Of the 12 years Performance Boat Center headquartered in Osage Beach, Mo., has been in business, the last 18 months have been among the most challenging. Take nothing away from creating a multi-brand powerboat dealership and general go-fast boating oasis in a once-quiet cove at the Lake of the Ozarks. That took a ton of hard work, investment vision, as did adding a trio of swimming-pool-centric hotspots on and off property, as was building a complete service and rigging center—Performance Boat Center is the busiest race- and pleasure-rigging outfit in the country—and earning a Mercury Racing/Mercury Platinum dealer designation.
The P360 catamaran in one of three models currently in the Performance Powerboats line. Photos by Rob Rich copyright Performance Boat Center.
But none of that compares to the mission Performance Boat Center co-owners Brett Manire and Mark Waddington and their entire crew embarked on a year-a-half ago.
Their mission? Create a line of catamarans—from the ground up including lamination—under the Performance Powerboats umbrella. And with the recent opening of the Performance Powerboats lamination facility in the Houston, Texas, area, that vision is now a reality.
“We spent a year-and-a-half building a boat company,” said Manire. “Now, it’s to build and sell some boats.”
Enjoy a closer look at the details.
As previously reported on speedonthewater.com, the Performance Powerboat line includes three catamarans, a 28-footer, 36-foot and a 42-footer dubbed the P280, the P360 and the P420.
All models boast carbon-fiber and epoxy layups, and are post-cured for 12 hours before being transferred to Performance Boat Center for rigging, paint and interior installation.
The 25,000-square-foot, climate controlled lamination facility current employs 18 people. To help make it happen, Performance Boat Center hired Johnny Bauer, a 27-year former Mercury Racing/Mercury Marine employee. Bauer has been with the brand-development project since its inception and he is its overall production manager.
For lamination and general working conditions, Bauer explained, securing a climate-control location was imperative.
Said Manire (at the helm of this P-360), “There have been a lot of challenges, but in true Performance Boat Center fashion we wanted to wait till the top-notch lamination facility opened to tell the full story.”
“It took longer to find an air-conditioned building that met all of our requirements, and to move everything into it,” he said. “But now we are up and running.”
Once the hulls are complete, their next stop is Performance Boat Center. While the lamination center was coming on line, the MTI, Performance Powerboats and Sunsation dealership was upgrading its paint and rigging facilities under the watchful eyes of service and rigging manager Myrick Coil. Ryan Schwarzen of Cutting Edge in O’Fallon, Mo., which is a couple of hours from Osage Beach, supplies interiors. Rob Rich, Performance Boat Center’s in-house graphic artist and photographer/videographer designs all the paintjobs.
Two P360s cats currently are in lamination, while another trio is being finished up at Performance Boat center. Manire said they plan to unveil the first P420 at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—Performance Boat Center is the event’s title sponsor—in late August.
“There have been a lot of challenges, but in true Performance Boat Center fashion we wanted to wait till our top-notch lamination facility opened to tell the full story,” said Manire. “Our Texas facility is totally bad-ass and we completely revamped our rigging and paint shops in Osage Beach. And Johnny has been instrumental in all of it.”
Finding the perfect location for lamination wasn’t easy but now the facility is up and running.
Typically understated, Bauer said he is “pretty excited” about how it all turned out.
“We made a lot of improvements to the boats,” he explained. “We created deck tooling so it is easier to install with less body work required, and a lot more user friend.
“Now that we have total control of our supply chain we can schedule better and produce boats more efficiently that we ever have,” he added. “I would like to get to building 24 boats a year.
For Waddington, the move has been strategic. True, his hand was forced when Performance Boat Center and its legacy hull-builder for the dealership’s Wright Performance catamaran line went their separate ways, but he and Manire always have planned long-term with self-sufficiency in mind.
“At the end of the day, controlling our future and destiny is part of who we are,” he said. “We have the knowledge and expertise to make Performance Powerboats one of finest and strongest catamaran brands on the market. We’re not going to build center consoles—we have MTI and Sunsation for that.
“Obviously, some learning has been necessary,” he continued. “We sell three powerboat brands, but we get to see what everyone does with their boats. We don’t just ride in MTIs and Sunsations—we ride in all of them. We see all of them for what they are, the good, the bad and the ugly and we learn from them every day. I like that we are giving our customers a lot of options. You don’t want everybody to be doing exactly the same thing.”
Performance Boat Center is an experienced Platinum-level Mercury Racing/Mercury Marine dealer.
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