Glacier Bay Wins Bermuda Challenge

Glacier Bay Wins Bermuda Challenge

Glacier Bay's 26' Canyon Runner power catamaran recently became the first outboard-powered boat to reach the Bermuda Islands from the U.S. mainland unassisted.

Making the trip was Larry Graf, president of the power catamaran manufacturer Glacier Bay of Monroe, Washington. He was accompanied by Glacier Bay and Honda Marine dealer Troy Shields of Todd Marine in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The two set out alone on September 20, 1996 to complete the 728 mile trip that took them through parts of the Bermuda Triangle.

However, about 150 miles from Bermuda, they encountered sloppy, rough seas and waves coming from three different directions.

According to Shields, "I wouldn't have made the trip on anything other than a Glacier Bay catamaran. There were others who attempted the journey, but most never got to the halfway point."

Boating Magazine entitled the adventure "The Bermuda Challenge," and will present trophies to both Glacier Bay and Honda Marine. The successful completion of the 37-hour trip was made possible by the latest in power catamaran designs and state-of-the-art 4-stroke outboard technology.

The Glacier Bay 26' Canyon Runner power catamaran provided an extra-stable, seaworthy ride. This allowed the boat to handle rough ocean conditions which have prevented v-hulled craft similar in size from completing this kind of ocean adventure in the past.

The voyage required just about 350 gallons of fuel, much less than ordinary 2-stroke outboards would need. Twin Honda 90 hp 4-stroke outboards provided outstanding fuel efficiency. Graf and Shields still had 7 hours of fuel left when they reached Bermuda.

Other unique features of the Glacier Bay Canyon Runner 260 include a computer-designed hull shape built with computer-cut materials. The twin sponsons have special tracking pads that slice through rough seas and lifting chines that flare out to deflect spray and reduce roll. Six flotation compartments filled with USCG-approved foam guarantee buoyancy.

When not challenging the record books, the boat is ideal for offshore fishing duty. Its huge, non-skid deck has a crowned surface that drains water away. Two 96-gallon fishwells in the deck and a large casting deck in front add fishing convenience. The center console has a padded leaning seat with an aft rail and rocket launchers for 4 rods.

The boat needed no special alterations to make the Bermuda voyage. Cruising between 20 and 25 mph, Graf and Shields used a chart plotting/GPS navigation system provided by Furuno and computer charts provided by Navionics software.

As for a future adventure, Graf replied, "Who knows, we may try the North Atlantic next time."

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