An Evolutionary Leap For The Marine Industry
Technology and Goals
Innovative boat designs that genuinely enhance the boating experience are rare.
Aspen Power Catamarans is that rare breed of cat. This new series combines the revolutionary efficiencies of a patent pending hull with the latest technology and design amenities to make boating more enjoyable and affordable.
At Aspen our goal is to maximize your precious moments on the water by building the world’s most efficient and earth-friendly boat that is also attractive, comfortable and easy to handle. With more than 30 years combined experience, our design team has pushed through old paradigms to develop the next generation of boating.
After considering many designs, the team settled on a completely new hull design and drive system that can be described as a “single diesel power proa.” While identical in profile, the hulls are very different in plain view, with one hull 35 percent thininer than the other. Additionally, the design utilizes only one engine, shaft, prop and keel. The design’s non-symmetrical or asymmetrical hulls are shaped to compensate for the engine torque. Since both forces are proportional to speed and thrust, the boat runs straight. We call this the SeaGlider system.
The benefits of the SeaGlider technology are significant. While the thinner proa hull is only 35 percent thinner, its actual drag is approximately 50 percent less. This fluid dynamic relationship results in “a little thinner equals a lot less energy.” This hull also has none of the typical, twin engine, appendage drag seen on most boats. Drive gear such as the keel, shaft, rudder and prop typically add another 20 percent drag.
Beyond this, the single engine design saves dramatically on machinery weight, which in turn saves on the required structure component sizes, necessary fuel and the corresponding weight. All these savings reduce the boat’s weight by approximately 40 percent. The result of less weight is much less drag.
Aspen offers boaters a perfect haven due to its balance of environmental and performance efficiencies in combination with its roomy layout and exceptional comfort. The aspen hull and its many benefits are all rooted in solid engineering principles and creative innovation.
The Aspen hull design begins with a very efficient full displacement, high-speed starboard drive hull that has significantly more beam than a standard catamaran. This extra beam allows for a spacious engine and machinery installation and easy access for service. The spacious drive hull also gives expansive stateroom accommodations.
The port side proa hull is 35 percent finer than the drive hull and has no underwater drive or rudder appendage drag. Both hull shapes are asymmetric and tailored to efficiently balance the drive forces, allowing for straight tracking and a balanced helm in all sea conditions. The net effect of this combination is a dramatic leap forward for power catamaran technology in both space and efficiency.
If you have owned a modern, twin-engine, power cat and run it on one engine, you have been surprised at its high level of performance, tracking and handling. The Aspen hull with its single engine tailored shape exceeds the performance of a twin engine cat. Aspen’s patent pending proa design tailors the hull and drive for ideal performance with a modern, electronically, fuel-injected Volvo diesel engines.
Construction Features and Goals
The Aspen series is the culmination of a passionate design team’s dreams for the ideal cruising boat. We boat year round, constantly looking for the next amazing anchorage, cove, or remote waterfront village. For everyone’s boating pleasure, we are pushing the innovation envelope for convenience, comfort and a thoughtful use of resources.
Quality boating starts with careful attention to the following areas.
Fiberglass, for many boaters, is generic. It is a trusted material that has been in use for more than 45 years with excellent results. However, in this genre, not all fiberglass is created equal. The composites in an Aspen Power Catamaran are a thoughtful balance of modern high technology, using premium Vinyl Ester and Isothalic resins, S- glass, Kevlar, and cross-linked PVC cores of thicknesses from 1/4″ all the way up to 2-1/2″. When handled properly, this class of materials will build high strength, light weight, hulls and decks that should last more than 100 years. This may exceed your personal expectations. However, this level of quality in materials, properly blended, is very stable in the marine environment. This stability is what ensures your boat’s strength and aesthetics for many years into the future. It also ensures your resale value, making your true cost of ownership among the lowest in the industry.
Kevlar Reinforced Bows: Aspen’s bows include an unusual extra degree of reinforcing behind the 6 alternating layers of matt and roving doubling over at the bow from each hull side we include a layer of Kevlar. This material is exceptionally strong and on severe impact will not fracture. In actual high speed collisions with immovable objects in past boats with a similar construction, we have found the Kevlar binds the core laminates in a way that makes them stack and work as one unit. Without the Kevlar, they tend to open on severe impacts.
Bow Collision Foam Compartment: The bows of each hull have the first 3 feet boxed in with glass wrapped Coosa composite board. These are then foam filled 6 inches above the waterline. In a severe impact, this area maybe damaged, but with its’ construction the boats watertight integrity can stay intact.
Double Bottom Hulls: Because our owners tend to go on long trips exploring remote areas, we have included a double bottom construction method. After the hulls normal lamination procedure and thickness development, we go back in and add two layers of closed cell cross-linked Dinincell foam; one 1/2″ thick, the second 3/4″ thick. Each wrapped in glass and resin. When complete the hull bottom impact area is approximately 2 inches Thick! There are small areas in each watertight compartment where we have created bilge pump wells 8″x 8″ so the pumps are able to completely evacuate the bilge, but 92% of our Aspen hull bottom is protected.
6 Water Tight Compartments: Each Aspen hull includes three water tight sections, each with its own automatic 550 gph bilge pump. Should an event occur that the double bottom is breached, the design limits the area that can fill with water. The pumps are also typically mounted on aluminum bilge pump brackets/sticks that have the attachment point up near the service access rather than down deep in the hull. The engine room includes a 7th 1100 gph bilge pump with its’ own power, float switch and warning horn at the dash.
For most boaters, the electrical system is an area of tall mystery, yet it is also the focus of most common problems. For many boat builders, it is thought of as an inconvenience of production or an afterthought. For Aspen Power Cats, the key is a solidly engineered electrical backbone with tinned marine copper wire. Backing this up are yacht grade Blue Seas Systems 12v and 120v panels, breakers, and hubs. Once the core system is in place, the individual electrical components are able to perform their best. Premium internationally recognized vendors are used exclusively for electrical components to ensure their availability.
Machinery Installations, Engines, Generators & More
At Aspen, we start with the belief that our special breed of owners will use their boats aggressively for many years and that they can expect superb performance with minimal service. To insure this level of satisfaction, we use only the finest products in our systems. For example, we use engine mounts that are 3/8” plate welded both sides and stringers made of high density glass reinforced XL10 foam, which is 2.5” thick and wrapped with .25” of solid glass. Our exhaust systems are 6” with exceptionally quiet water-lift, muffler systems, the prop shafts are 2” oversized, we use marine grade stainless steel, and the 1/4″ thick U.S. aluminum fuel tanks are standard.
Benefits of Owning an Aspen Power Catamaran
Unparalleled Fuel Economy – The 28′ C90 weighing in at 7,900 labs. cruises comfortably at 16 mph while only burning a stingy 4.6 gph. This level of fuel economy is in a class by itself!
Smooth Ride in Any Seas at Any Speed – Aspen’s hull was designed with great care to ensure a soft ride at trawler speeds and at full cruise, preventing tunnel thumping often felt in other catamaran designs.
Lots of Space With a Beamy Dual Hull Design – Every Aspen boat has the interior room of a mono-hull, 20% longer (and much more expensive).
Single Engine Affordability – All the advantages of a catamarans with a Proa design that uses a single efficient diesel inboard. It is the best of all worlds, the performance and ride of a catamaran at the price of a mono-hull. Does boating life get any better than this?
Exceptional Resale Value – This is a critical consideration when buying a boat. Aspen’s fuel efficiency combined with premium materials and fiberglass construction, ensures a strong market for your high quality boat at resale. In a world with uncertain fuel prices, Aspen owners won’t worry about the fuel bill today or resale values tomorrow. Having a limited production plan ensures a high demand for pre-owned Aspens.