Powerboat P1’s Chairman, Asif Rangoonwala, did not want an ordinary new pace boat for his World Championship series—only extraordinary would do. He consulted with colleague and friend, Mark McManus, the owner of McManus SuperBoats, manufacturer of Apache Powerboats®, who knew of just the right boat--a 42’, 1993 vintage Apache that had been custom-built for Mercury Racing’s president, Fred Kiekhaefer as his personal boat, “Off Duty.” Kiekhaefer sold it in 1995 and it was rarely used for 12 years.
The boat was recently re-sold and brought to McManus’ Ft. Myers, Florida shop, where it was renovated to nearly original condition--except twin Teague Custom Marine 900 HP EFI engines updated the former Mercury Hi-Performance 800 HP carbureted engines.
McManus knew the boat would intrigue Rangoonwala for his P1 program—a safe, reliable platform with historic significance, worthy of the Powerboat P1 brand. Rangoonwala agreed, the deal was done and further modifications quickly began to make Off Duty ready for heavy duty on the 2008 Powerboat P1 Championship.
McManus undertook the task with his typical diligence and attention to detail, making technical changes where necessary, totally revamping the exterior and upholstery to incorporate P1’s newly-created graphics. However, McManus felt it imperative to preserve the boat’s collectable status and its original paint which was in perfect condition. He therefore employed a group of vinyl artists and specialists, who traveled to his shop, and using state-of-the-art vinyl wrap technology, customized the 42’ into a Powerboat P1 branding package.
In addition, Rangoonwala did not want antiquated flags noting the start, end and caution laps of the race; he wanted a light tower that would make a clear and safe statement of the race status for all racers and spectators to see clearly. Since no such stock lights were available, McManus engineered and built a tower of 18 flashing red, amber and green LED strobe lights, making the Powerboat P1 pace boat the first in the world to use such technology for official race starts.
The Teague engines, each handcrafted to produce optimum power for the Apache®, make it a truly customized and unique performance boat. Renamed Shaz I for Asif’s youngest daughter, the boat is en route to Europe where it will debut at the first 2008 Powerboat P1 Grand Prix of Italy, May 9-11. “I feel fortunate to have had a chance to develop this boat not once, but twice, and to make an important contribution to Powerboat P1,” said McManus “[Asif] wanted something ‘memorable and historical’ for his World Championship racing series and he got it. There’s no other boat like this anywhere.”
For hi-resolution photos and further information, visit www.powerboatp1.com/media.