It’s not a surprise that the St. Clair, Mich.-based Burgess family—well known for its generosity and impressive list of past and present performance boats—is excited for the “next” boat in a collection that’s included models from Cigarette, Outerlimits, Sunsation and more. What might be surprising is that Dave and Susie Burgess are getting an outboard-powered catamaran—a Doug Wright Powerboats 42 Carbon Waves and Wheels Edition that is going to be powered by a pair of the new Mercury Racing 500R engines and is expected to be finished in January.
Michigan’s Dave Burgess can’t wait to drive his new Doug Wright Powerboats 42 Carbon Waves and Wheels Edition catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing 500R engines. Photos courtesy Justin Wagner
During an interview last week, it was easy to hear the enthusiasm in Dave Burgess’ voice when he talked about working with someone he considers a friend on a build that he’s anticipating more than most boats he’s owned.
“We’re so excited to be working with Waves and Wheels on this new Doug Wright—I never thought I’d have a boat like this; it’s not the type my wife has ever wanted but once I explained the ease of taking the cover on and off, discussed the efficiency of washing and cleaning it inside and out, and made a strong promise I wouldn’t go too fast, she was listening,” said Dave Burgess, adding that it was nice not to have to order and then wait for a build since the boat—the first 42 Carbon Waves and Wheels Edition from the Osage Beach, Mo., company’s owner Justin Wagner and his team—was delivered as a bare hull with engines to Waves and Wheels in late August.
“All that’s left is paint, rigging, interior and a windshield—easy enough, right?” joked Burgess, who purchased the catamaran with enough time to customize its graphics and interior features to his family’s liking. “The boat is going to be fantastic. I know and trust Justin and his team, and I’ve talked with the owners at Doug Wright and they’ve been great to deal with. The main reason I started thinking about a cat is because we’re not as young as we used to be and covering and cleaning the big center consoles we’ve had lately is a lot of work for two of us. We’re also looking forward to having two outboards instead of three or four. I’ve told a few friends that filling up this boat is going to be like putting gas in the tri-toon for me.”
Burgess, whose son, Brandon, owns the 36-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran built by offshore racer Tyler Miller and powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines, admitted that an outboard cat wasn’t even on his radar back in May when he learned—directly from Wagner at the Lake of the Ozarks while taking delivery of his new Cigarette Racing Team 41 Nighthawk with quad 450R engines during the Performance Boat Center Spring Fun Run—that Waves and Wheels was Doug Wright’s Midwest dealer.
It wasn’t until the end of the summer, in fact, that Burgess said he and Susie decided it might be best to sell the 41 Nighthawk and look for something that was easier for the two of them to manage. At that point, he recalled meeting the 450R Factory Stock-class Doug Wright Powerboats team, which happens to be sponsored by Waves and Wheels, at the St. Clair River Classic in July and being impressed with how well the boat performed at the races, for which his company, Raymond Excavating/Raymond Cranes, donates crane support.
Justin Wagner is beyond pleased that the new 42 Carbon Waves and Wheels Edition cat from Doug Wright Powerboats is going to the Burgess family.
So the conversation with Wagner began with in-depth discussions about making it easier for Burgess to get on and off the boat realizing his handicap, and soon enough Burgess was the proud owner of the forthcoming Doug Wright 42 Carbon Waves and Wheels Edition.
“I talked to Susie and said, ‘I think this boat could be perfect for us,’ pointing to the fact that it’s a big boat that can handle the big water we’re used to in the Great Lakes, it can accommodate eight people and it has a cockpit cover that a single person can handle,” explained Burgess, who said he reassured her that there’d be a “potty” in the front sponsons. “She agreed and that was all it took—she knows how much I respect Justin.
“I met Justin when we were building that SL 41 Outerlimits, sometime around 2016; he was a preferred interior guy Dan (Kleitz) and Outerlimits was working with at the time,” he continued. “Justin and his guys seemed to really be doing a bang-up job with some new ideas and methodology. What’s funny is the first time I ever did a FaceTime call with anyone was with Justin—before that I thought that phone feature was reserved for grandkids and grandparents.”
Burgess laughed and went on to explain that the FaceTime call was for Wagner to show him upholstery patterns, stitching and colors. At the end of 2017, when Burgess went to the Key West Poker Run, he met up with Wagner, his wife, Cicely, and his good friend, Andy Imhof, and had an enjoyable evening, creating friendships for life.
“I’m super excited to build this boat for Dave—he’s been a mentor in some ways since I met him when we did the interior on his Outerlimits years ago,” said Wagner, who texted a selfie next to the boat earlier this week as it was being prepped for paint by the team at Graphix 1 Paint, which he co-owns with Imhof, the founder of Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center. “We have several good ideas to make this the perfect catamaran for Dave and Susie. We’re working on some things to make it easier to get in and out of the boat from the docks and when tying up. We’re out to prove a point with this boat, it’s going to be incredible.”
Straight from the Doug Wright facility in Florida, Waves and Wheels had the 42-footer on display during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout On The Strip in August.
Wagner credited Imhof for coming up with some outstanding paint renderings that were “clean, sleek and fit the lines of the boat well.” Burgess agreed, adding that Imhof nailed it on the second try.
“He came up with a cool design and showed it to us in a red and a blue version, and we liked the blue-dominant one best,” Burgess said. “And yeah, I know there are a lot of blue boats out there but this blue, when you see it, it looks like it fits this build perfectly. The boat overall is red, white and blue. I think it looks neat. It’s different than anything we’ve owned.”
Wagner said his team is applying finishing touches to the 42-footer that are done at Waves and Wheels before paint is applied.
“We’re stoked to have another Doug Wright coming through; we’ve been organizing the shop for more efficient production and the team overall is kicking ass,” said Wagner, who added that Waves and Wheels has a 39-foot cat coming soon that is going be available for spring delivery, plus a 36-footer and a 42-footer to follow that are expected to be available for summer delivery.
He’s also eager to start working closely with the team at Doug Wright on a pleasure hard-top 39-footer, which he said is sure to be a showstopper, as well as a sterndrive-powered 44-foot cat that he said is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Editor’s note: Speedonthewater.com will provide more reports on the Burgess family’s 42-footer before it’s completed.
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