Apogee was originally built for Milt Vogel in Southern California
. I raced quite often on the boat for several years. Milt could easily have afforded a Maxi
, but 39 feet is what fit behind his house in Huntington Harbour. Milt spent whatever he wanted on all his boats.
The reason Apogee has a boat deck
is because the bridge into Huntington Harbour is 27’ at low tide. So all of us with sailboats in HH had tabernacle spars, where the mast leans forward, using the boom as a lever. The backstay would be unpinned from the top of the hydraulic cylinder and attached to the top of the end of the boom. Lines ran from the boom to the shrouds to keep the boom on centerline as the mast was lowered and raised. Did this every time going out, and back home. Very easy, very reliable. Made mast maintenance
super easy, no bosun chair
needed. And no leaks
down below! I absolutely hate keel
The fact that Jeremy did so well with his 39, including during Fastnet ‘79, was certainly part of the decision making process, as Jeremy alluded to in his letter.
Its very small below compared to a cruiser racer
, much less room than a Catalina 30
. However, its an excellent layout for sailing. Excellent.
layout of Apogee was spot on, and changed in minor ways to ensure every line led perfectly, leverage was appropriate, clearance for the handles, etc. No detail was overlooked.
The Vogels eventually sold
the boat to someone who added windlass
, and so on. It all looked well done, but boy did all that stuff complicate what was an elegant boat.
The two things I did not like:
did not have enough balance, so steering
was painful, like being hit in the arm every 30 seconds. We traded off at the helm
every 30 minutes for this reason. While this makes sailing a lot more fun — everyone gets a turn — I would get a better rudder
. Rudders need to be replaced, after 40 years its probably time.
On Apogee, the laminate includes Kevlar. Kevlar absorbs water
aggressively. If you crack the hull, you might find the structure compromised fairly quickly (months), as water
spreading through the Kevlar will cause extensive, invisible, delamination
. If the boat seems surprisingly flexible, that is what happened. If the boat is still stiff, very likely no problem.
I know Kevlar was very expensive: the material was much more expensive, and the labor to laminate the Kevlar was much more expensive. I do not remember how much more, but on the order of doubling the price of the boat. I do not think people understood the risk of Kevlar then, and many people today still do not.