Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'll keep mine ... thank you!

  After launching at Berkeley Marina recently, I watched a 25' C-Dory launch and prepare to go to sea. NOTE: It's remarkable to me how much more room I have in the Rosborough (which is 25' plus the hull extension and outboards)! Anyway, the skipper of the other boat rushed around and got his icebox in the cockpit, perched his Bimini-style top (over the cockpit), and generally got her ready. He then parked his rig (small, compared to mine; must be pretty nice to tow) and ran back to his boat. He started up the single Yamaha 115 outboard and let it warm up, then put her in gear.
  There was a tone difference to the engine (the product of the transmission engaging), but no frothing of wake at the stern as I was expecting. I was more than a little interested now, as I had never seen an outboard behave this way. I thought briefly that it was a jet, but even a jet produces disturbed water. The skipper gave the engine a quick burst of power, and then walked back and looked at it, evidently as bewildered as I and several others in the area had become.
  He went back to the helm, turned off the engine and raised it out of the water. Because of my position about 40' behind him, I got a first look at the prop shaft. He had no propeller, and at first I thought that he'd spun one off. But, in thinking about it, there had never been prop wash, even for a moment.
  I could tell by his face that he was just as surprised to see a bare shaft as I was. In talking to him later, after he'd pulled the boat out of the water again, I learned that he'd just put a new propeller on the boat (after hitting the original one on a rock in an Oregon river this summer) and had spent $600 total to do that. He remembers thinking that "Someone could just steal this!" and then letting the thought go. And someone had. Probably at his home in Redding, California, on the curb where he leaves his boat all day and night, and likely during the day when he was at work. He figures the thief would have taken about 3 minutes to dislodge his cotter pin, nut and thrust washer and remove the propeller ... and all he'd need was a multi-tool or a pair of needle nose pliers.
  I've never had problems with the aluminum prop on my lake boat, and it and Kokomo live at home (which is, these days, well off the beaten path on our own acreage) near Paradise, CA. But I got to thinking that the two props on my boat were pretty valuable (stainless steel, etc.) and would make a thief a quick $1000+ if they were stolen. Aside from the expense of replacing the props, there was the reality of traveling somewhere to use the boat (usually at least a 4 hour proposition) and finding, upon arrival, that your carefully-pampered outboards don't have what they need to 'go' (though I can't imagine leaving for such a trip without checking the props). NOTE: This fella had traveled 2 hours further than I had (6 hours) to get to Berkeley Marina, and had no idea where to go to find a propeller and the mounting kit for his boat. I directed him to the West Marine store in Alameda, but he was going to look for somewhere closer.
  I decided to take affirmative action, and did research on the propeller locks that are out there. I settled on McGard propeller locks, ordered them, and had them on Kokomo the following week. In doing my research, I learned that, in California, one of every 24 stainless propellers is stolen! This includes the props on lots of boats that are not trailerable (it's evidently easy to remove them in the water too, and the thief - who does his work underwater - is less prone to being caught). Alarming. The McGard locks mount in about 10 minutes (once I had the original prop nut, cotter pin and the thrust washer removed) and are designed to simply spin if someone without the "key" tries to remove them. I'm impressed with the quality of these locks, and only a little concerned about operating the engines without cotter pins on the propeller shafts (the McGard system requires torquing to their specifications and relies on other than the cotter pin method to secure the prop). I liked the product well enough that I also purchased one for the prop on my Volvo SX outdrive on the ski boat.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sacramento River Delta

My trip to the Delta was interesting and scenic, with a close call at the end. The scenic portion was the non-stop Delta character of the marinas and shoreside eateries I stopped at. I began my trip at Brannan Island State Park (because it has a large ramp facility, a patrolled parking lot, and I have purchased a season pass to CA state parks). The first night I stayed at the Brannan Island State Park “marina”, a humble concoction of docks in a little cove just downstream from the launch ramp. It was safe and I hadn’t had the chance to get to know the area yet, so I paid my $14 and called it a night (no power and water). NOTE: I don’t recommend this to anyone who has a problem with noise. There are tent campsites just across the way, and I can’t believe how loud and noisy they are, even after 11PM. There are many marinas and, if you look for them, many anchoring grounds nearby. I recommend making reservations or coming early enough in the afternoon to choose a spot for the night.
The next morning I visited the coin-op showers (nice!) and bathrooms, then set out to explore the area. My range included the Sacramento, Mokelumne and San Juaquin Rivers, and a number of sloughs. I ventured all the way up to Tower Park Marina, then came out the back way onto the San Joaquin. I spent the night where they have the 4th of July fireworks (had experienced this place when we’d taken “Tortuga” for a test drive). The next day I set out for Frank’s Tract and for Antioch, and then back up the San Joaquin River to Brannon Island. I enjoyed a couple of meals ashore, but ate on the boat most of the time. I took down the radar tower twice to make it under a couple of low bridges (at high tide), and enjoyed the slow Delta pace.
NOTE: I recommend the Angus burger at the Moore’s Boathouse (proprietary docks right in front of the restaurant), and the steak & egg breakfast at Spindrift Restaurant; both are a boat-up affair on 10-mile “the loop” off Highway 12. Spindrift Restaurant is across the street from the marina, so your tie up is at the guest dock near the office and fuel dock. The Spindrift  Restaurant is a nautically-themed restaurant with a 5’ model of the Normandie and a full-size diving suit on display. Though the bar was in full bloom at 9:30 AM, the restaurant side was very nice and the food was great.
Upon returning to the dock on Sunday, I put the boat alongside the dock and went to get my truck. As I stepped out onto the dock, another boat was making for the next dock over. I lent a hand landing the boat (the owner had recently purchased it and wasn’t used to it yet). When we finally got the boat tied up, I went on about getting my truck. The owner of the other boat was nice enough to help me get Kokomo lined up and on the trailer before he pulled away.
I was checking the front tie downs, when all of sudden there was a loud crash, and I looked around the other side of my boat to see the boat (a 25’ or 27’ Bayliner cabin cruiser) the trailer (minus the truck!), missing my boat and truck by a few feet, barreling backwards into the Delta waters. There was no getting in the middle of this, so I watched as the boat and trailer settled into the waters about 20’ aft of the water line, glad that my truck and boat had been spared. The owner was as amazed as I was that the boat hadn’t hit anything else and that it had gone back into the water where it had come out (it had to make quite a corner to do this). I told him I’d help him figure out what to do, and that I had a winch on the my truck that would pull it out. With my boat and trailer on it I pulled the truck and trailer out of the water and pulled in just ahead of his truck.
We had kept the boat and trailer from catching on the docks (under the docks) by attaching lines and lifting it towards the truck, but as we got it up the ramp, the weight became too heavy. I suggested a winch, and the owner said he had a winch - he pointed to a tiny little winch on his ‘headache’ rack and said that ought to do it. I looked at the boat and trailer and that little winch and chose not to say what I was thinking. I again offered my (big!) winch, and he refused. He got the winch line out and hooked it up to boat trailer and winched it slowly towards the trailer
Then two guys from the ramp area came running down to see if they could help. We were virtually done with the project (might still need the big winch), but they were sure they had the solution and loudly set about looking at the boat and trailer, etc. etc. I think they were more than a 6-pack (each) into their beer stores. The owner was too kind to tell them to ‘bug out’ so we just continued with what we were doing. Just about 3’ before the trailer engaged to the hitch, the little winch made some “gurgling” sounds and faltered. Too much of the boat was coming out of the water and the winch could barely keep up. I pictured loosing the boat into the water again, but stayed silent. But, after giving it a rest, the winch pulled the boat up the rest of the way and we got it on the trailer. The two guys were talking about how the incident had happened and how they’d figured out how to rescue it; was a little funny if you think about it, but I can see where the owner would be a little less prone to humor.  I excused myself from the loud, drunken excess of the two men and shook the owner’s hand, leaving to tend to my boat.
We still don’t know how the trailer came off. Maybe an adjustment on his hitch or perhaps he never had it on right from home. He had the right ball, and he had the safety chain (which snapped when the boat broke loose) engaged. Better here than on the highway!
Later, I was busy putting my boat in order, and pulling it up to the front roller and the winch broke. This was on dry, level land, but I was curious how I’d get my boat home safely. The owner of the other boat, who was out getting his boat squared away, gave me a clevis that I could put on the safety chain to get me home. I now have three connections that I make up front: (1) the winch line (13,700# breaking strength), (2) a double safety chain with a pelican-style hook, and (3) a vertical limiter that checks the up and down motion Rosboroughs want to make while on the trailer. 
And now I check my hitch/ball connection before I put the boat on the trailer.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The McCleod River

A few weeks ago I spent a Saturday and Saturday night up the McCleod River. It's about 2.5 hours from our home, and is accessed through the Shasta Lake launch at Centimudi launch ramp (Shasta Recreation Company). I went alone as this was a weekend that Lee Ann was at the Christian womens retreat, and there were nice people who assisted me with both launching and retrieving Kokomo (I can launch it alone, but I need help lining it up to the trailer to retrieve it; I suppose someday I'll have to try doing that alone).

After launching, securing the parking pass, and casting off, I realized that the water underneath the boat was crystal clear. I could see to the bottom of it (the depth sounder read 46 feet deep) with fish in between. I hadn't been on Shasta Lake for some years, and it was every bit as beautiful (maybe more so since it was still up around the 3/4 mark in October). So I made for the Pitt River and spent the night on the hook there, just getting in to a cove before dark. The next day I had breakfast at Bridge Bay Marina (met Jim there, and we talked at length about the boat; sent him contact info for Les) and headed up the McCleod. NOTE: For those who aren't familiar with Shasta Lake, there are three rivers feeding into it. They are the Sacramento, McCleod and Pitt Rivers. There are also numerous creeks (including Squaw Creek which makes up it's own arm) and brooks that feed into the lake, but the rivers are what made it when the dam was built.

The McCleod is beautiful and unspoiled. There are a few boat-in campgrounds and a wilderness boat ramp available, but on a sunny day in October, I passed three boats in some 14 miles of cruising. The rest of the trip was wilderness. The miriad of wooded coves available to the prepared boater is endless, and the buttes and bluffs, cliffs and promontories all seem like they're worth a photo (didn't take any, of course - I was too busy enjoying the scenery!). As I proceeded up the river, it grew smaller, and about the time I was carefully watching my depth sounder (it had dropped below the alarm level of 10 feet), signs of civilization and the McCleod River Bridge came into view. A few months earlier, I'd have been able to make it to the bridge to turn around, but I thought better of that as rocks began to appear around me and the depth sounder broke 5 feet. I turned around about 200 yards from the bridge, found a cove about 3 miles downriver, dropped an anchor, and had lunch.

That night I proceeded about half the way back to the junction of I-5 and Bridge Bay Marina (where friends Bill and Jo keep 'Angel', their Crestliner patio boat), and at about sunset, laid an anchor down and called it a night in a quiet cove about a million miles from nowhere. A peaceful night later, I went swimming in the lake (first time swimming off the boat) and lay on the roof to let the sun warm me (it was a bit chilly in the water; the temp reading was 66F). I could have stayed for days, but I set a course for the Centimudi ramp, about 17 miles away and arrived home about an hour before Lee Ann got there.

NOTE: I received an e-mail from Harry Buckwalter noting that he'd had a 'Kokomo sighting'. He and his wife had seen me towing the boat home from Shasta. I hope to meet them some day. It turns out that they got an RF-246 Sedan Cruiser within a month or two of when we did ... and they live in the same county (Butte County) in the mountain town of Forbestown. They're retired, and have time to use their boat. I envy that, but am glad that we find the time to enjoy Kokomo, if not for longer trips, then well-chosen shorter ones.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winch Line - Amsteel Blue 5/16" ROPE instead of a strap or cable

I recently had to replace the winch on our King trailer. The Fulton 3200# 2-speed model buckled (and parts broke off and flew into the water!) when I was winching the boat onto the trailer at Brannan Island marina in the Sacramento River Delta.

In replacing the winch, I decided on another winch of the same type (best of the choices out there). I removed and sanded and painted the steel plate that the winch mounts to, and mounted the new winch with the same three bolts to the trailer. Then I ordered a strap with a similar working strength to what had been on the old winch (figured I should get everything new, though the old strap was still serviceable) and prepared to install it. The strap seemed less substantial to me than the old one (that came on the trailer) was, and so I returned it and began looking at alternatives.

I could put a cable on the boat, oil it regularly and replace it every few years. I could order a heavier strap, adapt the winch (which is fitted from the factory to handle a cable or rope) by drilling holes in either side and fitting a bolt for the strap to mount to. Or I could think 'outside the box'.

I did the latter and, after looking at many types of heavy duty rope, came across one that bills itself as the alternative to cable. It's called Amsteel Blue, and it utilizes Dutch technology which makes it several times stronger than rope and stronger than the equivalent size of cable. It is nearly impossible to cut (requires a very sharp razor knife) and it floats! So I ordered 25' of Amsteel Blue in a 5/16" thickness, and installed it on my winch (with a 4" section of shrink-tubing where the rope passes through the wall of the winch to be anchored the outside). Couldn't be happier with the rope's performance to date. The breaking strength of the 5/16" Amsteel Blue is 13,700#. I don't anticipate any trouble with a boat that, fully loaded is about 8000#

I liked it so much that I ordered four lengths of 3/16" Amsteel Blue for my fenders. Overkill perhaps (breaking strength of 5400#), but I'll never worry about currents or a rough dock wearing on my fender lines! An added benefit is that you can use a much smaller thickness of line (3/16" vs. 5/8" in regular rope), leaving more room on the cleat for your docking lines, etc.

Resource: There are several places to get Amsteel Blue, but I think I found the best: Greg Kenley at Midwest Winchrope ( will cut your length(s) to order and splice loops/thimbles into the ends for you. He does top notch work, and his prices are at least as good as larger 'discount' shops. His phone number is: (573) 703-3040 and, as a bonus, he's a nice guy.  Amsteel Blue is as tough as it gets and I'm glad I found it for Kokomo. You may have an interest in taking a look at the demo video (Greg's homegrown video) at: =FcifJkhXpMM. Even if you're not looking for heavy duty, light weight winch line, it's pretty interesting.

Kokomo's Performance Data According to Honda

Some have asked about our boat's power configuration and what it translates to in terms of power reserves and fuel consumption. I had the same questions before we bought the boat, of course. After all, the twin BF150 4-stroke engines represent the maximum horsepower recommended by the factory and I wondered about the fuel efficiency (of major concern to us) with these two large engines. We had spent years anticipating ownership of an inboard diesel and, though the other advantages were clear (space onboard, accessibility for maintenance and repairs, the reliability of Honda and Yamaha outboards, the ability to raise the engines out of the water, etc.), our concerns regarding trawler-speed cruising at low fuel burns remained.

Happily, some time before I purchased Kokomo, Honda technicians performed a test (on my boat) to determine what the real performance specifications with twin Honda BF150's were. I was able to review this before I bought the boat and have confirmed it's accuracy in some 80 hours of cruising since. I'm delighted to note that, at trawler speeds, I'm getting at least the efficiency that a Cummins QR150 diesel would get in my boat - maybe better - and, of course, the high-speed capability that a diesel would not be capable of (30 knots, or 35.6 mph at W.O.T.).

I've included a link (in the links section, below right) to the Honda page where my boat is featured for your review. Note the fuel burn at trawler speeds (6-7 knots) and again in the 14 mpg range (another strength of the Rosborough hull). I'm very pleased with the overall performance of the boat. In a recent trip to San Francisco Bay, I ran Kokomo for four days and returned with 1/5th of a tank of fuel (per the digital fuel management system). We ran at WOT for about 5-7 minutes per day (engine maintenance) and at trawler speeds about 70% of the time and cruising speeds (14-20 knots) the rest of the time. NOTE: I estimate that we're burning about 15% more fuel with twins than if we'd had a single-engine powered boat, and the wear on the two engines is greatly reduced at higher speeds. Also, I've found that the boat's agility with twins is very valuable. I can literally 'turn on a dime' (no forward or backward motion) by engaging both engines in opposing directions, which makes getting into and out of tight spaces a breeze.              * The boat features counter-rotating propellers.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kokomo On San Francisco Bay

Kokomo's first trip to San Francisco Bay started in the Berkeley Marina, a 4-hour trip from our home in Paradise. I chose the Berkeley Marina (from the dozens of options on the Bay) because it was (1) close to us, (2) had a launch ramp, and (3) charged only .50 a foot for overnight moorage (with electricity and water), but the marina has so much more to offer. It is central to most everything on the Bay, has wonderful running/walking/bicycling trails, has a Hana Japan restaurant on site, and features good parking at the ramp for my (very long) rig. We spent four excellent and peaceful nights here, and will make it our home whenever we visit San Francisco Bay in the future.

We had excellent weather all four days of our trip, which enabled us to see more than we'd originally planned. We visited Sausalito, Tiburon (Sam's Anchor Cafe for lunch!), Brickyard Cove Marina in Richmond (site of our previous sailing experience on Starr and Gary Piner's Swan sailboat and where I met a new friend, Gary, on this trip), the San Francisco waterfront, Oakland estuary (cruised the entire estuary to San Leandro Bay) and Alameda (Ballena Bay Marina, site of two previous yacht trials, when we were looking for a trawler in 40'-60' range). In between were many hours of scenic cruising on one of America's most beautiful waterways. There wasn't a moment that something interesting wasn't happening on the Bay.

On Saturday, our daughter and her family came to cruise with us. Ryan and Kirsten, and our three awesome grandchildren had fun on Kokomo as we circumnavigated Angel Island, saw a large Coast Guard cutter and prepared yummy hot dogs on the grill. It was a grand day for Grandpa and Grammy as we got to have two of our favorite things together ... time with the kids and grandkids and time on the boat (if our son, Derik, could have been there, it would have been perfect!).

At one point in the weekend, Lee Ann and I took a trip under the Golden Gate bridge and out several miles to the light house at Point Bonita. We experienced the 'biggest' water Kokomo had found there, with 8-10' swells at about 15 second intervals. The boat did very well in these waters (no big deal), and Lee Ann (who'd worried about whether she'd feel OK in big water) did too. I was grateful for both of these facts and again impressed with the Rosborough's seakindliness.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our Header Photo

In response to a couple of questions about the header photo (the picture of the boat that tops the blog), it was taken on the windward side of the guest dock at Coupeville, Washington, located on the southern shore of Penn Cove. A delightful town on the east side of Whidbey Island, Coupeville features much of what the yacht traveler is looking for. I enjoyed a night there and met a friend who had restored his boat from scratch (Hello Dennis!). I can recommend the Marionberry breakfast pastry (my wife, son and I split it!) at the bakery/restaurant at the end of the street (turn left off the dock, stay left and walk to the end of the street; it's on your left) and the gourmet hot dogs at the streetside stand (at the end of the pier nearest the street; get the saurkraut if so inclined). The gas dock is run by the harbormaster, a woman who is also the owner of the variety store in the marina building on the jetty. Mooring here is a dollar per foot and there are excellent shower and restroom facilities for which you should request a night key. There is no power or water, but the dock is in good repair, and there are often Orca in Penn Cove.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Specifications: Kokomo

I like to think that KOKOMO is the best-outfitted yacht of its type and so I'm providing a complete summary of my boat's specifications here, for your review. This kind of information was one of the things I paid close attention to when I was searching for a boat. Perhaps it'll be helpful to readers who are considering purchasing this fine vessel (Price for the boat is near the bottom of this list):


Length: 25'
Length overall: 28' 6' (with 2' power hull extension and approx. 2' of engines)
Power: (2) Honda BF 150 Four Stroke (CA C.A.R.B. compliant) outboards
Fuel: 120 gallons
Water: 37 gallons + aux. tanks
Holding tanks: (1) black water
Factory electrical system with LED lighting, AC/DC outlets, etc.
12V on-demand water system
Novacool Marine Refridgerator
Force 10 Stove (propane)
Force 10 Water Heater (electric)
Wallace 30D 3-zone diesel heat system with digital control panel
Forward overhead gear and electronics cabinet (see below)
Factory HD dingy davit system
Factory roof extension over cockpit
Cockpit transom seat
Custom aluminum fold-down (for towing & fixed bridge clearance) radar tower w/GPS antenna to starboard, Sirius antenna to port, VHF whip, Raymarine enclosed-array radar rotator, and LED anchor light
22lb Delta anchor
* NEW in Spring of 2015 - Updated the factory running lights to oversize, waterproof 100,000-hour LED lights made in Australia. They're very nice!
* NEW in spring of 2015 - Installed a 3.5mm cable and jack for the iPhone in the stereo
* REBUILT (good as new) in 2015 - Jabsco macerator pump 


(2) HONDA BF-150 (C.A.R.B. Compliant) outboard engines ($16,837.00 each)
(2) Stainless, counter-rotating propellers

** Performance data (calm seas, no current):
Best Rate Of Burn: 4-5 knots @ 0.8 gph (single engine)
Trawler economical speed: 6-7 knots @ 1.8 gph
Cruise speed: 12-14 knots @ 5.5 gph
W.O.T. (wide open throttle): 32 knots @ 24 gph


Batteries - Propulsion: (2) group 24 AGM Interstate
Batteries - House: (2) Interstate 100AH AGM Series 110
Inverter: Xantrex PROSine 2000W
Shore power: 30 AMP 50' marine power cable
AFI electric horn
Bennett trim tab system with helm control
Lewmar V-700 Vertical windlass with helm control (w/spare lever)
Dual Blue Sea ACR relays (engine/house batteries charge relays)
Dual Blue Sea battery switches (one for each engine)
Blue Sea battery switch at helm (opens/closes all 12-volt circuits except bilge pump) and marine refrigerator
Macerator pump (12V) for deep sea discharge with a port to starboard for pump-outs for inland cruising


Standard-Horizon VHF with GPS, DSC and AIS
Standard-Horizon Hailer, PA, and programmable automatic fog horn
SIMRAD AP-16 autopilot (for twin engine)
SIMRAD WR-20 wireless remote control (for autopilot, etc.)
Raymarine E-120 12" chart plotter (Multi-Function Display)
Raymarine depth sounder (plotter integrated)
Raymarine AIS receiver (plotter integrated)
Raymarine 4-kW radar receiver (plotter integrated)
Raymarine GPS navigation (plotter integrated)
Electronic flux gate compass
Shakespeare VHF antenna (at head of radar tower)
Raymarine 4kW radar antenna (closed array)
Shakespeare SIRIUS radio/weather radar antenna
Sony stereo receiver/CD player/SIRIUS receiver (above navigator's seat)
Sony stereo remote control (over helm, illuminated)
Polyplanar 8" Marine Speaker System
Raymarine GPS system antenna
HONDA digital tachometer system (port engine)
HONDA digital tachometer system (starboard engine)
HONDA digital fuel management system (for twin engines)
HONDA digital speedometer (for twin engines)
PURE SIGN digital control panel

Custom architectural gear & features:

Overhead equipment cabinetry (custom fabricated in Anacortes, WA) - Located above the helm and flush to the forward windscreen, this overhead, white, teak-accented, cabinet is made with the same precision with which the manufacturer makes overhead cabinets for much larger boats (Northern Marine, Nordhavn, Delta Marine, etc.). While leaving room for additional componentry, the cabinets, which have multiple access points and are engineered to be totally silent, include: (over the helm) flush-mounted Standard-Horizon MATRIX VHF, hailer, programmable fog-horn, GPS and AIS unit, a convenient in an emergency microphone location (permanent mount), stereo remote control console, handy lined cubby, (over the center window) permanently mounted Trintec thermometer, barometer, tide-clock, and clock (black ABS housings, white faces), (over the navigator's station) flush-mounted Sony AM/FM/CD/AMPLIFIER deck (with an option for an optional input for iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.), and a handy lined cubby.

On the underneath of the cabinet are the two 8" PolyPlanar concert-grade speakers, and the drive motors for the built-in heavy-duty windshield wipers and the separate windscreen washers (fed from a fresh water tank in the helm and controlled by both heavy-duty momentary switches and full-time breaker switches at the helm) are on the forward edge. Inside the cabinetry you'll find several of the vessels 'black box' navigation and communication components, including the 'box' for the auto-pilot remote, cabling for everything listed above, and cabling/control systems for the several items featured on the custom folding radar tower (see below).

Custom Folding Aluminum Radar Tower (Fabricated for Kokomo in Anacortes, WA) - This well-thought out radar tower features all of the following: 48kw closed array radar antenna, a marine GPS antenna, a marine Sirius antenna, a primary marine VHF antenna, and an LED anchor light. With all items attached permanently, the tower folds forward and into a keeper/cradle for trailering and for on-water transiting of fixed bridges of between 11.5' and 13'. A strap is recommended for trailering to avoid "hopping" (included). All cabling for items listed above makes it's way through the hull at the base of the tower, through the aforementioned cabinetry above the helm, through a custom stainless upright at the starboard side of the helm, to it's various component destinations. Everything is installed by E.Q. Marine to zero-compromise standards.

Four (4) Tiny-Step (TM) Custom Gear Boxes - KOKOMO features the legendary Tiny-Step (TM) gear and equipment deck boxes permanently mounted (1) at the helm door (step to go outside) as a tool and equipment box, (2) at the navigator's feet (perpendicular to the forward bulkhead; ideal for the navigators foot rest and currently used for the ship's ditch bag, PIB, portable VHF Radio/GPS and associated gear), (3) at the forward/port corner of the cockpit (used - and plumbed - as the ship's LPG locker, a boarding step and a forward cockpit seat) and (4) at the forward/starboard corner of the cockpit (currently used as a line locker, boarding step and a forward cockpit seat). Each box features a non-slip surface over a gel-coat finish matched to the boat's interior color, stainless steel compression latch and a locking (with a separate lock) buckle. These are the finest boxes built by Tiny-Step (TM) and retail for $399-$499 each. The two forward boxes are rectangular and the two cockpit boxes are square, and they provide ample additional storage and organization.

Custom 2 Piece Heavy-Duty Aluminum Davit/Crane - This factory heavy duty crane is situated on the aft portion of Kokomo's roof extension, with it's base extending to the cockpit floor. While it's primary duty is raising and lowering the dinghy and kayaks from the roof to the water, my wife and I have also practiced man-overboard drills so that she could use it to retrieve me if for some reason I was in the water. I think it's the most heavy duty of all the davit options for a much larger boat than this, and I like that the anchor post is hollow Aluminum (that I can remove). I keep the crane extension (also just as heavy-duty and the winch, inside the tender trailer whenever I'm not using it). It has a weight capacity of 385#.


MMSI registered DSC (digital selective calling) VHF radio enrollment
(8) Mustang and children's life jackets
(1) Boathook
(1) Boathook with rinse/bail feature

Galley Equipment:

Table service - setting for four (blue plastic)
Bowls for four (blue plastic)
Complete silverware set
Various plastics plates, cups, etc.
(4) non-slip place mats
Your choice: (1) 120V Coffee Maker or (1) 12V Coffee Maker
Custom paper towel holder

Ancillary Gear:

Deluxe Boarding ladder (built into hull extension)
Integrated hanging points (hooks) in the head
Marine toilet with hand pump (and through-hull shut-off nearby)
Macerator pump with through hull shut-off
Shower curtain for privacy
Solid door between cabin and house (serves as head privacy door and as privacy partition if the folks in the V-berth or the guests at the dinette bed want it)
Custom screen for forward center window
Custom screens for aft port-starboard windows
Custom screen for overhead Bomar hatch/window/sunroof in V-berth
Retainer strap for folding radar tower (when folded down for the road)
Retainer strap for forward anchor (when transporting)
Scupper hole "no flood" devices (not installed)
Various top-off lubricants (engine oil, lower unit oil, hydraulic fluid)
Various lines for securing the boat to the dock and other boats*
2 heavy duty dock lines
(2) PolyForm large fenders
1 Propane tank (in deck box)
1 deck light (at cockpit; controlled from the helm or cockpit)
1 12V power outlet at the rear of the propane box in cockpit

Cleaning & Appearance;

(2) 5-gal buckets for cleaning/bailing and as dividers under transom seat
10' transparent hose (nesting with brass fittings)
Cabin Wood teak care
Head/black tank deodorizer/cleaner/treatment
Non-stick floor cleaner
Windex window cleaner
McGuires buff/wax treatment


King galvanized 8600 triple axle salt-water roller bunk trailer
State of the art electric hydraulic braking system
25' of 13,400# Amsteel Blue winch line
Fulton 3200# 2-speed winch
Vertical limiter system
Three point safety connection (winch, double safety chain, vertical limiter)
(2) 10,000# cargo straps that anchor the boat to the trailer in the rear
LED trailer lighting system
Small box of various spare parts for trailer tires/wheels
(1) spare tire and galvanized wheel

* Price is $107,000 and includes everything above

    (replacement is over $300k)

* The items below will be included in a package price of $120,000

Achilles LEX 8.8 Hypalon inflatable boat (8', 8")
Tohatsu 4HP 4-stroke engine with integral tank
Dinghy anchor
Tie downs for roof mounting dinghy
Custom 4-pt harness for lifting dinghy*
12lb Danforth "picnicing" anchor (spare for boat)
SANYO 22" 1080P flat screen television w/remote (on telescoping wall mount in fwd cabin)
Compact Sony DVD player on top of hanging locker w/remote
Compact Ozone generator for air/water purificaton (see:
Insulated nautical mugs (hot/cold) for 2
Cooking knife (universal, semi-serrated blade)
Oster Microwave oven (metal cabinet; compact size)
Bread/bagel toaster
MAGMA 7-piece nesting marine cookware set and handles ($399)
10" non-stick skillet
MAGMA Party (large size) propane BBQ ($349)
MAGMA BBQ mounting rack
West Marine BBQ cover
Custom folding lifetime table for cockpit dining/cocktails
Folding chairs (2) for cockpit
The Best Solar Shower out there (black; resembles a garden sprayer)
Hose and shower head for sink-fed cockpit shower (2nd shower)
Boarding platform (aluminum, very stable, for on land)
Complete silverware set
Deluxe bedding for the V-berth
Deluxe bedding for the dinette
Three pillows
1 fishing pole (new)
1 fishing reel (new)
Various fishing accessories* (boat has never been fished from)
Pressure nozzle on extending wand
(2) additional PolyForm large fenders (total of four; matched)
(1) spare wheel only (painted)

30 years later ... We've found just the right boat for us!

I was 17 or 18 when I first promised myself that someday I’d own a yacht. I was in love with ships and the sea and attracted to all things nautical ... the people, procedures and everything about boating. I got my first boat (a 1959 Dorsett ski boat) when I was in college, and have enjoyed owning a lake/ski boat ever since. At a young age, I crossed oceans in passenger ships, but never had exposure to the yachting life as a boy. I don’t know where my love for the sea came from, but it’s been there ‘calling me’ all my adult life and I went into the cruise business at 21 years of age (and remain with Cruise Club today) to stay connected to it.
Some years ago my wife Lee Ann and I were cruising the San Juans in a friend’s 91’ tug (a world war II battle tug that was an inspiration to experience). We stopped in Friday Harbor and visited a Selene Yachts dealership. After touring a Selene 53, my wife was unusually thoughtful on our walk back down the docks to the tug. When I asked what she was thinking, she asked if we could afford ‘that boat’ if we sold the house and everything else. Amazed (and excited) at the implications of her question (I’d long dreamt of living aboard and the life that came with that choice), I thought about it for awhile and answered “yes”. We decided to educate ourselves on what was out there. After first considering and rejecting an Ed Monk designed custom trawler in Anacortes, we set about looking at what the market had to offer. In years that followed, we visited dealerships and privately owned boats up and down the west coast, becoming intimately familiar with hulls from Nordhavn, Krogen, Selene, Defever and others. We thought we’d identified the ideal trawler for us in the Nordhavn 55 when the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy, our investments, and our dream of owning and traveling on a big trawler.
In the meantime, we’d become grandparents to three spectacular children, and realized that our original vision of selling everything and taking to the seas for months at a time was not going to fit in ‘Grammy and Grandpah’s’ lives. This, combined with the sobering realities of economic issues in our lives, gas prices that were more than $1.50 more than when we’d started thinking about this, and the cost of keeping a boat in a marina in California, got me to thinking about the idea of a trailerable trawler.
Now most boats that are trailerable aren’t trawlers. And most boats that are trawlers aren’t trailerable. We looked at other hull types including the Sea Sport, C-Dory and Osprey and, though we found things about each that we liked, concluded that these were more about fishing than they were about ‘exploring’, which is what we love. For a while there, I had pretty much given up on my dream of finding a boat .... a yacht on a trailer that was a true trawler.
Then, in 2005, I saw an add in the back of Passagemaker magazine for the Rosborough RF-246 Sedan Cruiser. In the ad, the boat looked similar to others we’d looked at, and so I dismissed it (fearing further disappointment) thinking it was another C-Dory or Osprey. I saw it again in subsequent issues, however, and decided to look into what a Rosborough really was. It was called the largest 25' foot boat out there. I dared not hope it was a trailerable trawler.
Without mentioning it to Lee Ann - who’d been an enthusiastic participant in the yacht-finding process, but was at the point where she didn’t want to hear about boats that weren’t a ‘real possibility’ for us - I did my research. I joined the Rosborough owner’s group online, and requested literature from the factory. I located all the boats listed for sale on the Internet and poured over the photos of each. I learned that there were two hulls - a high-sided version (HSV) and a low-sided version (LSV) - of this unqiue expedition trawler, and quickly decided I needed the high-sided version because of my height (6’4”) and both the ceiling height and the length of the V-berth. I learned about the different power configurations (diesel or gas i/o, single or twin outboards, power hull extension, motor bracket, or not) and decided I wanted either single or twin outboards (quite a departure from my long time goal of owning an inboard diesel) and the power hull extension (leaves more room in the cockpit by effectively extending the hull 2’ and providing a mounting point for outboard engines). I familiarized myself with the boat’s features list and options, and identified which ones I had to have, which ones I wanted, and which ones I could live without. By the time we were ready to shop for an RF-246, I pretty much knew the boat and exactly which features mine would need to have.
In doing my research, I had ruled out buying a new boat because of the price. The boat I wanted, rigged and equipped the way we needed/wanted, with a trailer, would be somewhere north of $200,000.00 with tax if ordered from the factory and shipped to California (yes, it’s the most expensive 25-footer out there too, and well worth it). So I focused on used boats. I learned quickly that Rosboroughs have an excellent resale value and that they retain it for longer than any boat in their (original) price range. I started watching the Rosborough owners website (the list of boats for sale there), the website, and regularly performed Google searches for RF-246’s for sale.
I first got my hopes up when I found a boat in North Carolina. It was a single outboard in excellent condition owned by a respected owner and it had a trailer. I spoke with the surveyor who’d recently inspected it, and had a conversation with my wife about getting it. This is when I first learned what a valuable commodity used “Rossi’s” are. By the time I’d discussed it with Lee Ann and emailed the broker back, it was already in contract to another buyer.
You’d think I’d have learned an important lesson there. When, some months later, a 2007 came available in Texas, I contacted the owner immediately. Certain that this boat was a candidate for purchase, I asked the owner if he’d accept a price, and he said that yes, he would. He was going to the Caribbean for a week and I could let him know for sure if we wanted the boat when he returned. I/we decided we wanted it and I began getting the money in one place for transfer to him upon his return, excited that we’d found a Rosborough that we could make ours. Turns out, for some reason, that he took another offer ($2500 less than mine) from a Canadian buyer who had the foresight to wire a deposit while he was still in the Caribbean. By the time he got back, all he could say to my revelation that we wanted to buy the boat was, “Sorry”. It finally registered for me that one needed to move fast and in a decisive fashion when it came to Rosborough’s.
A bit demoralized after the Texas experience, I retreated from the process for a few weeks. Then I came across a 2005 RF-246 in southern California. I’d seen it before - it had been for sale for months - and found it attractive, but overpriced. I decided it wouldn’t hurt to let the broker know what I had to spend and see where it went. The owner came down to my price, and Lee Ann and I decided to travel the 10 hours to see the boat in Ventura, CA. First, however, we made the 12-hour trip to OIympia, WA to take Steve & Eunice Robb up on their kind offer to experience “Iana”, their 2008 Rossi with a single Honda 225, on Puget Sound. On a glorious afternoon of cruising, with people that would become our first “Rossi Friends”, we enjoyed confirming that we ‘fit’ in the (very large for a 25-footer) Rosborough. The next weekend, we drove to Ventura and, though I had some concerns about the boat, put a deposit down and ordered a survey.
About the time I decided, following a survey and some agonizing over sun damage on that boat, not to buy it (a hard choice; we were ‘in’ the boat more than $2000 with our expenses to date), another Rosborough went on the market in Washington state. In my research, I had learned that the Northwest dealer for Rosborough, E.Q. Marine, was a force to be respected in the Rossi world ... and did things the right way when it came to planning, rigging and finishing an RF-246. I’d read through the many articles on Les Lampman’s website several times, and often wished I could just order a new boat from him, outfitted a la E.Q. Marine. The boat that was for sale was a 2007 that had been rigged by none other than Les (and Carl) at E.Q. Marine. The owner said it had just 30 hours (turned out to be 72 due to its use as a demo at E.Q.) on twin Honda BF150’s and he’d posted an asking price that was beyond what I could pay. I contacted Les and learned about the boat, then contacted the owners in Jackson, WY and offered them what I’d offered on the boat in Ventura. The polite answer was that they’d wait and see what other offers came to them. I had the opportunity to speak with the owner the next day and again made my offer, to which he countered another figure that was very fair but still out of my range. That evening Lee Ann and I talked at length about this, our fourth Rosborough purchase attempt; about this boat and how perfect it seemed for us; about how it felt that all of our experiences to date had led to this boat. We decided we’d cash in a retirement fund account and take the penalty, if the seller’s could afford to come down to a figure that was half-way between their most recent counter and our offer. I couldn’t sleep that night until I sent the owners an email detailing our revised offer and telling them how very much we’d like to be the new owners of their boat and what that would mean to us. The next morning, I rushed to the computer to see if there was a response, to find an email stating that we could consider the boat ours.
I wonder if Pete & Leslie (the owners) had any idea what those words meant to someone who’d spent 30+ years dreaming of owning a yacht, five years of planning to own this particular yacht, and who’d experienced three failed attempts to purchase RF-246’s in the recent year. I was elated and immediately (that morning) sent deposit funds to the broker in Deception Pass, WA. In subsequent days, I enjoyed several phone conversations with Les Lampman at E.Q. Marine (the boat had been there since new; the owners had traveled via small plane from Wyoming to use it). I planned a trip north (15-16 hours’ drive) to complete our purchase and to spend our first few wonderful days on Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands of Washington (it was, we felt, serendipitous that we found the boat in WA, as this area was always one we’d planned to get to know once we had a boat and this boat was outfitted specifically for WA cruising). Since then, (in three short months) we’ve cruised the San Juan’s twice, completed a crossing of the Rosario Strait and Haro Straights to Victoria, BC, then trailered the boat south (2-day trip) and enjoyed cruising in the Sacramento Delta, the McLeod River, the Pitt River, Lake Shasta, and on San Francisco Bay.
We’ve found that we’ve fallen in love with this seaworthy and very liveable boat, and that she is even more seakindly and stout than we knew when we purchased her. I’ve learned while performing routine maintenance that her systems and rigging choices were all installed with forethought and care, and I’ve already benefitted from the wisdom that both Rosborough and Les at E.Q. Marine excercised when planning, building, rigging and equipping my boat. I couldn’t be more pleased with the RF-246 and we really have found a trailerable yacht that is a true trawler!
Now, on the occasion of her third month with us, I’ve decided to keep this blog for fellow owners and those who may dream of becoming Rossi owners (as we did for many years before we bought Kokomo) to enjoy ...

Wishing you smooth seas,
Steve Reeves

San Quentin Prison

San Quentin Prison
One of the more 'captivating' sites along the Corte Madera channel . Rowers from Corte Madera are practicing in the foreground.