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Guest Interview – Knot Wafflen - David and Sue Ellen Jenkins Aspen C-120 40ft

by Pendanablog 1 Dec 10:33 UTC
Knot Wafflen slipping out of Ensenada on her way south © Pendanablog

So David, tell me a little about this 10,000nm journey?

Well, I wanted to do a lot of boating and become an expert boater, one way to do that is to do a ton of sea miles. Having Aspen help sponsor the trip has allowed me to fulfil this dream and helped make it all possible.

When you purchased your Aspen 40, what were the key features you were looking for?

I was looking for distance and speed. I am not a slow boater, that said however, I do love sailboats but basically I like to get to where I am going quickly, so speed was a key feature for both my wife Sue Ellen, and I.

So what attracted you to Aspen Power Catamarans?

I liked the stuff Larry, the owner of Aspen, was doing with the boat design and what he did with his previous line of Glacier Bay boats. We were looking for a boat in the 40-42ft range but we didn't want one that required two slips to dock. The beauty of this boat is that she fits into a standard slip.

Would you describe yourself as more a hunter or gather?

I am definitely a Hunter. I have done thousands personality tests over the years and they all say I am off the charts in terms of goal orientation. So hunter for sure!

Why did you name your vessel Knot Wafflen?

I was one of the principle owners behind Golden Malted which is the largest waffle mix/waffle machine maker company in the world. I have since retired but still eat my waffles! So Knot Wafflen as a name just made sense. Originally it was Not Waffling but soon become Knot Waffling as I didn't like the negative connotations with the word 'not'. I also used to get tied up in knots more often than I liked to with my company and the three other partners so that also played into the name. I was in Bermuda and it was Bermuda slang to say, "wafflen" without the "ing" so the decision was made and "Knot Wafflen", the name was born!

What other names did you consider?

None

What has been your cruising highlight so far?

Destinations are great highlights but I wouldn't call them cruising highlights as I guess you could get to these places via float planes etc. That said, our trip from Ketchikan to Canada where I was able to surf a wave for about half an hour with Knot Wafflen was pretty cool.

What is the one lesson every boater should learn?

Judge the weather and get it right.

What training or skillset would you consider a "must have" prior to buying a boat?

The ability to judge the weather! In all seriousness, however, having risk analysis skills is, I believe, also very important.

What upgrade do you most wish you could make to your boat?

Honestly, there is nothing I can think of right now. She is pretty much perfect. Maybe at the end of the trip I could answer this question better but right now nothing springs to mind.

If there is one thing that Sue Ellen does that irritates you while underway what would that be?

When she is on the boat she is planning on getting off the boat rather than when she is going to get back on.

Onto irritating things, have you ever run out of something while at sea that has caused problems?

We had our high output alternator go out and had to wait for parts to arrive. So I guess we didn't have the spares required but then again you don't expect the high output alternator to fail. By the way, I still don't have the spares on board the boat for this item!

What have been the tallest seas and strongest winds you have encountered?

35kts and 10ft seas. The seas were following which was a good thing as Knot Wafflen loves following seas and tracks like she is on rails.

If you didn't own your current boat, what boat would you like to change to?

I don't know. I really like Catamarans and I really like what the owner, Larry, of Aspen Power Catamarans, has done in the past. My wife picked the boat and she loves it so I am a pretty happy guy with the choice we have made.

What is greatest feature of a Catamaran?

The platform doesn't move like a standard monohull boat. If you have following seas it is truly outstanding. You just don't pound but rather than skim across the water which makes cruising so much more enjoyable. With this particular boat you have 40% more cruising capacity due to the Aspen patented hull design. A single engine in one hull, while the other hull acts as an outrigger. Very clever design!

Biggest surprises with your cost of ownership?

I guess I came into this with my eyes wide open. It's all part of my risk analysis skills so no surprises yet.

What is your favourite activity while aboard?

We love going to places that are out of the way and then explore the area by kayak. We love the peace, quiet and tranquillity of being in remote places. I also love hiking as well. When we were in British Columbia ("BC") I kept coming across bear scat so had to turn back quick smart.

What is your favourite Marina and why?

Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes was outstanding. You can walk to everything you need and also clear customs, just a great spot!

What is your favourite quote and why?

"No plan survives collision with reality". The reason for this is, you can make whatever plans you want but reality will always cause you to adjust. So long as you are prepared for this then you don't get worried, life is good and things tend to work out.

What's the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while at sea?

The funniest thing that happened to us at sea is that we can't wait to get to port for cocktail hour. I can't believe I am saying this, but it's true.

What's the biggest mistake you have ever made on the water?

Going too far offshore and missing cocktail hour! Seriously though, the biggest mistake we have made is pushing our time table and almost being caught out after dark.

What is your most hated boat job?

Mechanics! I get no joy in trying to figure out how to fix them. Some folks do, but not me. I want to turn the key and know everything is going to work.

What is the one thing you are most afraid of?

Drowning! I don't want to drown. All the books I have ever read say that drowning is not a very pleasant death.

What's your favourite photo ever taken while at sea and why?

A double rainbow touched down in front of my wife and I while we were at anchor in Alaska. The rainbows lasted for only a matter of seconds. Sue Ellen to her credit was able to snap the shot. Truly beautiful!

What would you never leave behind when heading out to sea?

RUM!

If you were to give one piece of advice to someone thinking of cruising the world, what would it be?

Dave - First aid kit and if none available then a good rum!

Sue Ellen - I would suggest that they put together a really good first aid kit (that's because I'm both a nurse and an injured party and know the value of having one - I'm sure glad we had one!).

So how much fuel do you carry?

We carry 220gals plus another 125gals via the use of a fuel bladder. We burn 1.9gph at 8kts and 5.2gph at 10kts which is pretty respectable. So at 8kts we have an effective range of 655nms.

If you were advising someone as to the best area of the world to go cruising, where would it be, and why?

I am not sure yet but I am sure looking forward to the Sea of Cortez. That said, BC I thought was a truly remarkable place.

And finally, where to next?

For now we will head south down the Baja coast and get to La Paz where we will explore the Sea of Cortez.

Thank you very much for your time, will be watching this year's progress closely.

Good luck with your travels!

To read more about their travels please visit here

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