Attendees of last week's Lake of the Ozarks Shootout On The Strip presented by Waves and Wheels at the popular Central Missouri lake were treated to a first look at the new Doug Wright Powerboats 38-foot canopied catamaran built to compete in offshore racing's newest class, 450R Factory Stock. Powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines, the sleek machine was on a tilt trailer alongside one of the Melbourne, Fla., high-performance catamaran company's 36-foot pleasure boats with the same power.
The fact that both boats were on display in the Waves and Wheels section of the impressive Bagnell Dam Boulevard showcase was no coincidence. That's because Justin Wagner, the principal of the Osage Beach, Mo., company, has four Doug Wright cats on order-two 36-footers and two 39-footers, all of which are going to be Waves and Wheels edition models.
"We are super excited to announce we're working with Doug Wright Powerboats to produce Waves and Wheels versions of the legendary company's catamarans," said Wagner, who has redone several interiors of Doug Wright-built boats for customers throughout the years. "Obviously their boats have an amazing track record between the company's racing pedigree and the amount of incredible 32-, 36- and 42-foot pleasure models that have been tried and true throughout the years. When I toured the factory recently I was impressed. It was clear to me that the build quality and fit and finish on the pleasure boats was excellent. I could tell they take that seriously and that they were very well organized.
"Their race history speaks for itself in terms of proven performance, but to me the pleasure boats have been just as incredible," he added. "We're looking forward to bringing them to another level between new styling and the latest technology. I'm excited because I've wanted to do something like this for a long time. The stars aligned on this deal, allowing us to create our own edition of these boats. I've already started putting together an incredible production team-I can't wait until we get the first one on the water."
The owner of The Boardwalk at Waves and Wheels as well as Bluave Marine Audio, Wagner said he's honored to be able to put his own stamp on such a quality product.
His team is going to handle interior, paint and rigging for the boats ordered through Waves and Wheels. Wagner expects to have the first 36-footer within six weeks and another one eight weeks after that. The two 39-footers, he said, should be delivered to him in late-winter/early spring and summer of 2023. All of the boats, he added, are going to be tailored to a customer's tastes if they're purchased in time to affect the boat's overall look and feel.
While he also has a deal pending on a 42-foot catamaran that would arrive in early 2023, Wagner is eager to start working on paint and interior designs for the Doug Wrights that have been confirmed. Each boat is sure to have a rockin' Bluave sound system and the latest-and-greatest accent lighting, not to mention a fresh paintjob from Graphix 1 Paint, the paintshop Wagner co-owns with his good friend and owner of Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center, Andy Imhof (above, right, with Cicely and Justin Wagner, left, and Doug Wright Powerboats' Romy Robau).
"Spending time with Justin and his team last week at the lake was awesome," said Romy Robau, one of three partners who purchased 60 percent of Doug Wright Powerboats in May. "We have a lot in common with him-we love our toys and our music, and we all believe in the brand and understand what a Doug Wright is. Justin understands the quality of the build and we're very aware of his talents so we think this is going to be a great fit."
While the company is currently building an exclusive dealer network, Robau said Waves and Wheels will be the only company that will be finishing boats. All other deliveries will be completed, ready-to-run boats.
Editor's note: Look for a follow-up story once Waves and Wheels starts working on its first 36-foot Doug Wright Powerboats catamaran.