Sunday, February 25

Aspen Power Cats’ 10,000-Mile Tour Already Reached Alaska, Now Heading South

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Aspen Power Catamarans’ epic 10,000-mile tour is off to a good start, with Knot Wafflen’, the company’s new 40-footer, already having cruised from Anacortes, Washington, all the way up to Glacier Bay, Alaska. It’s now in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on its way south, before ultimately circling most of the U.S. and ending up in Annapolis in October, 2018.

The owners of the boat, David and Sue Ellen Jenkins, are both from Annapolis, and were looking for a major adventure after Jenkins, who calls himself a serial entrepreneur, sold Golden Malted, the largest waffle company in the U.S. Referring to the name of his boat, Jenkins says, “obviously, I’m not waffling anymore.” For her part, Sue Ellen is a nurse. They planned the trip with Blake Eder, who is Jenkins’ brother-in-law and a professional delivery captain from North Carolina.

The three of them cruised on the new Aspen C120 up the Inside Passage to Tracy Arm, for pictures with the glaciers, and then to Juneau, Alaska, where they were able to get a permit to enter Glacier Bay, one of the most beautiful cruising grounds on the planet. (Full disclosure: My daughter, Kristen Friesen, worked there for the U.S. Park Service until last September; you could look out over Bartlett Cove, where Knot Wafflen’ landed, from her living room window.)

Larry Graf, the founder and “chief adventurer” of Aspen Power Cats, replaced the Jenkins and Eder on the boat there, and brought it back south; his son, Nick, the company’s sales manager, caught a 50-pound halibut along the way. The game plan is for the Jenkins and Eder to take the boat down to Mexico this fall, cruise the sea of Cortez, and then put the boat on a truck and trailer it to Galveston, Texas, where they will resume the voyage, ending up in Annapolis in time for the powerboat show more than a year away.

So far, Knot Wafflen’, a three-cabin, two-head proa-design cat, has been cruising at a steady 17 knots, burning only 11 gph. The boat’s single 330-hp Volvo diesel is in the starboard hull, which is about 35 percent larger than the port hull, giving the boat less drag, less weight and greater fuel efficiency.

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