In two days, Southern California-based DCB Performance Boats vice-president Tony Chiaramonte will board a plane bound for Orlando, Fla. The following morning he’ll make the 35-minute drive to Lake X—Mercury Racing’s fabled testing and development center—in St. Cloud, where he’ll work with Mike Griffiths, the Fond du Lac, Wis., high-performance marine engine and accessory company’s longtime setup wizard.
Next stop for this DCB M37R catamaran after Lake X this weekend is the Miami International Boat Show, which opens February 16.
Their mission? To squeeze every drop of overall performance out of Mad Props, a sparkling new DCB M37R powered by Mercury Racing 450R outboard engines, before its Wednesday, February 16 in-water debut at the Miami International Boat Show.
For Chiaramonte, 20 years have passed since his first only visit to the famed facility.
“I can’t wait to go back and work with Mike,” he said. “He’s come to us to set up almost every DCB we’ve ever built, but now I’m going to see him at Lake X.”
With 35-, 36- and 38-inch propellers and various fuel levels, the 37-footer has reached top speeds of 128 to 133 mph. For everyday use, it will be propped with 35-inch wheels.
“With the right setup, it’s a 135-mph boat—I’ve done that with Brad McCauley’s M37R,” said Chiaramonte. “It’s as fast or faster than anything else in the 37- to 39-foot outboard catamaran class. But I like acceleration. I really don’t care about top end as much.
“I think the boat is pretty dialed in but it can always be better,” he added. “I can’t wait to work on it with Mike.”
Though Griffiths has set up more DCB catamarans than he can remember in his 15-plus years with Mercury Racing., this will be his first M37R. What’s more, it will be his first at Lake X
“I talked to Tony constantly through the build process of the first one,” he said. “After that, he put it in the water and I suggested he do this and that, and then he went out and ripped off the number he wanted. I know they do a good job with setup at DCB, but I’m looking forward to going through this one. I’ve never even been in one before.
“This is the first one in the Southeast so it’s kind of a big deal,” he added. “Grant Bruggemann (of Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla.) is coming to the lake on Friday. He’s never been in one before, either.”
DCB’s Tony Chiaramonte and Mercury Racing’s Mike Griffiths have worked together for years, but this Friday’s test session will be their collaboration at Lake X. Owners Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman will be on hand to experience the process.
Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman, the boat’s South Florida-based owners, are even more excited than Chiaramonte to have their pride and joy dialed in at Lake X. They are so pumped, in fact, that they’ll be there for its test sessions.
“The amazing dream doesn’t end,” said Harris. “From building a new boat, to having It debut at Miami—and now we get to stand there at Lake X and watch our new boat share the history of all that went before us.
“We thought it was already perfect, but now it will leave there as the first DCB M37R to wear a Lake X badge,” he added. “I’ll probably be a bit emotional standing at the tower.”
For Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman, having a new DCB catamaran dialed in at Lake X is a dream come true.
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