Nice Post !Comanche:
.... I knew Ben Kramer pretty well, so I can speak with some first hand knowledge regarding Apache Hulls.
FYI.. at the end of his career, he was totally into cat development. He built the Mike Peters designed John McCall constructed 41 foot Apache cat in 1986, from which the later glass hulls emerged. That same year he commisioned Conquest (my company) to provide him with a completely different Linder Design cat hull (a project cut short by his trip to "camp"). I personally gave him the line drawings for that boat at Marathon in '86.
Not many people know that the four engined 48' aluminum Cougar Superboat, "Eric's Reality", was also commisioned by Ben right before he became a guest of the Federal Hotel System. It is also a fact that there was no real development going on regarding any new designs on the vee bottom side of Apache. So it is clear where even Ben was heading along with anyone else who truly understood (understands) the vast difference between the older Vee technology and the cats. As a matter of fact even Aronow's last designs were cats.... bad ones, but cats nonetheless.
IMHO the 41 Apache is the best rough water vee hull ever designed. Beyond that anything over 40 feet becomes a simple spanning exercise.... 50 feet is better than 40 feet...and 60 feet is better than 50....etc. There is no doubt that a 100 foot monohull is better than a 40 foot cat in the rough water that any 40 footer ordinarily runs in, but can a 40 foot monohull make the same claim? Many boneheads have this picture of "Perfect Storm" size waves with sturdy Apaches climbing up the face while burning the raging testorone from the loins of the fearless owner driver...and in truth a similar length cat owner might not try the same water... The reason for that is simple... Cat owners are smart enough not to go out in that sh*t...
There is no doubt that there are far more vee manufacturers and vee hulls on the water. Vees were introduced almost 20 years before cats and had a heck of a head start. This has created a rather tilted marketing structure based primarily on the obvious numbers and, secondarily, on the better living quarters in most vee hulls versus Cats. The safety, rough water, and speed issues are simply baloney subtly supported by the golf shirt wearing vee bottom marketing types and frequently ill informed barside discussions among vee owners (" I never been in a Cat, but I hear they flip!"). Couple that to the fact that a number of guys with little more than big checkbooks and egos have put themselves into the 120 plus MPH club without any experience or skill set, and most have done this in cats....sometimes too small and sometimes simply too fast.... but too many with disastrous results.....and Voila!.... the insurance companies ran for the hills.
The truth is that this is like comparing a Ferrari and a Lincoln with the argument that far more people get killed in Ferraris at 150 mph than in Lincolns......and then claiming that, based on these "facts", Lincolns handle better at high speed.
This whole issue is, was, and always will be short ( no reference to Reggie implied or intended ) sighted and a haven for subjective thinking.