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DCB Tests First Mercury Racing 300R Outboard-Powered M28R Sport Cat

With Mercury Racing’s new supercharged 450R V-8 outboard engine commanding much of the media attention since its introduction last month, it’s easy to forget that the Fond du Lac, Wis., high-performance marine engine company also offers two naturally aspirated outboards based on the same 4. 6-liter V-8 platform. Both the 250R and 300R share the same foundation as the 450R, and the 300-hp version in particular has been finding its way into the sport catamaran world. And the throaty outboard has been getting raves from sport cat builders and buyers.

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DCB’s Tony Chiaramonte and Jeff Johnston were dazzled by the M28R sport cat’s acceleration with Mercury Racing 300R outboard power (click image to enlarge).

Earlier this week, DCB Performance Boats tested its first new M28R sport catamaran powered by twin 300R outboards, and it’s fair to say that the El Cajon, Calif., company’s Tony Chiaramonte and Jeff Johnston were impressed. In its first test session on Lake Elsinore in Southern California, the 28-footer easily reached 111 mph. With a bit more setup work and different propellers, the DCB duo estimated the cat will reach 115 mph.

But as it has with every 300R-powered sport cat to date, top speed takes a back seat to impressive acceleration—from standing-start to mid-range.

“Getting on plane is super easy and torque delivery is solid all the way through,” said Chiaramonte. “With the Mercury Racing 300Rs, the boat is a blast to drive. It feels spunky.

“And everyone who hears it loves that V-8 roar,” he added.

Ordered by a repeat DCB customer through Dave Hardgrove of North Coast Performance Marine in Ohio, the new M28R is loaded with amenities including what Johnston called a “75-percent” Alcantara interior package—including in the under-deck cuddy area—with a matching carpet kit that includes shaved diamond patterns in the fabric. The entire interior matches the Phase III gelcoat graphics package for the half-capped, balsa-cored 28-footer, which was built using the Vacuum Infused Resin process and carbon fiber. The electronics package features two Simrad NSS9 Evo3 nine-inch touch-screen monitors, a nine-inch Garmin 922 GPS center plotter and a dual-facing Garmin VIRB camera system mounted to windshield strut hardwired to the Garmin monitor. For easy communication while the boat is underway, the customer ordered the boat with a six-person intercom set with VHF boat-to-boat communication, which is known in DCB company and customer parlance as “the DCB Channel.”

For a closer look at the latest DCB M28R, check out the slideshow above.

Other trick interior treats include an Interior Rigid LED lighting package (mood lighting, courtesy lighting, LED cupholders) and a Stage II stereo system with a Fusion head unit , two JL Audio amplifiers, six JL Audio M6 midrange speakers and two one-inch “Free Air” JL Audio subwoofers. For easy boarding, the builder added a 40-inch billet swim step with SeaDek surfacing and a foot shower.

Priced at $315,000, the Mercury Racing 300R outboard-powered M28R includes a tandem-axle Extreme Custom Trailer with 18-inch chrome Fuel rims, stainless-steel fenders, and triangular drive guard, an undercarriage LED lighting package and more.

The boat is scheduled to be delivered to its new owner tomorrow in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

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