Expanding upon the story reported in mid-May that Performance Boat Center was adding the Performance Powerboats brand to its lineup of offerings, the team at the highly regarded dealership and service center with locations in Central Missouri and South Florida is ready to announce what its new brand entails.
There is a lot of excitement around the new Performance Powerboats lineup being offered by Performance Boat Center.
“We’re excited to let everyone know that we’re moving forward with the Performance Powerboats brand and bringing three new catamarans to market—the P280, P360 and P420 models—later this year and early next year,” said Mark Waddington, who, along with his business partner Brett Manire, owns Performance Boat Center, which previously promoted, finished and sold the Wright Performance line. “We’ve already been doing the paint, the rigging and the interiors so now we’re bringing the manufacturing into the mix, which kind of completes everything for us to have our own brand with HIN (hull identification numbers) and everything.
“Adding Johnny Bauer to the team was key because for the past five years we’ve been trying to manage our previous catamaran line and now Johnny handles all of that and is completely aligned with our vision,” he added. “His experience is incredible—he’s worked with so many different boat companies throughout the years.”
Bauer, a 27-year Mercury Marine/Mercury Racing veteran, joined Performance Boater Center in May as its in-house production manager and has become more enthusiastic about the role.
“This is a very exciting time to be here,” Bauer said. “A large reason I wanted to come here was because I mentioned the idea of the 280 in my interview with Mark and Brett, and before they even hired me, they were already researching the idea to make it happen, which made me a believer. It’s not like I’m in the Oval Office, but I’m pretty proud of my first 100 days here and I’m super excited to be involved in the production of the new catamarans.”
According to Waddington, production has begun for all three models—in fact, the first P280 was at last night’s Shootout On The Strip presented by Waves and Wheels and will be on display at this evening’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Welcome Party at Performance Boat Center. He also pointed out that the P360 and P420, which can be configured with six or eight seats in the cockpit, are newly designed from top to bottom and will only be produced with a carbon-fiber lamination, as will the P280 model, which is going to be available in single- and twin-engine outboard configurations.
“The P280 is going to be a fun boat,” Waddington said. “We’re trying to build it with a price point in mind. We think it should be a great boat to get people into the brand and get them into performance boating in general. It’s going to be a much more attainable boat for most boaters.”
The new Performance Powerboats P280 cat was on display at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout on the Strip on Wednesday evening. Photo by Jason Johnson
With a single 400- or 450-hp Mercury Racing engine on the transom of the 28-foot cat, the Performance Boat Center crew believes a 100-mph top speed is attainable. With twin Mercury Racing 300R engines instead of the single configuration, the boat should easily eclipse that mark.
When asked where the new hulls are being built, Waddington said “out of state,” but that his goal is to bring some, if not all, of the hull and deck production to Lake of the Ozarks.
“Having the boat production under our control is the final piece of the puzzle,” said Manire, who is looking forward to being more hands-off in terms of operations while maintaining a watchful eye on quality control. “For me it’s all about timing and quality. If we can dial in both of those things, we’ll be able to keep the boats coming. Johnny has been a great addition to our team already. He stays on top of things and has some invaluable experience.”
In terms of conflicting brand or dealer concerns, Manire said he’s not worried about that at the moment. He added that he’s never been concerned with that.
“Honesty, we look at ourselves as the Chevy, Ford and Dodge dealers all in one,” Manire added. “We’re here to give you choices and we’re trying to find the best products available and align ourselves with the best in the business.”
Manire, Waddington and the rest of the PBC team have proven to do just that with their continued relationships with MTI, Sunsation Powerboats and other pontoon and sportboat builders. And with new Performance Powerboats features to be announced in the near future, it’s easy to see that the product line between the P280, P360 and P420 is going to continue to mature.
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