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Image Of The Week: Catching Up With The Godfather

On location this week in Southern California capturing footage for an upcoming episode of our In The Lead video series—the segment puts the spotlight on Tony Chiaramonte of DCB Performance Boats—speedonthewater.com co-publisher Jason Johnson and Brad DiMaggio and Ryan Wenk of Scrapyard Media made a special trip to interview Bob Leach, the founder of famed Eliminator Boats. Chiaramonte, like DCB founder Dave Hemmingson, actually worked for Leach and they credit him with much of their success in the custom high-performance boat-building world.

Speedonthewater.com’s Jason Johnson, left, and DCB’s Tony Chiaramonte were privileged to spend time with Eliminator Boats founder Bob Leach, the true Godfather of West Coast custom boating.

So influential was Leach—and the company he founded—from the early 1970s through the early 2000s that he became known simply as “The Godfather” of the West Coast custom powerboating world. In the early 2000s, Powerboat magazine even dressed Leach in garb reminiscent of the title character in the movie of the same name for a profile of him.

All that and more made including a segment with him in the upcoming Chiaramonte video a must. Chiaramonte, who worked at Eliminator for six years and sees Leach as family, joined our video crew for the shoot.

“It was a great feeling to get a chance to see and visit with one of the nicest and most influential people in the powerboat industry at his home in Murrieta,” Johnson said. “Bob is a legendary boat-builder. He was in great spirits and seemed to enjoy swapping stories with Tony and me.”

Of course, you’ll have to be patient and wait to watch the entire “In The Lead with Tony Chiaramonte” episode, which will air in mid-November. In the meantime, we thought you might enjoy yesterday’s image, which we are affectionately dubbing “The Godfather, Part II.”

Powerboat magazine’s profile of Bob Leach in the early 2000s cast him as “The Godfather” in true Marlon Brando style alongside his daughter, Brandi. Photo by Tom Newby copyright speedonthewater.com.

Editor’s note: In The Lead With Brett Manire and Mark Waddington—video No. 5 in our seven-part series—goes live today.

Related In The Lead Series Video Content
In The Lead With John Cosker
In The Lead With Trond and Nils
In The Lead With Shaun Torrente
In The Lead With Grant Bruggemann