Turning a 10-Year-Old DCB Into ‘Mini Speed Racer’

Cypress, Calif., performance boater Charley Guest has owned his share of catamarans from Dave’s Custom Boats—four to be exact—but when it came time for his next boat, he wanted something that would be a little more fun to drive on the Colorado River near his place in Mohave Valley, Ariz.

dcb_speedracerPowered by twin Mercury Racing outboards, this 2003 Mach 26 catamaran from Dave's Custom Boats was updated with a "Speed Racer" theme by Charley Guest. Photo by Todd TaylorIt’s not that Guest didn’t enjoy the fast and agile F-32 catamaran with twin 625-hp MV10 engines from Ilmor High-Performance Marine, it’s just that the boat was a little large for the stretch of river he frequents most often.

So, roughly two years ago, Guest sold his F-32 and picked up a well-used 2003 Mach 26 cat with twin Mercury Racing OptiMax 300XS outboard engines. The all-white boat with DCB Racing decals on it needed some work, including a reshoot of the gelcoat, so Guest, who had always wanted to build a “Speed Racer” theme boat, did just that. And he’s been enjoying the 26-footer all summer with his wife, Jennifer, and three sons, Tyler, Bryce and Brody, including running the boat at DCB’s ninth annual regatta last month.

Although he said he wasn’t looking to emulate them, Guest was familiar with the well-known Marine Technology Inc. (MTI) Speed Racer boats, which include the 44-foot pleasure catamaran with the theme carried throughout the paint job, cockpit and engine compartment, and the similarly painted 40-foot canopied cat that raced in Super Cat Lite and is now being used for pleasure with twin Mercury Racing HP525EFI engines and No. 6 drives.

dcb_speedracer_beachA cuddly "Chim Chim" stuffed animal sits atop the Mach 5-inspired 26-foot DCB. Photo courtesy Dave Johnson/River Dave's PlaceWanting to keep the theme simpler with his boat, Guest painted it to look like Mach 5, Speed Racer’s car, with the No. 5 on the sides and the M logo on the deck. He added a little red and yellow trim to the quarter-canopies and color-matched the new cockpit interior. Premier Marine Interiors owner Carlos Lafarga, who now works for Cigarette Racing, handled much of the project.

“I've been a ‘Speed Racer’ fan since I was 6 years old when I used to come home and watch it every day after school,” Guest said. “Fortunately my 12-year-old, Bryce, enjoyed the movie that came out a few years ago so he loved the idea of the theme boat, too. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it since it was something I knew I’d have to live with for a few years, but I’m happy we went with the theme.”

During the project, Guest decided to eliminate the rubrail and fully cap the boat, giving it a car-like appearance. He also bought new OptiMax 300XS outboards—the original ones had more than 300 hours—to hang on the transom and upgraded the stereo system.

The 44 MTI is arguably one of the most recognized boats in the world. Courtesy Florida Powerboat Club
Randy Wild owns the 40-foot Speed Racer, a former race boat. Courtesy MidwestBoatParty.com

“We did a few little things like naming the engines—we put Speed and Trixie on each cowling,” Guest said. “My wife also had to buy a cute little monkey to emulate Chim Chim that we take with us.

“Yeah I do miss the 32 a little—it was a bad-ass boat,” Guest continued. “But right now, I love this boat. It’s perfect for enjoying this area of the river, yet I can take it to any of the lakes and have a blast with my family.

For a recap of the ninth annual DCB Regatta, click here. And to view photos from Todd Taylor, whose company—Jokers Wild Promotions—organized the regatta, click here (use guest code DCB 2012 Regatta or #16100).

Related links

Project: Remaking Speed Racer