This 41-foot 1984 Apache race boat sold for $401K—here’s why it’s worthy
A legendary offshore racing boat recently sold at auction for a price that’s reflective of its fame. The 41-foot 1984 Apache Warpath, which won that year’s American Power Boat Association World Championships, changed hands for $401,000 on Bring a Trailer. It’s a little more difficult to put a price on the boat’s story.
Warpath, owned and built by Bobby Saccenti and driven by Ben Kramer, had competed in only four offshore races before entering the World Championships in Key West, Florida. It placed second three times and third once, finishing behind catamarans that were faster in flat water. Then came a blustering November day with northerly winds of 20 knots that produced waves of up to 10 feet. Perfect conditions for Warpath.
“I was pretty sure we were going to win,” Saccenti told the Miami Herald following the race. “Don Aronow [builder and racer of the famous Magnum Marine, Cary, Cigarette, Donzi, and Formula speedboats] was sure of it. He knew all along we were going to be world champions.”
That’s because nothing could beat Warpath in rough seas. Skimming across the top of those waves at 90 mph, Warpath pulled away from the field and left its mark on powerboat racing history.
“It just had the right span for the waves—left one, caught another; left one, caught another,” Saccenti says on a video featuring the boat. “The faster you went, the better it rode, because it bridged across the top … It went right across like a fright train. I was amazed with it.”
Warpath is powered by two supercharged, 1000-hp, 572-cubic-inch V-8 engines, each mated to a wet-sump Speedmaster #6 outdrive with a polished aluminum skeg and four-blade cleaver prop. The boat holds approximately 360 gallons of fuel and consumes roughly 50 gallons per hour of operation. According to accounts of the ’84 title race, Warpath had only nine minutes of fuel remaining when it crossed the finish line.
The illustrious champion was restored at some point between 2007 and 2009 under the guidance of Tom Evans, crew chief and navigator during the ’84 championship run. It features a Kevlar hull finished in blue and tan—with period livery by the original livery artist, Gail Paik—and its padded three-place stand-up cockpit was reupholstered to match. Designed so that the throttle and steering are operated separately, the boat’s tiered dashboard houses toggle switches, a duplicate trim tab, drive angle controls, fuel valves, three compasses, Gaffrig gauges, and two grab handles.
In addition to Warpath, the sale also included a custom-built aluminum All-American triple-axle trailer, period photos, and a certificate of authenticity—and, of course, a priceless story.