To a significant degree, Performance Boat Center has something to do with the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri becoming the epicenter of high-performance boating in the United States. In less than 10 years, the Osage Beach-based, full service Cigarette Racing Team, Sunsation Boat and Wright Performance Powerboats dealership has set the standard for what a go-fast boat dealership should be. By most accounts, the service and overall customer experience at Performance Boat Center are unmatched. The massive lakefront facility includes a paint and rigging department, a parts department, a stunning showroom and expansive dockage.
Heck, the place even has a restaurant—with a pool and outdoor bar—on site and rental homes across the cove.
Credit Performance Boat Center co-owners Mark Waddington and Brett Manire, who’ve had big ambitions since they started the company. And in taking on the Marine Technology, Inc., line of high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms in late July, they’re continuing to realize those ambitions.
“We set out to become the nation’s best boat dealership and with MTI we have added a spectacular line-up of catamarans and center consoles V-bottoms,” said Manire. “We are going to become MTI’s first stocking dealer since the early Pier 57 days. We are going to stock multiple MTI V-42s and a 340X catamaran, which gives us another platform for the outboard sport catamaran segment, which has just blown up.
“The Wright Performance 360 and MTI 340X are easily the best products in the segment, but they are different enough to appeal to different buyers,” he continued. “We’re still going to continue with the Wright Performance 360s like nothing new has happened.”
As if nothing happened, indeed. In fact, earlier in the month Performance Boat Center announced it was launching a guaranteed buy-back program for Wright Performance 360 catamarans, all of which are powered by Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines.
“We know how much everything costs, from the hulls, to the power, to the paint, to the rigging and to the interior,” said Manire. “I have all the variables of the cost to build in front of me. So we will buy back any Wright Performance 360 catamaran when a customer is through with it, even he wants to buy another boat brand from another dealer.”
Manire said that a number of variables such as engine hours and general wear and tear will determine the program’s payout.
“Nobody has ever done this in our industry before,” said Manire. “It’s not a marketing gimmick—it’s the real deal. After we make the determination on what a given Wright Performance 360 might need, from paint or interior repair to repower if necessary, we will write the owner a check.”
As for MTI, which is based in Wentzville, Mo., but rightly claims the Lake of the Ozarks as home water, the company has been on a roll of its own of late. Mike Griffiths, a former Mercury Racing product applications manager with an impeccable reputation throughout the go-fast boating industry as a propulsion package setup man, begin his new role as MTI’s general manager this month. In early June, the company also brought marine industry veteran Terry Sobo, formerly of high-performance center console builders Deep Impact and Nor-Tech, as its director of sales and marketing.
MTI principal Randy Scism said he couldn’t be happier to have Performance Boat Center handling all of his sales and service for MTI customers in the region.
“I’m stoked—I think it’s awesome,” said Scism. “I think they are going to bring a whole new level of sales and service to our business. We have tons of customers at the lake and now we have a dedicated place for them to go.
“Everybody puts up these imaginary walls if they have this brand or that brand, where they can or can’t go,” he added. “Having Performance Boat Center as a dealer will help pull down some of those walls in the Lake of the Ozarks area.”
Manire agreed. “We’ve always welcomed MTI customers, but I’m sure some have hesitated to come to us because we weren’t an MTI dealer,” he said. "Those days are done."
And the deal even goes beyond that. In addition to selling MTI catamarans and center consoles to customers in the Lake of the Ozarks area, Performance Boat Center will offer MTI service and sales at its relatively new South Florida location in Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Manire. “We couldn’t be happier.”