The first V-bottom offshore raceboat in history built with an enclosed cockpit will be back on the water Saturday August 1, attempting to set a speed record from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba.
The 50′ long, non-stepped V-bottom, which was originally called Apache Heritage when it won the offshore world championships in 1992 and 1993, is built with Kevlar and carbon fiber. Power is twin Mercury Racing 1350s and the top speed is estimated in excess of 130 mph (115 knots). More than 7,000 man-hours went into restoring the boat, which has been upgraded with Recaro racing bucket seats and navigation technologies used in fighter jets.
Owner Roger Kluh is a former elite-level German hockey player who spent many summer vacations on the South of France where he developed an interest in offshore performance boats. He owned an Apache 41′ powerboat and was in Key West when he saw Apache Heritage win those championships. He bought the 50′ raceboat in 2012 and the plan was launched to go after the record between Key West and Havana with Apache Powerboats/McManus Superboats president Mark McManus.
McManus has built more than 600 offshore performance boats during a career that has included stops at Halter Marine, Cigarette Racing Team and, of course, Apache Powerboats. McManus Superboats is currently based out of Fort Myers.
Kluh will drive and McManus will throttle during the record attempt. They will be joined by mechanical engineer John Pompi, who is a well-known rigger and figure in the performance boat industry for the past 30 years and by navigator Damien Sauvage, a licensed captain who will provide live updates during the run.
The team is scheduled to leave from Stock Island Marina Village in Key West at 9:30 a.m. August 1 and return August 3 from Havana.