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Inside SOTW Mag: A Place In The Sun


Asked why he traveled from Osage Beach, Mo., for the Sunsation Powerboats 40th Anniversary Sun Run on Lake St. Clair in Michigan, Performance Boat Center’s Brett Manire offered an answer that would become a recurring theme during the celebration of the Algonac, Mich., company’s anniversary. And it had nothing to do with the booming popularity of the brand carried by the dealership he co-owns with Mark Waddington, who became a member of the Sunsation owners group in January.

Despite unfavorable weather, Sunsation’s 40th anniversary Sun Run was a brilliantly warm affair. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“Sunsation is built and supported by an amazing group of down-to-earth people,” he said.

Some 90-plus faithful Sunsation owners, including 40 CCX owner Dave Burgess of St. Clair, and the 350 guests who celebrated the brand welcome party at Sunsation’s facility and the Thursday Sun Run clearly agreed with him. The mix of Sunsation models in the event—co-sponsored by Mercury Racing and Speedonthewater.com—included closed-deck, sterndrive boats from some of the earliest days of the company founded by Wayne Schaldenbrand to 2022 model- year center consoles with the latest Mercury Racing 300-, 400- and 450-hp outboard- engine power.

A longtime owner of some rather noteworthy go-fast powerboats such as the famed 45-foot Cigarette Racing Team V-bottom dubbed Maximus, Burgess entered the Sunsation fold when he ordered his Stephen Miles Design-painted 40-footer two years ago. Like Manire, he nailed the common thread among the Sunsation faithful.

“These guys, Wayne, Joe and John Schaldenbrand, and the employees are very well-liked here and around the country,” said Burgess, as he idled away from the Sun Run’s starting point at Cabana Blue restaurant in Clay Township. “I have known them my whole life and I’ve always liked them and watched what they do.”

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