It’s been a busy winter for most everyone in the performance boat industry and Justin Wagner is no exception. In reality, the Waves and Wheels owner who opened a marina—the Boardwalk Waves and Wheels—a few years ago on his home waterway, Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, has been busier than most.
Missouri’s Waves and Wheels has been busy with a variety of performance boat projects this winter. Photos courtesy Justin Wagner
On top of managing The Boardwalk at Waves and Wheels, the Bluave Marine Audio brand he founded in 2016 and the paint shop he owns with his good friend, Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center’s Andy Imhof, Graphix 1 Paint, Wagner added a new side to the business—authorized dealer (and finisher/customizer) of Doug Wright Powerboats. That’s not breaking news as the delivery of the company’s first 36 Carbon Cat was covered almost two months ago, but that’s the only thing going on at Waves and Wheels that’s received any coverage as of late.
And that’s why this update on Waves and Wheels, which is a sponsor of next week’s Florida Powerboat Club/Speed On The Water Miami Boat Show Bash presented by Doug Wright Powerboats, takes a quick look at several of the many projects taking place in the heart of winter in Osage Beach.
“Business hasn’t slowed around here in a long time,” Wagner said with a laugh, recalling several years ago when Waves and Wheels didn’t have a waiting list for wintertime projects as the team was working to build up its business from custom stereos to full-on conversions, including interior, fabrication, paint, rigging and more. “I know I say this all the time, but I’m so proud of this team. The crew here has been knocking everything out of the park and hitting deadlines, which is very important to us.”
The list of boats Waves and Wheels is working on currently is impressive, too, starting with a complete overhaul of two massive MTI catamarans—a 48- and 52-footer—that are getting new paintjobs along with full interior and audio updates. The 48 is even receiving a new 8-seat cockpit conversion at the same time. Both are sure to be speedonthewater.com project stories once complete.
The team at Graphix 1 Paint is hard at work on this 47-foot Fountain V-bottom.
There’s another 52-footer—an Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats SL 52 V-bottom—in the shop getting new upholstery and audio enhancements, and another large boat—a Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats 5000 Roadster catamaran—being fitted for its new interior and stereo system. There were two Cigarette 38 Top Guns in the shop getting the full “Waves and Wheels treatment” as Wagner likes to say, but one of them, which received paint repairs, a new helm, and upholstery, electronics, audio and lighting upgrades, is now on its way to Maryland Offshore where it will be rigged and set up by Imhof and company.
The team at Graphix 1 Paint has a pretty cool Fountain Powerboats 47 Lightning going at the moment, too. Not only is the sizable 47-foot V-bottom canvas receiving a full refresh, the drives and tabs also are getting the custom paint treatment.
Another cool project in the paint booth right now is a rare 30-foot open-bow V-bottom sportboat from DCB Performance Boats, which is getting fully renovated with a new helm, electronics, audio, lighting and, of course, paintjob. That one is sure to be a head-turner.
Check out the slideshow above for more images of the projects going on at Waves and Wheels.
It’s definitely not all go-fast boats at Waves and Wheels as the team recently completed a giant Bluave sound system and stealth audio fabrications on a Sea Ray 540 Sundancer and an interior and audio overhaul on a Triton center console. But it’s easy to see the go-fast boats are what gets Wagner excited, which is why he pointed out that the Waves and Wheels and Maryland Offshore teams are getting ready to turn a former Miss GEICO MTI raceboat into a pleasure boat for longtime customers Joe and Michelle Erickson. It’s also why he gets giddy about seeing a unique boat like the former Popeye raceboat, a 1998 model year Fountain Powerboats/Skater Powerboat collaboration that was given new life a few years back by Michigan-based Boat Customs.
Wagner said Popeye is getting a custom interior along with camera and audio enhancements. He added that the popular Scalp Hunter Apache is in the shop for a few upgrades, including the addition of new windscreens.
Last but not least, Wagner jokingly said his favorite project going at the moment is a Boston Whaler dingy Waves and Wheels is doing for Team Black Diamond, the Oklahoma-based outfit behind the all-black MTI catamarans and the six-engine Cigarette Racing Team 59 Tirranna dubbed Six Carat.
The Team Black Diamond Boston Whaler is getting a little Waves and Wheels treatment before the boating season begins.
“That’s going to be a cool little boat—we love doing the Black Diamond projects,” Wagner said, adding that anyone interested ordering a Waves and Wheels edition Doug Wright—the first 36 and 42 cats are expected to be in the water this spring—can reach out to him directly. “Our first Doug Wright 36 Carbon is coming together well; we can’t wait to show it off. We’re making progress on the interior, we knocked out some of the rigging and now it’s in the paint booth. It’s really not much different than what we already do around here, except we get to start with a clean, blank slate for this boat.”
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