For many years, Mike and Kim Escalona of Upland, Calif., wanted to own something from DCB Performance Boats in El Cajon, Calif. That dream came true last weekend with the delivery of their new M35 Widebody mid-cabin/open-bow catamaran powered by Mercury Racing 1100 engines in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. It is the first mid-cabin/open-bow 35-footer from DCB to be equipped with the turbocharged quad-cam four-valve engines.
Fulfilling such dreams takes time and, of course, the means.
Mike and Kim Escalona’s 35-footer is the first mid-cabin/open-bow DCB M35 Widebody catamaran to be powered by Mercury Racing 1100 engines.
“We have been boating for more than 20 years,” said Mike Escalona, who founded and owns SprayTech Drywall Contractors, which does residential and commercial interior build-out work. “It’s our life. When we’re not working, we’re boating.”
Most recently, the Escalonas spent much of their cherished time on the water in a 28-foot Magic deckboat built in 2005. Several years ago, they had DCB completely renovate the boat’s interior. They also upgraded its original twin Mercury Marine 496 HO engine package to a pair of 825-hp mills from Teague Custom Marine in Valencia, Calif.
During the interior restoration project, the Escalonas got to know DCB’s Jeff Johnston and Tony Chiaramonte. They planned on ordering an M31 Widebody catamaran with twin Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines—at least until Johnston invited them to the DCB M37R model showcase in Lake Havasu City last fall.
Enjoy images of the latest DCB M35 Widebody catamaran in the slideshow above.
“We were talking to all the DCB owners at the event and my mind was going and going as the day was progressing,” said Mike Escalona. “Gordon Dawson took me out in Flash Gordon, his DCB M44 with 1100s the next day and I loved it. That experience changed the game for us. I talked to Kim and she was like, ‘You really want the M35 with 1100s, don’t you?’
Escalona paused to laughed.
“And I was like, ‘Yeah, I think I do, and we’re only going to do this once,’” he said. “So I said, ‘Let’s make the move’ and we jumped off the cliff together.’”
When it came to usable space, the Escalona’s loved their 28-foot deckboat. That led them to have DCB build their 35-footer, which they wisely ordered with an 85-percent CoolTouch vinyl/15 percent Alcantara interior as they primarily will use the boat on Lake Havasu, with an open-cockpit configuration.
“We still have the luxury of space,” said Escalona. “We’re not confined to the cockpit.”
After taking delivery of the boat from Chiaramonte last Friday, the Escalonas went straight into the Tres Martin Performance Boat School course.
“There was a big intimidation factor—it’s a lot of boat with a lot of power,” said Mike. “We definitely wanted some instruction, so we took the Tres Martin course with Brad (Schoenwald). Kim had never been a big driver. Brad was wonderful with her, so patient, and pretty soon she was driving at 110 mph.”
The Escalonas will spend the rest of the summer learning the boat—they have no intention of pushing things. Eventually, they want to head to the Lake of Ozarks in Central Missouri for Super Cat Fest and—nearer to home—explore Lake Powell with their fellow DCB owners.
When the Escalonas aren’t working, they’re boating—and now they’ll be doing it in an incredible creation from DCB.
And like so many members of the DCB owners family, they could not have been happier with the build experience.
“Jeff Johnston is an extraordinary person,” said Mike Escalona. “He made everything really easy. If I asked him if he could do or add something, he gave me three options. They even did a train-horn for us.
“I didn’t get to know Tony as well during the build process,” he continued. “But he was great, absolutely during the delivery with Kim and me. He’s a great driver—we were super-comfortable with him—and he was so patient with us.
“Everything to perfection—that’s what DCB does,” he added. “We are so happy we made the move to go with them.”