Everyone at Wahoo is proud of our history and heritage, it helps to make us what we are and in doing so has taught us the lessons we apply to our products, services and events.
The Early years:
Wahoo started life as the Phuket Sportfishing Centre - a travel agency based in Phuket Town - being keen fishermen themselves they decided to look at the local fishing scene after hearing good things about the local Sailfishing populations.
The local fleets at the time were somewhat basic - with bamboo poles used as occasional outriggers and a garden chair as a fighting chair. Thus a more purpose built and well equipped machine was needed to go after the fish...
And so was born Wahoo 1 - a Thai built sport fishing boat, with a simple architecture and a layout that was more practical than luxurious. However it was popular with tourists... becoming one of the most well known "high standard" fishing boats in Phuket. This in time attracted the attention of the local fleet owners, keen to increase their customer numbers and bank balances... they also started installing more professional looking outriggers and chairs - the game was up for Wahoo 1.
This was when the owners of Wahoo 1 met with Michael Bretag, property developer heralding from Europe. His vision was to combine the high end fishing seen in locations such as Florida, Bermuda and Australia with Phukets booming property market. Thus they invested heavily, bring Wahoo 2 - a 42ft Hatteras into the fleet along with a 38ft Bertram later called Wahoo 3. Looking to take out the competition he also purchased Reel Hooker and the services of John Pearce.
Whilst all this had been going on for some years, John Peace - our resident fishing Guru, had moved from Pattaya, where he had already been pushing the Game fishing scene over there. Starting out with the first Reel Hooker, a locally built boat he grew year on year, eventually purchasing a 40ft Boat which would become the start of the more luxurious vessels bearing the name "Reel Hooker" - this proved successful, with John being able to operate longer range and more luxurious charters - it attracted the attention of the fishing press around the world.
As tends to happen with boats - customers, owners and operators always want bigger and better and when John was given the opportunity to trade in for a second hand 44 Rivera from Singapore he jumped at it. Immediately refitting it to suit the needs of the local fishing scene.
With the Wahoo fleet now swelling to 4 Vessels, Wahoo 1 was due for a refit - thus was scrapped and redesigned.
Time however was not on Wahoo's side and tragedy struck - Michael Bretag sadly passed away at the tender age of 46 - this left the company in disarray both financially and organizationally as they were at a crucial stage of development - they were left with no option but to sell.
That is when the current shareholders, a consortium of previous customers came to the rescue, purchasing only the office and Reel Hooker, they embarked on a development program that begins October 2006.
Bringing in James Neilson - a young, energetic and sales oriented business Development and Marketing director, they continued to add to the team and the fleet. With Market research showing a need for a "middle ground" between the budget boat offerings and Reel Hooker, Wahoo 4 was born - originally starting as Mekit a locally owned and operated boat which was in need of a refit - no expense was spared and the boat was completely rebuilt... thus creating the now popular Wahoo 4!.
Always keen on the luxury market and the never ceasing development of 5 star hotels on the Island - the shareholders and board members agreed that a new flagship was needed - after much consideration, time and effort spent - the Riviera 47 G2 was purchased and named "Reel Blue".... immediately making an impact on the Asian fishing scene by catching more Marlin than any other boat that season.
Again continuing to grow - they focused on the local market, with a sales drive not before seen in Phuket - resulting in over 200 hotels and 250 travel agents signed up and working with Wahoo to provide luxury charters.
That brings us to 2008 - during which Wahoo saw a continued growth in spite of high operating costs and international turmoil. Thus another expansion was needed - and after reviewing the markets once more it was decided that a more cruise/party boat was needed to compliment the fleet - after a visit to the Sanctuary cove boat show almost proved frustrating - a Maritimo 48 Cruising Flybridge was ordered.
Named Splendor - the Maritimo arrived just in time for the 2008 PIMEX Phuket boat show - being the star of the show and dazzling all with her features, space and practicality.
The 2008-2009 global recession biting hard by now the team were concerned that their gamble wouldnt pay off. However their worries proved unfounded as Splendor has become the best known party and luxury cruise boat on the Island - featuring on numerous TV shows, both international and Thai - and has played host to numerous celebrity and VIP guests.
Looking towards the end of 2009 and the future... Wahoo has more developments on the horizon which will only add to these pages, but all who join us on our charters will know that regardless of the boat, we put our customers experience first.