Capt. Bill Pike's blog
The Aspen 32 from Aspen Power Catamarans (www.aspenpowercatamarans.com) has got to be one of the coolest, most interesting watercraft I’ve sea trialed in years. She has a very monohull-like appearance despite the fact that she’s got two hulls, not one. And get this: The Aspen is not actually a cat, despite her builder’s catamaranish name.
So this is the first Maritimo 58—and indeed the first Maritimo of any description—I’ve seen with a black hull. Very striking. In fact, as I made my approach from dockside, I believe I was constrained to exclaim, “Holy Smokes.” Black hulls, of course, tend to show the least imperfection in glasswork and this hull looked about as smooth as a peach without the fuzz.
What better way to crank up an entire week in Seattle testing boats that to take a boat ride with my friend and Power & Motoryacht Publisher Arnie Hammerman and his sons, Avery (left) and Hadyn (right). Arnie upgraded to a brand new (or almost new actually) 26-footer from Cutwater, a Pacific Northwest builder, and he was quite excited to show her off.
Here’s hoping that, this year, Christmas will be as wonderful as Thanksgiving’s just turned out to be for my wife BJ and myself.
Big boat shows like the one held in Ft. Lauderdale every year offer a remarkable potential—just when you least expect it, you can find yourself sitting in the saloon of some boat some place with a bunch of people you’ve only read about, or who know way more about boats than you do, or who are well above average in their ability to please and handle an audience.
The Curve of Time
Recently, for a couple of reasons, M. Wylie Blanchet’s The Curve of Time has taken top spot on my nautical bookshelf. I identified with the widow Blanchet’s descriptions of the joys and vicissitudes of packing up five children and cruising a 25-foot, single-engine powerboat through remote coastal territory during the early 20th Century.
During a recent whirlwind trip to the Midwest, Senior Editor Kevin Koenig and I visited a whole bunch of marine manufacturers located in an assortment of heartland states including Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Of course, we had a few adventures and we learned a few things.
Okay. So we don’t spend much time in the office. In fact, we spend a lot of time on the trail. This week we’re visiting the heart of the heart of the country, meaning Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and checking on a bunch of manufacturers, including Charles Industries (Casey, Illinois), Tiara Yachts (Holland, Michigan), Carver Yachts (Pulaski, Wisconsin), Marquis Yachts (Pulaski, Wisconsin). Cruisers Yachts (Oconto, Wisconsin), and the folks at Kohler (hmmmm, not too far from Sheboygan, Wisconsin) you know, the genset folks.