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Father-and-son team plans record-setting voyage

A father-and-son team from Aspen Power Catamarans will attempt to circumnavigate Vancouver Island non-stop, unrefueled in a production boat, starting Friday.

The adventure responds to a challenge issued by Pacific Yachting magazine to the owners of production powerboats of 40 feet or less to circumnavigate Vancouver Island in the least amount of time, using only the fuel that can be carried on board.

“This is the exact thing I love to do,” Aspen Power Catamarans founder and president Larry Graf, who will be taking the voyage with his son, Nick, said in a statement. “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.”

The duo will depart Victoria Harbour on an Aspen C100 32-foot Power Proa, a single-engine catamaran with a patented drag-reducing Power Proa hull that consumes just six gallons of fuel per hour at 17.5 mph. Aspen is based in Burlington, Wash.

The trip will start with a 270-mile run up the inside passage to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The pair will then turn south in the open Pacific Ocean down the west coast of Vancouver Island. If the typical weather pattern holds, this will be a downwind sleigh ride in five- to eight-foot swells with a tailwind.

The 700-mile trip is expected to take 40 hours. The only modification to the stock production boat is one expedition fuel tank carrying 240 gallons.