Larry Graf, founder and president of Aspen Power Catamarans will attempt to circumnavigate Vancouver Island non-stop, without refueling, in a production powerboat, starting Friday, June 20.
Accompanied by his son, Nick, Graf was inspired by a challenge issued by Pacific Yachting magazine to owners of production powerboats of 40 feet or less to circumnavigate Vancouver Island in the least amount of time, under the given conditions.
“This is the exact thing I love to do,” said Larry Graf. “I am certain that given the right weather window we can set a world’s first record for the fastest, most efficient, unrefueled trip around Vancouver Island.”
Attempting the voyage in one of his company's own 32-foot C100 Power Cats, a single engine catamaran with a drag-reducing Power Proa hull that is asymmetrical in design. The vessel consumes just six gallons of fuel per hour at 17.5 mph. The only modification to the C100 is a single expedition fuel tank, carrying 240 gallons.
Graf and his son will depart from Victoria Harbour and begin a 270 mile run up the inside passage to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. In total, the trip is estimated to take 40 hours, covering a close to 700 miles.
Though a daunting task, Graf is no stranger to open water challenges. In 1994, Graf became the first to complete the 728-mile Bermuda Challenge; an event which inspired Pacific Yachting's Pacific Challenge.
“This trip will pose different challenges with not only sea conditions, but tides and currents in both Juan de Fuca and Johnstone straits to worry about. Riding the currents and catching the pinch point tides just right will be the key to success,” Graf said. “This type of challenge pushes all marine builders and suppliers to develop more efficient hulls, machinery, and better equipment and that reduces the cost of boating allowing more people to get out onto the water.”