It’s only been two months since Missouri performance boater Todd Crossley laid eyes on his extraordinarily overhauled 1987 41-foot Apache Powerboats V-bottom during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri, but the eye-catching Scalp Hunter seems to have already reached cult status.
Scalp Hunter, a 41-foot Apache Powerboats V-bottom that was updated by the teams at Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center and Waves and Wheels, looked good running in last month’s Waves and Wheels End of Summer Fun Run. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp
Now, after getting a chance to run the boat, which was unveiled in late August at the Shootout on the Strip presented by Waves and Wheels and on display the following day with his matching 2020 Ford GT and his Southern Country Custom-built Harley-Davidson at an open house gathering at The Boardwalk at Waves and Wheels, Crossley believes the 41-footer is the perfect specimen to handle the often-unpredictable water of Lake of the Ozarks, and get tons of attention no matter where Scalp Hunter is docked.
So far, according to Crossley, who often runs around the lake in his canopied 44-foot MTI catamaran with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines, the one-off project boat tackled as a collaboration between Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center in Rockville, Md., and Waves and Wheels in Osage Beach, Mo., has had more photos and videos taken of it in the span of 60 days than any other boat he’s owned.
In fact, it’s easily the coolest and most all-encompassing project the companies have teamed up on to date, which is why Waves and Wheels owner Justin Wagner and Maryland Offshore owner Andy Imhof worked with local videographer Andy Sievers to produce a 10-minute video overview of the extremely detailed boat that you can watch here (and above).
Painted in a custom color that Crossley calls “Todd Copper” and powered by staggered refreshed 565-cubic-inch big-block Chevy engines that were set up to make 900 hp aside and connected to Mercury Racing No. 6 drives, Scalp Hunter has met Crossley’s expectations in terms of performance.
“Todd is very happy with the boat,” Imhof said. “He wanted something he could drive up and down the lake on any day of the week, and that’s what he got. I was a little nervous when we first ran the boat as the way we set up the X-dimension was a one-off deal. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure the boat would get on plane. Calculations wise it made sense, but real-world situations don’t always go as planned.
“Fortunately the boat exceeded my expectations as far as performance is concerned,” he added. “It planes off at 2,000 rpm with zero prop slip. It tracks straight and it feels really solid and stable at any speed. The ride is incredible. When you hit boat wakes or waves, the first reaction is to pull back, but this boat wants you to feed it throttle. The more you feed it, the better it handles the bumpy stuff.”
Imhof said the V-bottom exceeded his overall performance expectations.
“It’s a super fun boat to drive—it feels light and nimble even though it’s a heavy boat,” Imhof said. “The CG feels just right and the acceleration is great at the bottom, the top and in the midrange.
“For the power, there were a couple of things Todd really wanted—the engines had to be loud and they had to look old school but have modern EFI technology so that they start and run consistently,” he continued. “We managed to pull it off with roots-style 8-71 superchargers and a complete Holley engine management system that has all of the modern safeguards and technology. Our goal was to build a boat like no other that would not only run fast but handle at speeds and be very solid, and I think we did that. Between the power, the modern electronics, the unique appearance and the incredible Waves and Wheels interior, Scalp Hunter is out of this world.”
Wagner said it seems like forever ago that he and Crossley, who has entrusted him with interior and audio system updates on other boats, had an impromptu brainstorming session about trying to find a classic boat they could modernize. By 2018, Imhof had found the perfect boat and Crossley and Wagner began fine-tuning the overall concept.
“I know I’m biased, but this Apache is so cool,” Wagner said. “I’ve got the chance to drive it a couple of times now, and it is amazing. We’re so happy with how well it all came together. We kept the traditional six-pack cockpit seating arrangement with the driver’s position in the center and the throttles to the right and shifters to the left. And the helm is true to the Apache feel with the new gauges and switch panels, as well as a second set of trim controls for the drives and tabs on the right armrest, which allows the boat to be driven in tandem. What’s more Apache than that?
“What’s definitely not as Apache is the sound system,” he added with a laugh. “The system is incredibly clear and sounds great even while running with the engines humming. When we redid the dash we decided to mold in two of our new Bluave Marine Audio M7.0 coaxial marine speakers on each side of the fairing ahead of the front seats. Those worked out great and so did the pockets we created in the combing pads to add two more M7.0 speakers behind the front seats. We installed a Bluave 2.0 tweeter with each set of M7.0s and utilized four MSE10 subwoofers, all of which run off two Bluave amplifiers.”
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the Apache from after, during and before the conversion.
Wagner specifically thanked Crossley for entrusting Maryland Offshore and Waves and Wheels with the extensive project. He also asked if it was OK to thank everyone who was involved with the project and, since he included speedonthewater.com as well as Sievers on his list, he got his wish.
“This boat was a real team project,” Wagner said. “Andy and I want to thank our teams for all the amazing talent and effort to complete this project. Scalp Hunter is a perfect example of why enjoy collaborating on projects. For all of us—including myself, Andy, Tony Buechter, Anthonee Coleman, Chris Dilling, Dustin Hile, Mitch Kramer, Andrea Montoya, Josh Roark, Jermaine Smith and Ricardo Valladares—boats like this one are more than just a project.”
Although the teams are up for trying to top this one, Wagner knows projects like it don’t come around all the time. You see, Crossley, Imhof, Wagner and pretty much everyone who has seen Scalp Hunter in person have to agree that it’s probably the nicest Apache they’ve ever laid eyes on.
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