Monday, April 1, 2013

April Newsletter

- Don’t miss the Anacortes Spring Boat Show coming up next weekend, April 5 – 7. Going to be a fun show and a great time to see Gateway I, Gateway II, and Aristocat all cleaned up and shiny. Bring friends and family and show off your boat!

- Please welcome Pete and Jan van Leynseele to the Gateway owner group! They are the latest proud owners of Gateway I and are really looking forward to this coming boating season. They are very experienced boaters who previously owned a Tollycraft and also currently own a trailerable cuddy-cabin. We are truly lucky to have such a great group of owners and the van Leynseele’s are a great addition. Please welcome them warmly as you see them around!

- Gateway II is on the water and running like a proud stallion (can “she” run like a stallion?)! At any rate, the C100 handles unbelievably well, a real upgrade in performance in many ways; speed, handling, tracking, weight carrying ability, storage space, etc. If you have yet to take her for a spin, let us know a good time and we’ll get you out.

- Gateway III, the new Nordic Tug 34, is under construction in Burlington, WA, and I’m told is right on the timeline for completion and delivery at Trawler Fest (May 16th). The hull is now out of the mold, and major components will be moving this week into the Nordic assembly building for outfitting and joining. If anyone would like to see her under construction, let me know and I can arrange that, she’ll be located right beside the Aspen mock up.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gateway Yachts to Buy Four Nordic Tugs in Innovative Order Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                   March 22, 2013

Gateway Yachts of Anacortes, WA and Nordic Tugs Inc. of Burlington, WA announce a multi-boat deal to place Nordic Tugs yachts into Gateway’s Fractional Ownership Program.

This four boat deal provides for the immediate purchase of a new Nordic Tug 34 along with options for two more Nordic Tug 34’s and one Nordic Tug 39. Total retail value of the deal exceeds $1.7 million at current list prices.

Gateway’s innovative Fractional Ownership Program dramatically lowers the cost of boat ownership, opening up the market to a much larger demographic. Gateway manages all aspects of yacht ownership providing top-quality all-inclusive service right down to the clean and shine. This successful approach is developing fierce customer loyalty and strong demand for Fractional Ownership and Charter services. “It’s the perfect solution for those aspiring to experience the joys of cruising in a Nordic Tug without the financial commitment of full ownership,” says George Armendariz, General Manager of Nordic Tugs.

“Combining that innovative service with Nordic Tugs’ top quality recreational trawlers is the perfect match,” claims Nate Martin, Founder of Gateway Yachts. Nordic Tugs are known for the attention to detail built into every fuel efficient tug styled yacht. They are the perfect year round cruiser for inland and offshore boating.

As a part of the purchase agreement, Gateway Yachts and Nordic Tugs will jointly market the program with Gateway focusing on the sale of fractional shares and Nordic Tugs’ dealers concentrating on the sale of whole boats. The program will be initially centered in the Pacific Northwest where Gateway Yachts will serve boaters seeking a professionally managed fractional share. Those wishing the ‘full ownership experience’ can rely on the staff of Nordic Northwest Yacht Sales. According to Martin, the program will gradually expand to other key boating areas across the country. Anacortes Trawler Fest (May 16th to May 19th) will be the launch event of this innovative marketing strategy.

The Gateway Program is patterned after Berkshire Hathaway’s Netjets corporate jet fractional ownership program. One eighth fractions of a Nordic Tug yacht includes 5 weeks of advance scheduled use per year plus unlimited open time availability. This ground-breaking program produces the lowest cost method of ownership as compared to charters or even most ‘fly-to-destination’ vacations.

The program’s concierge-level service creates a rewarding, hassle-free ownership experience. High operational availability is ensured by a fleet of new Nordic Tugs, with their traditional craftsmanship and durable build quality. “By featuring Nordic Tugs, which are made in America, the program turns a turbulent economy upside-down, proudly creating jobs right here in Washington State”, adds Martin.
Nordic Tugs are among the most fuel efficient in the industry. Along with the inherently ‘green’ characteristic of fractional ownership, this program is the most environmentally friendly power boating experience possible.

Fractional Ownership Program details can be found at Further information about Nordic Tugs is available at

PDF LINK: Joint Press Release

Friday, March 1, 2013

Aspen C100 – Monumental Game Changer

That’s right, I said “monumental game changer!” I’m choosing those words carefully, they are not an exaggeration or just another marketing line. I’m talking about an industry changing technology that just proved it is scalable and in fact only gets better with size.

When Larry Graf and his team built the C90, many were skeptical. It’s a terrific boat, but now the Aspen team has proven they are capable of applying the concept to larger boats and that it not only works, but is an unbelievable leap over everything else on the market. Dave Pugh, who did the engineer work on the C100, has to be proud. He not only had to get the shapes perfect, he had to layout the boat and distribute its weight so that the asymmetric hulls matched their displacement against the weight they carry. Fail to do that and the boat doesn’t float level. Well, here’s the picture of the boat floating for the first time:

While it looks nice, knowing what went into it, I say WOW, great job. Being a pilot for more than 30 years, I’ve seen my share of engineering projects, many simpler than this, that didn’t go right – so congratulations.

But how does it do when you put it into motion?

Spectacular! Tracks even better than the C90, like it’s on rails. Turns flat as a pancake, similar in motion to a BMW or a Corvette that stays level and flat in a turn – both directions.

The first thing you’ll notice about the C100 is its stature. It sits about 7 inches taller than the C90 and has more presence due to its size. It’s lines are beautiful:

Sound – Even without the insulation added yet, the boat is far quieter in the cabin, and very comfortable in the aft cockpit even at full throttle.

Performance – The 220hp Volvo D3 is silk smooth and brings the power on like right now. The motor has a very sporty but subtle rumble, love the sound. Look down at the GPS and you’re doing 20 mph without even breathing hard – hey, that’s near top speed of the C90 (which is already amazing for a full displacement hull). As we pushed the power all the way up, the engine rested on it’s computer controlled max rpm and thus we may have slightly too little pitch in the propellor. Still, it was running at about 25 mph, and Larry is taking the prop in to see if we can’t get even more top end out of it.

During the maiden voyage we had five of us big guys on it, nearly 1,200 lbs in all. It absolutely slayed the waves and wakes we encountered without so much as a noticable wiggle – yes, better than the C90. Notable fuel consumption looked like this:
8.5 mph – 1.5 gph, which equals nearly 6 miles to the gallon! 17 mph – 5.0 gph, almost identical to the C90 with that much weight – amazing, remember this boat is right at 35 feet in length! 20 to 21 mph – 6.0 gph. This felt very comfortable and ultra smooth. Is top speed in a C90 and is where you’ll find Nate passing almost everyone else on the water by… in a full displacement hull getting 3.5 miles to the gallon!! Crazy. Like I said, this is a GAME CHANGER.

With less weight and a little propellor tweak I think those numbers only get better. What’s cool about the hull is that it’s comfortable at any speed and actually smoother the faster you go – most boats have speed zones in which they are not at all capable, not so with the Aspen.

The wake it leaves is freaky. The C90 leaves a wake like a little ski boat, but the C100 leaves an even smaller and cleaner wake! Two very little rooster tails, one behind each hull, then the water falls perfectly flat. This is the result of the extra clean way the hull knifes through the water. Larry designed in what I call a “serrated leading edge” to knock down the spray and to replace that stainless steal spray bar on the C90… works like a champ, the water leaves the leading edge and goes straight out to the side, even going through waves at top speed did not see spray from the helm position – we had to lean over the side from the aft cockpit to see it.

Advantages to other boats on the market? Unbelievable efficiency, stability, handling, and with two double hulls, six water tight compartments, and seven automatic bilge pumps this boat is just flat out inherently safer. Honestly, I have tons of time on the water and I simply don’t see any disadvantage – I truly believe this is the boat of the future and the closest thing to perfection in a coastal cruiser made to date.

Yes, I’m excited. I am personally inviting everyone to come up to either Everett or Anacortes and take it for a spin – I don’t care if you already own an Aspen, a Gateway share, or whatever, let’s go out and have some fun, you will be amazed. Oh, and I don’t really care what the weather is doing, my personal limit is 40 kts, anything above that and my fear is that you’ll have fear – me and the boat will be fine otherwise! Call and let’s take it out.

Do not try this at home, but, the other day I did a C90 demo ride (just me and one other) in 4 to 5 foot wind blown chop and swells with the winds gusting to 40 – whitecaps inside the marina. Thruster away from the dock into the wind, held it’s position no problem. Rotated the boat in the alley 90 degrees, put it in idle and was doing 3.5 mph idling into a 30 knot wind without even hearing the wind and rain. No other boats on the water – and frankly I would not have taken another boat out that day, gale warnings posted. However, as I tell people, if you boat enough, eventually you will run into conditions that scare you – when that day comes, it will be a traumatic and very memorable day for everyone on board – those who boat and fly a lot know what I mean. When that day comes and you’re riding in an Aspen, forget the trauma. You will probably remember it, but you won’t be remembering the trauma, you’ll be remembering how well that boat rode and how it kept you and your loved ones protected.

Larry Graf Reinvents the Boat...

I encourage everyone to read the following article.  Pictures are of Gateway I, both inside and out.

Article: Larry Graf Reinvents the Boat

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gateway News - February 2013

- Seattle and Vancouver Shows Huge Success. Though overall traffic at both shows was down incrementally, sales and sales leads were up strongly for both Aspen and Gateway. The combined energy and marketing technique were quite evident in the Seattle display which had a much larger presence this year than last thanks to the combination of Aspen, Gateway, and input from investors and all who contributed. The power of sharing and working together was evident, it is a cornerstone of Gateway’s philosophy.

The Vancouver show was a test for Gateway to see if Canadians are willing to make the trip across the border and that was received quite positively. Again thank you to Aspen for the effort and for being open to the power of cooperation. We have many contacts to follow-up with and will be in touch shortly…

Gateway’s summer schedule is beginning to fill up, so if your goal is boating this season then acting soon is advisable. Demo rides are occuring now in the C90, and will begin shortly in Gateway’s new C100.


Through a massive combined effort, the Gateway/Aspen booth this year held a 100% full scale wood mockup with a picture display “How To Build a Boat 101,” an innovative Aspen C90, the Prototype Aspen C100 “Gateway II,” and nearly 300 square feet of custom wood decking made just for the show. Gateway played a large role in the C100, C110 investor relations, C110 mockup, and in setting up the display.

We believe this independently judged award substantiated the most innovative booth at the largest show on the west coast. Innovative way to build a boat, innovative boat, and innovative way to own a boat!

Thank you to all who contributed, a lot of long hours went into this year’s display.