During its first on-water test session on California’s Lake Elsinore earlier today, the first M35 Widebody catamaran from DCB Performance Boats powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1550/1350 engines impressed the team at DCB, to say the least.
DCB's latest M35 Widebody—the first with Mercury 1550/1350 engines—is headed to Oklahoma next week. Photos courtesy Jeff Johnston
DCB’s Tony Chiaramonte ran the boat up to a top speed of 180 mph—10 mph faster than he’s ever been on the small Southern California lake—and said the 35-foot cat was on rails. He drove it to an impressive 169 mph in 1350 mode, but after flushing the 91-octane fuel from the tank, pumps and pickups utilizing the custom setup DCB created and refilling with 55 gallons of 112-octane race fuel, Chiaramonte hit the 1550 key fob and off he went.
“I can’t even describe how hard the boat pulls with the 1550s—it’s ridiculous,” Chiaramonte said on his drive back to the DCB shop in El Cajon, Calif. “I was seriously laughing out loud to myself it was such a rush. I’m still feeling the adrenaline rush from it. I can’t wait to run it in the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout after it’s broken in a little.
“We ran a set of 41”-pitch props today and there’s more left—I just ran out of room,” he continued. “I had to shut it down at 180 just to make the turn to take it back into the launch ramp. If we get a set of 42s and the right efficiency, we could be in the 185- to 190-mph range. One of the coolest parts though was idling back in like it was nothing. It didn’t feel any different than an 1100 boat, the only thing was that you could smell the race gas. I wasn’t sure how much a difference the 1550 setup would make, but it blew away my expectations. It was like cracking a whip when I snapped the throttles forward.”
For more images of the new M35 Widebody, check out the pictures above.
Chiaramonte said the boat, which features an upgraded carbon-fiber Kevlar layup, will be leaving the shop on Monday for delivery to Oklahoma performance boater Shawn Gibson, who has owned two M31 Widebody catamarans—his first had twin Mercury Racing 700SCi engines and his last one was powered by twin 1350s.
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