With a new state-of-the-art facility, DCB Performance Marine has a home that reflects the high-quality catamarans it builds.
Story by Gregg Mansfield, photos courtesy DCB Performance Marine
The high-performance catamaran builder held an open house in January to celebrate its new home in Phoenix, Ariz. New majority owners Craig and Kim Hargreave bought the company in June 2023 and moved DCB Performance Marine from its longtime home in El Cajon, Calif., east of San Diego.
“The biggest compliment and comment that we got at the open house was with a smile saying, ‘I’m not going to say your old facility is a piece of crap, but it didn’t reflect what your product was,” said Jeff Johnston, president of DCB Performance Marine. “We outgrew (our old facility) and we knew it, and we almost made a move right before COVID and then COVID happened. We hunkered down and we finally just made the move.”
DCB Performance Marine’s new 27,000-square-foot production facility near the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is about 5,000 square feet larger than the company’s old building in California. The biggest change is everything is under one roof where previously DCB operated out of two buildings.
Hargreaves invested significant money modernizing the new production facility from the air conditioning to new equipment to improve production. The result is showroom quality throughout.
“It’s all one big block and we’re able to section off and have production all under one roof,” Johnston said. “It goes from gelcoat and moves 60 feet to lamination and then moves 60 feet to cut and buff and then it moves 60 feet to rigging. It’s very systematic and the flow is great. It’s more conducive for efficiency.”
With Johnston and DCB Vice President Tony Chiaramonte leading the efforts, 20 employees made the move to the Valley of the Sun. The boatbuilder added marine industry veteran Johnny Bauer as vice president of production and beefed up staff to catch up on a 21-month backlog of orders.
“Everyone’s just so prideful to work here, it’s really cool,” Johnston said. “They’ve got to skip in their step because they have pride in their work environment.”
About 500 people attended the open house with a mix of current DCB owners, marine industry vendors and a few residents curious to check out the new plant. DCB displayed its boats outside the facility as the attendees enjoyed catered food and a glass of champagne to toast new beginnings.
DCB Announces New Model
As part of the open-house celebration, DCB Performance Marine showed drawings of its new M42R Widebody catamaran that should make its debut in early 2025. DCB has already taken nine deposits for the M42R Widebody, even though the tooling has yet to be completed by Marine Concepts/Design Concepts in Sarasota, Fla.
DCB decided to launch the model after the success of its M37R catamaran, which was a derivative of the center pod design on the company’s other models, which span from 28 to 44 feet.
“We didn’t just take the center off, it’s a whole different design, tunnel compression, etc.,” Johnston said. “Basically, we went from a 10’6” beam to 11’3” beam, so it grew about 9 inches wide and obviously 5 feet longer but it’s going to be about the same weight. It was something our customers were asking for.”
The catamaran has longer and wider sponsons, and a deeper tunnel for a better ride, especially on larger lakes.
The launch of M37R in 2022 created new markets in Miami and Lake of the Ozarks for DCB Performance Marine, and Johnston expects the M42R Widebody, which will be powered by twin Mercury Racing 500R outboards, to continue the trend.
The M42R Widebody has seating for eight people though the cockpit can be customized for a buyer, even if they wanted a two-seater.
“We widened the cockpit 6 inches and lengthened it about 12 inches and reduced the size of the seats by about 15 percent,” Johnston said. “There’s so much room, it’s amazing. You don’t need to get an eight-seater but it’s a true eight-seater. The way things are configured, the ergonomics, it’s very nice.”
Once the M42R Widebody starts production in the fall, the team at DCB Performance Marine has its next model on the board. While Johnston was vague on details, he said they are looking down the model line rather than going bigger.
“I don’t want to say a lot, but we’re excited for the future,” he said.
DCB Performance Marine, (602) 851-3002, www.dcbperformanceboats.com