The ultimate picnic cruise around the bay – ElectraCat
- June 29th, 2015
- in Lifestyle
A Tourist in My Own Town : The Floating Picnic in the Gardens – ElectraCat
Photography by SkyVision VI, James Kelly, and aLookingGlass
Before I moved to the British Virgin Islands only a few short months ago, I had vacationed here with my mother. We were astonished that such a place existed and instantly fell in love with both the welcoming Caribbean hospitality and the breath-taking natural surroundings.
I’d spent most of my life in Canada, but always been a ‘tropical baby’ at heart, and so I naturally gravitated to the aesthetically pleasing beaches, and especially the vibrant social atmosphere and beauty I discovered in Cane Garden Bay.
Since moving here, I noticed a new activity down in Cane: a colourful picnic table, equipped with a parasol and barbecue, floating on the water around the bay. Curious to learn more about this attraction, I inquired with Kevin Wenk, the founder of the ElectraCat Adaptive Catamaran Systems, commonly known as Anger Management Picnic Tables—its original name—down in Cane.
Kevin was delighted by my interest in the tables and was happy to give me a ride, as he regularly welcomes visitors and members of the community to come out and enjoy a cruise. Currently, Kevin works in the telecommunications field, and ElectraCat is his hobby and therapeutic experience he enjoys sharing with others.
The idea for ElectraCat came to Kevin from a photo on the internet entitled Redneck Pontoon Picnic Table, with two men floating on a wooden table which they’d made by attaching pontoons and a trolling motor. He decided to perfect and master this idea which now includes features such as built in coolers, a small gas grill, LED lights, and even outlets to charge electronic devices.
Using recycled pontoons and constructing a picnic table to fit, the first ElectraCat only took Kevin and his friends Tom Echle, Jason Geyser, and Dana Miller a day to build. When they were confident and happy with the design, Kevin invited a few friends to join for the first test run in a swimming pool to see if the invention would float on water.
When the table was able to successfully stay afloat with the weight of Kevin and five of his friends, the group was elated and they celebrated by cracking a can of Schaffer beer on the side of the table—Schaffer being the ‘champagne’ of those who love the casual lifestyle which is renowned down on the beach at Cane Garden Bay.
For a year, Kevin has been cruising the bay of Cane Garden Bay on his picnic table. Friends who ride are invited to bring their own food and beverages if they wish to relish the full experience of a picnic on the water. On the grill, his favourite grub to cook are meat and veggie skewers, shrimp, potatoes, and especially bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Sunset cruises while enjoying the feast are especially popular, although Kevin loves night-time cruises the most.
With the newest addition of his ongoing project, LED lights, the experience is enhanced during a night cruise, where the exotic sea life of Cane including sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, manta rays, tarpon, octopus, moray eel, and puffer fish can be spotted as they are naturally attracted to the glowing illumination of underwater and above-water lights emitted from the boat.
Recently in 2014, Kevin was approached by a friend-of-a-friend on Facebook who had seen photos of the tables online. The friend works for a specialty fabrication company in Orlando and came down to the BVI to check out what was then Anger Management Picnic Tables. He was eager to become Kevin’s business partner on which is soon to be the manufacturing and distribution of a line of quality ElectraCat tables. This exciting new venture, set to launch later this year, is a huge accomplishment for Kevin who was made the co-owner of ElectraCat and distributor for the tables in the Caribbean and South America.
Kevin’s personal ElectraCat tables will soon include a new eco-friendly design where the 12 volt battery will be charged by solar panels donated by the local alternative energy company, A -Tec. This model will be included in the production of all new tables manufactured by ElectraCat Adaptive Catamaran Systems.
“Tourists who have shared this experience have told me that they have spent a week travelling the islands, and their ride on the ElectraCat has been the favourite part of their holiday,” said Kevin with great enthusiasm.