History was made in Florida on Saturday, August 1, when the most famous offshore Deep-V race boat in US history set a new world record for the fastest crossing between Key West and Havana.
The Apache Star – a two-time World Champion, Kevlar and carbon fiber Deep-V race boat capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph – beat the current record with Apache Powerboats owner and offshore performance boating legend Mark McManus operating the throttles, and racer Roger Kluh driving. The crossing will mark the first time since 1963 that an American-built pleasure boat with an American crew has been authorized by the US government to visit Cuba.
Apache Star departed Stock Island Marina in Key West, Florida, at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 1, destined for the Hemingway International Yacht Club, Havana, Cuba.
The current record for the fastest Florida-to-Cuba crossing was set in 1958 by Forest Johnson, with a time of six hours, 24 minutes. This beat the original record, set in 1922 by Gar Wood.
The Apache Star® – originally named Apache Heritage – broke multiple records and won two world championships in 1992 and 1993, writing powerboat history as the first sit-down Deep-V in the world. Once again wearing its famed number 50, the boat has received a number of modern upgrades as part of an extensive restoration effort in preparation for its record attempt – including new, custom-made helmets and Recaro racing bucket seats that utilize technologies developed for fighter jets. Twin Mercury Racing bi-turbo engines that generate a combined total of 2,700 horsepower have pushed Apache Star to speeds of more than 115 knots in initial test drives. It took more than two years to prepare the vessel for this historic mission, and more than three years to secure the necessary permits.
Apache Star® made history on August 1, 2015, the first Pleasure boat with 4 passengers to travel from Key west to Havana Cuba in 90 minutes. The distance was 110 miles.