Reflecting on last Saturday’s sixth annual Waves and Wheels End-Of-Summer Fun Run, Justin Wagner, the owner and founder of the Osage Beach, Mo., company faces a dilemma. On one hand, he wants as many of his customers as possible to enjoy the casual event because it’s a way of thanking the legion of customers who support his custom stereo installation, interior design and installation, rigging, paint, service and marina business.
Wagner and several Waves And Wheels staffers enjoyed the End-Of-Summer Fun Run in Raiden, a Skater 50SS catamaran that was reborn at the facility. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
On the other hand, he wants the season-ending run, which attracted 21 boats this time around, to remain small and intimate.
“It’s such a fun event,” he said. “I don’t know if I want it to get much bigger. Everyone gets to hang out together, relax and have a great time.
“We had a nice mix of existing customers and new customers, such as Jared Murray who owns a 47-foot Fountain—he’s such a nice guy,” he added.
Among the longer-standing Waves and Wheels clients who enjoyed the day was Brian Metcalf of Valencia, Calif., who owns a 40-foot MTI catamaran that Wagner and his crew have updated with paint refreshment, a custom stereo with Bluave Marine Audio components and more.
The sixth annual happening attracted a variety of V-bottom sportboats, catamarans and center consoles.
In the winter, Metcalf keeps the 40-footer on the East Coast with Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center, which is owned by Andy Imhof, Wagner’s partner in Graphix 1 Paint. (Imhof also participated in the Saturday fun run in his Teasers-sponsored Skater Powerboats catamaran.) That makes it easier for Metcalf to campaign it in Florida events such as the early November Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run, which he plans to enter this year.
Come summer, Metcalf moves the cat to the Lake of the Ozarks—most often at The Boardwalk at Waves and Wheels—where his friend and fellow Waves and Wheels client Andy Ramirez has a home across the lake from the Camden On The Lake Resort.
“This run is more about hanging out and just being with the whole group,” Metcalf said. “It’s a nice, fun and relaxing event. You don’t have to wake up and rush out the door at 6 a.m. to make it.”
And that is exactly how Wagner wants it. The run has just two destinations, the Neon Taco for lunch followed by a stop at Coconuts Caribbean Beach Bar and Grill.
Wagner’s partner in Graphix 1 Paint, Andy Imhof ran his 36-foot Skater catamaran in the event.
“We make it easy,” Wagner said. “We give everyone plenty of time to get here. We leave at 11 a.m. so people aren’t worn out by noon. Everyone has time to get to know each other. Plus, my whole staff gets to go out on the water to enjoy the boats they’ve been working on.
“The weather was awesome this year and the Neon Taco and Coconuts did a great job of hosting us,” he added. “Everyone seemed to have an awesome time.”
The event also drives additional business to Wave and Wheels.
“I am pretty sure I sold two Doug Wright catamarans and picked up a nice paintjob during the run,” Wagner said.
Wagner is pondering “switching things up a bit” for the 2023 event. But his customers can rest assured that the Waves and Wheels End-Of-Summer Fun Run will retain its laidback vibe.
“It’s already such a cool event,” he said.
The Waves and Wheels End-Of-Summer brings together the company’s customers for an easy day on the water.
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