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The Wheel Deal: Black Without Shine

Delivered a little more than a week ago, DCB Performance Boats’ most recent M28R creation went to Randy Waters of Oklahoma City, Okla. It’s an immaculate, 28-foot open-bow catamaran that the owner will keep at his second home on the shores of Eufaula Lake.

This attractive new steering wheel is right at home at the helm station of a new M28R catamaran from DCB.

This attractive new steering wheel is right at home at the helm station of a new M28R catamaran from DCB.

Next-level detailing is a hallmark of the El Cajon, Calif., custom high-performance powerboat company, and the new Mercury Racing 400R outboard engine-powered cat is no exception. Tony Chiaramonte, Jeff Johnston, Paul Miller and the rest of the crew take craftsmanship seriously. And that commitment extends to even the most relatively simple parts.

Case in point—and one that caught our eyes in the new M28R? The boat’s new matte-black steering wheel from CP Performance. According to a publicity-shy source inside the marine parts-distribution giant, development of the black-on-black beauty with contrasting stitching was a two-year process driven by a customer who wanted something different than anything currently on the market. 

“Our client wanted everything in his boat custom-made in black,” he said. “This brought big challenges, as stainless steel doesn’t like powder-coating or being treatment-finished, which is why you always see it gleaming and shining He recognized that every exotic car interior was remiss of anything shiny, and he wanted the interior of his boat to have that look. So the challenge began.

“We found a company that did NASA type coatings for the steering wheel’s spokes,” he continued. “We then shipped the wheel to Italy for its custom leather finish. Hands down, I’m betting this was the most expensive steering wheel to develop this industry has seen.”

A prototype unit made its marine industry debut at the 2020 Los Angeles Boat Show and IBEX events.

“There was so much interest in it that we finally got the attention of our friends at Isotta, and they agreed to bring the new Isotta Fanete steering wheel into production,” the source said. “Our very first ones were done in bespoke style for Tony Chiaramonte at DCB to unveil in a luxury performance boat.”

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