sure what damage it has done. It seems like a lot of time has passed before you have the presence of mind to look below and, upon opening the aft bilge hatch, you see that the ocean is pouring in. You can’t see them, but there are two long creases in the hull, about half its length, culminating in two jagged holes, about 4” wide each, forward of the prop.

Upon getting to your feet, you shade your eyes and take a look in your wake trail and see only pieces of gel coat and fiberglass floating in the disturbed water … no sign of the rocks. You’ll find them marked on your charts later. Only three minutes have passed since the jarring experience, but Audrey is already handing life vests to Hal and Linda, and hers is on. She has a fourth in her hand, and with a look of concern in her eyes, she holds it out for you and waits for your next instructions. The engine stalled following the collision, and there is now an eerie silence, with only the lapping of the waves against the windward hull and the unending gurgling from beneath the bilge.

Your mind turns briefly to the hours, weeks really, you have invested in this boat. The hundreds of thousands of dollars you’ve spent, and the piece of yourself you’ve let it become. But your thoughts turn quickly to emergency procedures as the Rule bilge pump activates and starts pumping water overboard. The machinery weight of the engine and generator, along with four storage compartments full of boating supplies, are contributing to the added intake of water and, in only 5 minutes since the underwater collision, the boat is developing an aft and slightly portward list.

You are the captain, and the good folks on board are counting on you to have a plan; to have prepared for this. You have one, and the procedures come into focus as you get your wits about you. You tell Hal to go up top and release the tender from its mounts and tie downs, double check the lashing line and put it overboard. Everything goes into the tender except passengers, for now. The Abandon Ship, or “Ditch” bag, has all the emergency supplies in it, and it is lashed into a pre-determined position in the tender – which has become a lifeboat. You transfer the ship’s First Aid Kit and flares into the boat, and ask Audrey to gather water and packaged food.

The list is getting more critical now, and Hal, Linda and Audrey are on the aft deck, trying to remain calm. The tender is ready and you’ve seen to it that everyone is warmly dressed and is wearing their coats and hats in addition to life jackets. It’s 11 minutes post-event now, and you’d best not wait any longer to radio for help.

The boat came with a VHF radio, an older one, and other than using it to hailing radio for slips in harbors you visited, you haven’t used it much. Now you check that it’s on channel 16, the emergency channel, and press the PTT on the microphone. The gravity of your situation hits home as you hear yourself saying the words. over the din of the bilge alarm, “May Day, May Day, May Day … this is the motor trawler AUDREY C off the south corner of San Juan Island declaring an emergency … we’ve evidently hit a submerged rock and the boat is taking on water faster than we can pump it out.”

Less than 13 minutes into a boating emergency, your whole life has changed. You have no idea how far away help is … and you look out the window to see there’s a wind whipping up the sea that didn’t affect the comfort of your passengers in the heated cabin of the boat, but might be a real factor in an open tender at sea. Then a crackle and a response on the radio.

“Motor vessel AUDREY C, this is Coast Guard station Anacortes, please respond.” You do and shortly after you tell your story on the radio, you learn that no fewer than 7 vessels (5 pleasure boats, 1 fishing boat and a Coast Guard cutter that was cruising Thatcher Pass) have altered course in your general direction. You hadn’t been able to give precise latitude/longitude info to the coast guard because the battery was discharged on your hand-held GPS and you didn’t know where you were – or how to read latitude/longitude on the chart that was stuffed somewhere up near the helm. Looking outside, you gave landmark desciptions and rough distances – it was amazing how difficult it was to be accurate when you needed to – from each. The Coast Guard had asked you if your radio featured DSC, but not only did none of the buttons on your VHF say that, you didn’t know anything about it. “No, I don’t know what that is”, was your only answer.

With the aftward and portward list getting more severe, you explain what it’ll mean to abandon ship to the three frightened people gathered round the lashing line to the tender, reassure them that help is coming, and decide to take another look below. Though you can’t visualize where the water is coming in, you can reach into the depths of the bilge and feel along the hull for a hole. It only takes a minute to find the breaches, two holes of roughly the same size, with edges protruding inward. You call Audrey, who is nearby, and ask her for towels. She’s back in a moment, and you roll the towels as tightly as possible into roughly the size of the holes. Then, getting an angle on the hull breach, you force the rolled towels into the holes, stemming the gushing water and leaving only towel seepage. The pump rapidly expels the remaining water and, within another 10 minutes, you start to breathe more easily as your situation seems considerably better than it did 15 minutes before.

You look up from your position on the deck, and see two of the rescue boats on the horizon, and you realize that the emergency is over, and your passengers and yourself are going to be alright. As you keep an eye on the rolled towels as the fishing trawler tows you to his home port where his brother has a sling to take you out of the water and affect repairs, you find yourself thinking about latitude and longitude, and realizing that, in open water far from land (and landmarks) you wouldn’t have been able to tell anyone where you were.

The above story ended well, thankfully, but could just as easily have turned into a real disaster. What if there was a way that you could transmit a distress call with the push of a button that let all nearby vessels, and (most-importantly) the Coast Guard know you were in trouble? And what if that distress signal related your GPS position, critical ID information, vessel statistics, name, etc.? Well, there has been such a system for years and, although the Coast Guard has taken awhile to achieve a monitoring system that can reliably zero in on a boat in distress, that system is ready and operational, and the service is free and ready to use now. It’s called DSC, and it should be employed aboard every seagoing vessel in existence today.

All permanent VHF radios sold in the U.S. are now required to have DSC (Digital Selective Calling), which transmits a distress call with your boat’s ID and, if equipped, GPS coordinates (latitude & longitude) to the Coast Guard and other vessels with similar transceivers immediately. There’s a DSC button on VHF’s that allows you to declare an emergency with a single touch, an incredibly valuable feature in an emergency situation. This service is available on some hand-held and all permanent mounted VHF radios from all manufacturers.

To use DSC, you must have a MMSI (Marine Mobile Service Identity) number, and they are free and easy to get in the U.S., and only little more involved if you’re planning to travel internationally by boat. To get yours in the U.S., log onto the Boat U.S. site at After completing the form, you’ll be issued a permanent MMSI number. That I.D. should be programmed into all the ship’s VHF’s (NOTE: Follow your instruction manual’s instructions carefully; most VHFs give you only one chance to input MMSI data), whether permanent or handheld. If you need to apply for a station license (planning to cruise internationally), the forms for that process are available at the Boat U.S. site listed above as well. If you (1) have a station license, or (2) plan to apply for a station license, you do not want to apply for the free Boat U.S. MMSI number.

If your VHF radio is an older one (that doesn’t feature DSC). you need to weigh having this free, potentially life-saving service vs. the expense of buying a new radio or handheld (note that handheld radios don’t have nearly the range of permanent mount units). For us, it’s a “no brainer” … having the reassurance of push button, instant notification of the Coast Guard and nearby boats in the critical minutes of an emergency, and not having to worry that you’ve related inaccurate GPS info, is too valuable to put a price on.

For more information regarding DSC and MMSI numbers, see the following sites:

… and read the article on Ditch Bags on our Gear & Electronics page

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Raised Pilothouse & Trusty Diesel – The NP-28 revisited

North Pacific Yachts has not been around a long time by yachting standards, but they’ve certainly made their mark in the yachting business since the company’s inception in 2004. The NP43, the yacht they started with, is still the largest model, and the far-sighted company has grown the North Pacific Yachts fleet by introducing three smaller models, the smallest of which falls in our size category and has established itself as a leader. The NP28 gives the owner everything he looks for in a trawler yacht, plus one big bonus … it’s trailerable.

It was so successful, in fact, that Nordic Tug decided to bring back its legendary NT26 (26 foot) model, and it’s not hard to imagine why yacht owners are flocking to purchase this boat with its classic lines, raised pilothouse, and diesel propulsion system. It’s the dream yacht, really. Large enough to be comfortable on long trips and small enough to be trailerable (without a permit) to your launching point. And, it can be kept on land, on its trailer, bypassing expensive berthing fees, higher insurance premiums and costs associated with the boat being in the water full-time.

The NP28 holds true to the concepts that North Pacific puts into all yachts: (1) easy access to all machinery and equipment, (2) a low-maintenance exterior (3)  a warm, nicely-finished interior, (4) a thoughtful, well-planned layout with ample creature-comforts and a few creative innovations, and (5) a long and rather generous list of standard equipment, much of which is optional on other yachts.

You’d have to look twice to confirm that you’re looking at a 28-footer (instead of a much larger vessel) when the NP28 is in the water. The all fiberglass and 316 stainless exterior (no teak) is all business, and well thought out. The hull is constructed of solid hand laid-up fiberglass, and is finished with Vinylester resins, 2 layers of epoxy below the waterline and 3 coats of bottom paint. Top notch hull treatment. The superstructure is also fiberglass, with Nida Core foam coring to cut down on weight.

The NP28’s cockpit is about 4’ X 7’ including a propane locker and 20lb tank. It features a transom door to a good-sized swim platform and a standard hot & cold shower. There’s enough space for a couple of deck chairs, and you may want to opt for the bimini-style top option.  In the floor of the cockpit is the lazarette, a popular storage locale. As with every other space used on the boat, this is nicely finished and easy to access.

Forward, and accessed from either side of the pilothouse, is a well-equipped ground tackle system that includes a 25lb plow anchor, 30’ of chain and 150’ of rope. The standard, dual-control (pilothouse switch or foot pedal) Lewmar windlass features a chain/rode gypsy and a 600lb capacity. While handling your ground tackle, you’ll be reassured by the 1.25” stainless railing, especially in restless seas. A standard sea water wash down is to port.

Entering the salon from the cockpit requires raising a hinged glass cover overhead and entering through an aluminum door with a large glass window, steeping down as one enters. One is immediately struck by the contrast between the interior and exterior, North Pacific has used teak (walls are teak veneer, while cabinets, doors, etc. are solid teak) to accent and warm the interior of the NP28. The overhead cover you just came through, though necessary due to the sunken design of the salon, works with 6 large windows and the spacious 6’5” headroom to add to the sense of space and light. Once again, you don’t feel that you’re on a 28-foot boat.

To port one finds a 7’ settee that features drawers built-in underneath. The settee converts to a tall double bed in moments, utilizing a nifty pull-out panel concealed beneath the cushion. The nautical drop leaf, high-low table can either be an unobtrusive cocktail/coffee table or, with leaves ‘up’, a full-size dinner table. I like this arrangement better than the dinette found on most boats, because – especially on a smaller vessel – it creates more room in the salon. On the starboard side, North Pacific provides a 5.7cf fridge/freezer, a two-burner stove, and a single sink with drainboard. A cabinet seems designed for a microwave, and there is ample storage in cabinets and drawers below. Counters are sufficient for most meals and are manufactured of Corian or equivalent material.

Move forward, and up two steps, and you’ll find yourself in the pilothouse. NPY has succeeded in making this a separate venue by virtue of it’s separate level, the partition walls between it and the salon, and a curtain to obscure the passageway. This makes sleeping guests (on the convertible sofa at the dinette) feel that they have their own space, and makes navigation feel removed from activity both forward in the V-berth and aft in the salon. The pilothouse has port and starboard (where the helm is situated) seats that can be joined with another hidden pull-out panel thereby creating a settee that runs the width of the pilothouse or a watch berth for the skipper. The pilot’s seat also slides to make it easier to use the door. There are 9 large windows, including 2 ports in the partition (to your rear) that comprise an almost 360 degree view from the helm.

Forward and down two steps is the captain’s cabin (or V-berth), the head and the hanging locker. The V-berth is comprised of two berths with filler cushions if desired. The head is remarkable for a 28’ boat (a manual toilet, 2 cabinets, a sink, a mirror and an opening port; and a Tecma electric flush toilet is an option). The smallish holding tank (20 gal.) is monitored via a head-mounted Tank Watch gauge. The head does double-duty as a shower, but we recommend using the cockpit shower (included) whenever possible, although the head is 100% fiberglass finished with Gelcoat.

The Cummins QSD 150 diesel engine comes with a 105 amp alternator. The 150 is popular and well-suited to the NP28 as it allows for economical cruising, and will push the boat along at 13 knots (when carrying a light load). The Cummins is a 4-cylinder diesel engine featuring electronic common rail fuel injection. This provides a smoother, more quiet ride than mechanical engines do. It also reduces smoke (to almost none, even on a cold start).

The NP28 features electrical done the way you’d find it on much bigger, mainstream (read “name brand”) yachts. Tinned copper throughout, color coded, labeled behind each junction box/access point, and accessible per a pre-printed ship’s schematic (included).  The electrical panel looks like something out of a 50-footer, but that seems to be the way NPY does things.

The boat comes standard with 2 AGM 8D house batteries and one 4D starting battery for the Cummins diesel. Also standard is a Xantrex 1500 watt inverter/charger with an 80-watt rapid charger when you’re connected to shore power. This means you have A/C voltage throughout the boat at any time. If, however, you want a generator, the NextGen 3.5KW diesel generator is an option from the factory. Be advised that you’ll give up most of your lazarette space to have this option installed, and the factory advises the purchase of a Honda eu2000 portable generator for back up power if you’re not thinking air conditioning (The $1000 Honda vs. the approximately $10,000.00 NextGen is a no-brainer if you don’t need air conditioning).

As if the NP28 doesn’t have enough on its standard equipment list, a Vetus 35KGF bow thruster is also standard. Add that to the oversized rudder and keel (with prop protecting skeg) and you have a highly maneuverable yacht at all speeds and alongside the dock.

I think it took the folks at North Pacific Yachts plenty of planning and creativity to come up with a yacht that has all these features, sports a real raised pilothouse in a 28-foot diesel trawler, and is just 8’6” in width. I say “Bravo!”. I think others must be scratching their heads, unable to imagine how they can improve upon it. And I think that you need to see the NP28 before you buy your next boat … you may be as impressed as I am … and don’t forget to ask about a trailer.

* Photos courtesy of mftr. website:
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Place your ad for anything nautical or of interest to folks who love boats and the sea! Click above on the NAUTICAL FLEA MARKET to list your boat, gear, supplies for free. We’ll bet you have “stuff” that would be something special to others. Why not list it for FREE at the NAUTICAL FLEA MARKET!

Posted in classified ads, Uncategorized | Leave a comment