Sunday, March 24, 2024

Compadre Sold!

 After eight years of fun with our beautiful Albin 28 Tournament Express, it was time to put her up for sale. Compadre is a Flush Deck model, with a Yanmar 315 hp. turbodiesel with 1,630 hours. She has been meticulously maintained and upgraded, and is in Bristol condition. The boat is now located in the San Francisco Bay area.

Hull was painted Flag Blue in 2018 with Awlgrip HDT 

Canvas enclosure and bimini were replaced in 2020

All Stainless Steel portlights were removed, polished, and fitted with new
gaskets in 2021. Sink was removed, polished, and fitted with a Scandia
single lever faucet in 2020.

New Isotherm Elegance 49 fridge/freezer installed in 2021. 
Custom Teak & Holly cabin sole installed in 2020.

Custom drinking water dispenser with teak shelf.

Shelf accommodates standard 2.5gallon water jug.

Cabin sole reinforced under the pedestal, making the table more stable.

Dinette opens to a queen-size berth.

VacuFlush head uses freshwater.

Vetus bow thruster under V-Berth
replaced in 2012.

50 watt solar panel mounted on the cabintop aft of the radar dome.

Controller for the solar panel includes 12V and USB ports.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023




I will be one of the featured authors at the 23rd Annual Men of Mystery literary event. This award-winning gathering of authors, agents, publishers and, most importantly, literary fans of all types, will be held on Saturday, November 4th at The Grand in Long Beach, CA. The morning session will be headlined by Matthew Quirk, author of The Night Agent, which is now a hit series on Netflix. The afternoon session features Joe Ide, author of the acclaimed IQ series of mystery novels as well as The Goodbye Coast, a Philip Marlowe novel. I will be there promoting my last book, Voyage To Crusoe, and offering a preview of my upcoming novel, Valparaiso.

If you would like to attend the event, here are some details:

The Grand event venue is located at 4101 E. Willow St, Long Beach, CA 90815
Ticket price is $80.00. For tickets and event details visit

Sunday, February 26, 2023



Cinnamon Girl is one of my early designs. Above the waterline, this beautiful cold molded 'pocket cruiser' has the graceful overhangs and sheer reminiscent of a bygone era. But below the waterline she sports a modern fin keel and spade rudder, making her much faster and more weatherly than her classic looks would suggest. Cinnamon Girl is a perfect blend of sailing performance, classic looks, and superb craftsmanship.

Launched in 1979 and built of cold-molded mahogany and fir using West System epoxy, she has been meticulously maintained since a complete restoration by the designer in 2003.  She is located in the San Francisco Bay area. For more information contact Chris Winnard at Engel & Volkers Yachting. Tel:  619.987.7331 

Here is the link to the Yachtworld listing:

Friday, September 23, 2022



I will be one of 25 featured authors at the 2022 Men of Mystery Conference. November 5, 2022

Friday, March 27, 2020


Voyage To Crusoe is now available from Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats. To find it, go to my website: and click on the Amazon button.

Voyage to Crusoe is set in 1987 and is the story of Cliff Demont, an architect from central California. At 38 he is on the conventional middle class treadmill. His career has stalled and his marriage is deteriorating. Exasperated with his latest assignment to design another ugly concrete tilt-up building, he impulsively quits his job. That fateful decision leads him to strange and dangerous adventures on the high seas. 

This fictional 64' sloop plays a starring role in

Deck Plan

Accommodations Plan

Friday, May 10, 2019

Albin 28 Solar Panel Installation

Compadre at the public dock in Long Beach
Like most Albin 28's, Compadre is fitted with a Group 31 starting battery and a single 8D house battery. This is enough reserve power most of the time, but there are occasions when we need a bit more, like when we're on the hook for three days or four days at a time. As a staunch "Keep-it-simple" kind of guy, I don't have a generator aboard so that means we've had to run the diesel to top up the batteries whenever we're anchored out for more than a couple of days. To help solve that issue I decided to install a solar panel.

I chose a 50 watt kit from GoPower. The kit includes a flexible panel, controller, wiring and fasteners.
A panel this size won't meet all of our power needs but I'm interested only in augmenting our battery power, not replacing it and this is an economical starting point that I can expand by adding another 50 watt panel if necessary.
Cost of the GoPower 50 watt kit was just under $400

The installation was straightforward. The first step was to determine the best place to locate the panel. I chose the area aft of the radar arch because it's pretty much out of harm's way there, and it would be easy to route the wiring from there to the battery. Once that decision was made I did the wiring, running the wires down the starboard cabin-side to the engine compartment, across the boat and up to the the DC panel above the galley where the controller would be located. Then came the fun part.

I wanted to fabricate a box that would accommodate the controller along with a USB charging port and a 12 volt outlet as well. We always seem to need more charging ports for phones, Pads, etc.
I edge-glued strips of 1" x 3/16" teak to make an 8"x 16" panel. The reason for this is because the controller and some of the other components could not accommodate a thicker panel. I then glued together a teak box and assembled the panel to it. The edge-glued surface made for an interesting grain pattern.

Laminated panel front.

Rear of the panel reinforced with 1/4" plywood

Box is assembled and ready for varnish.
The depth of the box accommodates the various components. 

First coat of varnish applied. The box would receive a total of seven
coats of Epifanes high gloss.
While the varnish work was going on I finished the installation of the solar panel. For safety I mounted it on 1/4" spacers. It can be a fire hazard to mount the panel directly to the cabin top. Feeding the wires through the cabin top required a custom feed-through block, which I made from Starboard.

Solar panel is 45" long and fits nicely aft of the radar arch.
Feed-through block accommodates heavily insulated wires and butt
connections to #10awg Ancor wiring. I drilled a 9/16" hole through
the cabin top and installed plastic races leading to the support pillar
to conceal the wires on the underside of the cabin top.

Wire race on the underside of the cabin top.
The wires feed through the top at the upper left end of the race.

Wires enter the cabin side here.

Installation complete.
The rocker switch on the right energizes the USB and 12v ports.
The toggle switch on the left connects the solar panel to the charge controller.

For a clean  installation, I epoxied a pair of  #10-24 threaded rods into the rear of the box and bolted it to the bulkhead from the inside.  I removed the DC panel to gain access to this area. One interesting glitch in the installation is that the bulkhead where I wanted to mount the box is not flat. It's warped about 3/8" from corner to corner. Other than that, it was a fairly easy project to complete.  We're headed over to the island soon and will find out if the 50 watt panel adds enough power for our needs.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Albin 28 Upgrades

We've had Compadre for a bit over a year and have been enjoying our Island Commuter quite a lot. During this time I've made some additions to the boat that make it more suitable for our purposes and I thought it would be good to share them.

Compadre at her home port of Two Harbors
Last spring we hauled the boat at Sunset Aquatic Shipyard and applied a new, still experimental paint called Awlgrip HT. With really great support from our Awlgrip rep, Stan Susman, the boat turned out beautiful. While it was on the hard I had the prop tuned up and repaired the exhaust thru hull, which had small leak in it.

Freshly tuned prop.

We wanted a really good tender for the boat, one that would plane. The problem is that a dinghy and motor of that size is difficult to fit on a 28 footer. The solution was an 8'-6" RIB with a 6hp outboard. When we're not using it, the dinghy rides on the swimstep and the motor lives on a custom-made bracket. To make life easier, I also built a hoist so we could store the motor in the cockpit and then swing it out over the dinghy.  But I didn't want some clunky-looking crane permanently mounted  on the transom so I made it collapsible, so it would stow in the cockpit when not in use.

The dinghy rests on the swimstep when we're underway. It's light enough that I can
pull it up on the step without any assistance.

The bracket is designed and located so nothing interferes with the bait tank, mooring cleat or fuel fill. The dinghy planes easily with two aboard the dinghy.

The frame is welded 7/8" stainless tubing and the wood part is made of varnished teak.

I added 1/4" StarBoard to protect the varnish.

When not in use, the hoist stows neatly on a rod holder.
I fabricated the upper and lower mounting brackets from fiberglass. 

The vertical part of the hoist slides through the upper bracket and fits into the
lower bracket.
After I set the upright part into the brackets, the arm pivots up to about 30 degrees above horizontal and is secured to
the top of the upright. To make it easy to raise and lower the motor I added Harken blocks to make 4:1 purchase. One of the blocks is a ratchet block for security.

The block and tackle. The rope is led to a cam cleat on the upright.
When  the dinghy is in the water, the motor swings out far enough that it lowers almost directly onto the dinghy's motor mount. The geometry is such that it works if the dinghy is situated at the stern of the boat or alongside. Very convenient.
It takes two of us about ten minutes to deploy the dinghy, set up the hoist, drop the motor into position, and connect the fuel line, and we're ready to go.

Another fun project was making a nice looking footrest for the helmsman. I glued a couple of pieces of teak together, cut it to the proper shape and mounted it with a couple of hinges. I added a second aluminum footrest because when we're socializing, we often turn the seat around to face the cockpit and it's nice to have a footrest facing that way too.

The footrest hinges up out of the way when servicing the engine.

The nonskid adds a bit of security when it's rough.

We are often at anchor or on a mooring five or six days at a time and found that fresh water can run low, especially since our boat is set up with freshwater flush for the toilet. So now we use tank water for washing dishes, freshwater rinse after swimming and, of course, flushing. For drinking water, I build a shelf in the galley that fits the 2.5 gallon water containers from the grocery store.

The shelf is mounted high enough that we can fill a tall glass of water from the spout.

I discovered the hard way that a bit of nonskid under the container prevents it from falling out of its perch when it's rough.

When we got the boat, the rubber coating on the steering wheel was a bit gummy and I couldn't find anything that would fix that. So I found a leather wheel cover kit online. Problem solved.

The supple leather cover feels great and shows no signs of wear after a year of use.

It was a bit of a chore to get the stitching right, but well worth the effort.

My next project is to add a pair of solar panels on the cabin top. After three or four days at anchor, I have to run the engine to recharge the batteries. The solar panels will make Compadre electrically independent.