A site dedicated to discussion of these classic boats
The original Wahoo! boats were built by Ray Curry, owner of Reliance Marine of Richmond, Virginia, USA from 1985 to 1996. Reliance had been a Boston Whaler dealer but had a falling out with them, after which Ray decided to build a boat to compete with Whaler. Wahoo!s were built in Hanover Industrial Park, near Ashland, Virginia, about twelve miles north of Richmond. Around the mid 90s Ray decided to retire. In 1997 he sold Wahoo! to Brunswick Corp. who bought Wahoo! for its hull molds and euro-transoms. Brunswick collapsed those bigger hulls into the Robalo brand. Brunswick discontinued the Wahoo! tri-hulls because, as also owner of the Boston Whaler brand, it would have been competing against itself. Marine Products Corporation (Robalo/Chaparral) now own the name.
Features and Innovations
Wahoo!s were designed to be self-bailing and included innovative features like a built in gas tank and a drainable hull. Like Boston Whalers their hulls contain foam. Unlike Whalers, whose hulls are foam filled, Wahoo!s are foam lined, with a space between the hull liner foam and the cap foam. This design allows the inner hull of Wahoo!s to be drained of moisture. Wahoo!s do contain some wood: in the transom and in several other spots for reinforcement.
Wahoo! claimed its boats to be unsinkable. Company brochures include a picture of a Wahoo! in the water cut into three parts, each part afloat and with one or more people standing on it. Some people have questioned the claim but I’ve read more than a few stories from Wahoo! owners that support it. It’s certainly possible to fill the craft with water, submerging it as deep at its gunnels. But the bulk of what I’ve read convinces me that’s as deep as it will go.
Note: This history of Wahoo! was assembled from info gleaned from company literature and various internet message boards. As there’s no real way to vet it, I can’t claim this to be the authoritative story. Still, it’s the best a history I’ve been able to assemble after many hours of research over a span of a year.