Being a Northern California-based reporter covering a predominantly East Coast and Midwest market, I’ve come to know who is and isn’t awake in the wee hours of my own time zone. I know, for example, that I can ring Jeff Johnston, the president of DCB Performance Boats of El Cajon, about 500 miles south of my place in Belmont, at 6 a.m. and he’ll pick up the phone. And that’s exactly what I did yesterday morning.
Uncompromising attention to detail is just part of the ongoing and ever-evolving plan for the renowned custom high-performance boat builder. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
OK, I confess. I meant to call Johnston, a longtime friend and fellow Powerboat magazine alumnus, at 6 a.m., just as I had promised and failed to do a week ago. But writing captions for the Racing section of the upcoming 2018 Speed On The Water Year In Review print magazine consumed and distracted me and I ended up calling him a couple of hours later.
No matter. Johnston was ready to talk.
“You know, it’s been a great year at DCB and we’re going to finish strong,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of good builds this year and we introduced new models. The M33R sport catamaran—thank goodness we built that boat—has led our outboard engine-powered boat sales this year. It’s been great. And our stern-drive boat builds have been nicely spread out between the M31 and the M35, plus we built a couple of M44s. The guys who like to hear the big-block ‘roar and rumble’ definitely are still out there.”
Johnson paused for a moment, then added, “But we can’t just sit back on our heels.”