Accompanied by Dave Bonar, of Bosons’ Yacht Sales, the father/son team of Larry and Nick Graf has completed the first non-stop, no-refuel circumnavigation of Vancouver Island.
Leaving Victoria Harbour on June 20, the record setting voyage took an official time of 47 hours, 5 minutes and covered a total of 641 miles. The modern 32-foot proa power catamaran, Gateway II, burned only 267 gallons (1,009 liters) of fuel, averaging a respectable 5.6 gallons per hour at cruise speed.
Inspired by a challenge issued by Pacific Yachting magazine, the Pacific Challenge dares owners of production powerboats 40 feet or less in LOA to circumnavigate Vancouver Island in the least amount of time possible using only the fuel that can be carried onboard.
“What a Grand Adventure,” said Larry Graf, founder and president of Aspen Powercatamarans. “When we heard about Pacific Yachting’s challenge I knew that I had to give it a try, and we’re proud to hold the first record for circumnavigating Vancouver Island non-stop and without a refuel.”
According to Graf, the key to their success was cooperative weather. Rough seas presented an obstacle for two issues. The first concern was fuel consumption. Rough seas can nearly double fuel consumption, as a vessel needs to waves in order to make way. The second concern was the safety of Gateway II and her crew, especially during night passages.
“For most people, boating around Vancouver Island is the adventure of a lifetime, but to do the trip non-stop is truly an achievement,” said Pacific Yachting editor, Dale Miller. “We hope that Aspen’s success inspires other boaters and boat builders to take on the challenge, as pushing the boundaries of boat design, fuel efficiency and adventure will mean great things for the future of boating and the environment.”