When both of the talented people behind some of the coolest transformation projects I’ve seen over the last several years tell me how proud they are of a project they tackled last summer, it speaks volumes. So, after months of sitting on the story for no particular reason, I finally picked up the phone this week to touch base with Tony Phillips, the Oklahoma performance boater who turned to Justin Wagner of Waves and Wheels and Andy Imhof of Maryland Offshore Marine Center to transform his Profile Powerboats 30-foot V-bottom into a real head-turner.
Phillips, who owned the 2004 Profile for a couple of years before deciding it was worth making it like new rather than investing in a new boat, immediately told me that both Wagner and Imhof and their teams did an outstanding job on his boat. And after using the midcabin open-bow V-bottom for the summer on his home lake, Lake Tenkiller, he said that he is “100 percent happy” with how it turned out.
“My boat was the talk of the lake last summer—in fact, the people with the dock next to mine thought I got a new boat,” said Phillips who enjoys boating with his wife, Tracie. “Even some of the guys with the bigger boats were coming over to take a look at my boat. I’m really glad I called Justin when I did. I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with him when I was looking to find someone to handle the project and I got a comfortable feeling from him that the team at Waves and Wheels takes a lot of pride in its work.
“I sent Justin some pictures and told him roughly what I wanted to do so he came up with a budget that I could live with and we went from there,” he added. “What’s funny is I never even met Justin until the day he and Andy delivered the boat. I give Justin and Andy all the credit for steering me in the right direction. I wanted something that would perform and catch everybody’ eyes, and they delivered just that.”
Phillips said he ultimately decided to upgrade his 30-foot Profile that was powered by a 525-hp Mercury Racing engine because his wife liked the midcabin design and the hull did everything he wanted it to do except for maybe run a little faster, which was an easy fix with additional horsepower.
“We’re thrilled with how Tony’s Profile turned out,” Wagner said. “It’s easily one of the biggest transformation projects we’ve tackled. It’s not every day we get to redo a 30-foot Profile, let alone take it to that kind of level. Overall the project went smooth and, as always, the best part was when Andy and I delivered the boat to Tony at Lake Tenkiller in eastern Oklahoma and got to see the look on his face when he got the boat. That really made it worth all the hard work that went into it.”
Wagner, who called Phillips an “A-plus customer,” said the team at Waves and Wheels installed a full audio system, completed a new interior in the cockpit, cabin and open bow, added LED lighting throughout, installed new flooring, updated the helm and gauges, and added a custom swim platform.
“Tony called me up based off some Waves and Wheels’ projects he’d seen online,” Wagner said. “He told me was looking for a one-stop shop that could handle everything from A to Z. I got a good feel for what he was looking for and I put together a plan with my team and we brought in Andy and his team from Maryland Offshore to handle the paint design and application as well as the performance upgrades.”
Not only did Imhof and his team work closely with Phillips to get the overall paint design just right, they also tackled the Whipple supercharger upgrade on the 525-hp engine they repainted and installed a new IMCO Marine Advantage SC drive with full-hydraulic steering on a custom-painted stand-off box. They also changed the X dimension of the drive, and according to Imhof, the boat woke right up.
“We picked up 18 mph on out first test run after the upgrades were complete,” Imhof said. “Now the boat’s cruising speed at 4200 rpm is what the top speed had been. When we got the boat, it topped out around 60 mph and we ran it 78 mph when we were finished with it. There’s still some mph left but Tony didn’t want to sacrifice on the low-end so he could still get on plane easily.”
Imhof, who also said that Phillips was a dream to work with, added that his crew replaced a rotted stringer in the starboard side of the engine compartment and replaced the flooring before Waves and Wheels added the SeaDek material. The Maryland Offshore team also handled some bodywork on the boat before applying the paint job that Imhof said complements the lines of the boat while making it a little longer and sleeker looking.
“I really like how the paint came together on the boat,” Imhof said. “It’s a real nice piece and it’s totally turn-key. I think Tony has a boat he’s going to enjoy for a long time.”
Phillips agreed, calling the boat’s performance outstanding. He also gave credit to his friends, JW Gibson and Sam Griggs, for handling some of the regular maintenance on his boat and for providing assistance throughout the project. At the moment he’s content just looking at his “new” boat in anticipation of the upcoming boating season.
Photos courtesy of Tony Phillips, Andy Imhof and Justin Wagner
Former Powerboat editor Jason Johnson was an integral part of the magazine staff from 2005 through 2011, utilizing journalistic integrity and experience in and around performance boats to report on all aspects of the go-fast lifestyle. The award-winning writer resides in Southern California and is the executive editor and co-publisher of speedonthewater.com.