Given that most sport catamarans run from 28 to 36 feet long, the popular feline breed can come up a little short when the water gets rowdy. That’s not a dig on the boat, just a reality it shares with almost every offering in the sport cat class. On a summer weekend day in the Central Missouri washing machine also known as the Lake of the Ozarks, for example, even a 36-foot twin-outboard-engine-powered sport cat can feel mighty small.
Originally powered by Mercury Racing Verado 400R engines when the boat debuted in February at the Miami International Boat Show, the Wright Performance 420 received a new pair of 450R engines in June. Photo courtesy Mercury Racing
Just ask Brett Manire, the co-owner of Performance Boat Center, the full-service multi-brand powerboat dealership in Osage Beach, Mo., which has the exclusive rights to finish—meaning paint, rig and install interiors—the Wright Performance 360 and 420 models. Performance Boat Center began its deal with Doug Wright Designs more than a year ago with the 36-footer and the cat has been a hot-seller ever since. But Manire, his Performance Boat Center partner Mark Waddington and the dealership’s Myrick Coil knew that a larger Wright Performance sport cat would be a better fit for rougher days on their local waterway, especially for buyers who place rough-water ride quality above top speed.
Enter the spectacular Wright Performance 420. The first model was introduced—and sold shortly before—the 2019 Miami International Boat Show. A second build, this one going to a well-known buyer in performance-boating circles, is in the works. And with Mercury Racing’s June release of a 450-hp V-8 outboard engine (pictured above on the first 420 at the high-performance marine company’s press event in Nashville, which you also can read about in the issue), Manire is hoping to sell a whole lot more of them.