Recently DCB's latest model the M37R was Debuted in Lake of the Ozarks, after it was delivered to their customer Kris Hansen (long time family friend of mine) right here in Lake Havasu. We took that opportunity to go out and run the boat through it's paces and to tell you guys our experiences with it, as well as some of the pro's and cons to DCB's first True Tunnel boat, with regard to how it runs vs some of their traditional West Coast Style Center Pod boats.
Before we dive into the details I'd like to start with taking a look at the overall picture. As we mentioned earlier this is the 1st M37R completed by DCB and it's a true tunnel. The boat has a 38' LOA when you add in the slight overhang from the stair case / bussel on the back of the transom. The running surface of the boat measures In at 36'7" inches. It's pretty light weighing in at 5500 lbs dry, but a more realistic weight is around 5650 with some fuel in it and ready to roll. That weight is achieved by using a Carbon / Foam Vacuum infused layup which is standard on this boat.
The boat has a beam of 10'6 which means a tilt trailer is more likely for cross country traveling, but it can be done on a flat trailer so long as you get an over sized permit. Another thing that is standard is a tandom axle Myco Aluminum trailer (note not the trailer shown above) which is fitting for both fresh and salt water use.
The base price of an M37R is right around 435,000.00 which is nicely equipped and sports a pair of 400R Mercury Racing Outboards, the one featured in this article is approximately 550,000.00 as shown, which the two largest points of that 115,000 would be the larger center screen in the middle of the dash, and the upgraded motors to 450R's as well as some trailer upgrades.
This particular trailer was built by Myco, but brought to Adrenaline trailers here in Lake Havasu to give it the "West Coast Flair". Additional LED's were installed including "runway lights" or up lights (shining up on the bottom of the boat) as well as down lights (under glow) were installed, the trailer was custom painted, and a custom wheel and tire package was installed.
Now that we've covered the ground work (pun intended), they put it in the water and Tom and I met them over at the docks of the Nautical Inn Resort. To get a good look at the interior and some of the new things DCB did on this 37R that sets it apart from the pack.
Unfortunately in performance boating the motto has always been "If some is good, more is better" especially on the West Coast where people love their "Bling." We can all remember back to when "Billet" was the rage in the early to mid 2000's and that got completely out of control on everybody's part. Some good DCB examples of that would be the "Terminator Arm" option they had for their engine hatches (which I gotta be honest I still like), and the infamous Billet T handles they put in the Poker Run interiors that bruised everybodies legs west of the Mississippi. (Fortunately most of those were changed out later).
Later that turned into Speedo's on the backs of the seats, and eventually into Screens literally everywhere you could stick one. It kinda begs the question, do you really need 5 screens for the Driver and Passenger and another two or more for the rear seat passengers? The answer is simply no you don't, and at some point it is overwhelming to the point where it really begins to detract from the boat.
With the 37R they took a different approach entirely to its interior and it's one of the things I really loved about it. The thought that "Less is more" with a focus on the actual lines and functionality of the seats, flooring, dash, etc.. I actually caught a bit of grief from a few people because I ranted and raved about it in the initial article about how much better I thought this was than anything they (or most others) have done in the past or even to date.
Above you will see the angular styling integrated into the seats and the seat backs themselves, with a great way to not only use some of the boats colors in the fiberglass seat frames, but add in a nice carbon accent below. The pass throughs give it a race inspired look that gives the look like you would run harnesses in it, but manage to integrate in some of that angular almost Italian exotic looking style. Did you notice where the carbon and the seat backs meet there is hidden RGB (multiple colors) LED's recessed in there? It's subtle and they were smart to do it "indirect" so that the LED's aren't staring you in the face. It's just a subtle thing that really adds to the night time or even low light character of the vessel.
Since I brought up the subject of lighting, I included these pics to show you the lighting up under the gunnel.. You won't be able to see this while you are in the boat because it's lower than you are sitting so it is "indirect." That said DCB was smart to use “smoked" tubes to tone down the brightness of the LED strips themselves and not make it so overwhelmingly bright. Because all of the strips are RGB (which stands for Red, Green, Blue meaning the LED's can make virtually any color on earth) they can also change to white and be used for normal interior lighting.
They really hit it out of the park with the flooring on this boat (both pics above), as opposed to using some checker board pattern or random tribal looking slashes, they designed it in cad to flow with the lines of the boat, and actually kind of "break up" the cockpit in the front, from the passenger area in the back. In the picture shown here (and before) it almost looks like there is two little step ups in the arcs of the flooring, but it is all at the same level.
Looking back you get a glimpse of the actual stitching of the seats themselves that do a great job of complimenting not only the lines of the boat, but again the floor design. It really flows beautifully from the gunnels to the seats all the way to the floor, and this would be the first time ever (and probably the last) with any kind of a review on a boat you will hear me say the words 10 out of 10. Understandably everybody's tastes are different, but from my perspective I have never seen industrial design executed this well throughout the cabin of a boat. Everywhere you look there are little details that are adding to the package, but not catching your eye or looking out of place.
Taking a closer look at the cockpit, you can see they incorporated that angular styling tastefully just about everywhere. Right in front of the cup holders there's a little angle that you probably didn't notice until I just brought it up, again in front of the throttles where the switch panel is there are subtle details of it everywhere that all add to the package very subtly. The switch panel itself has been minimized as well to handle some of the core, or basic functions of the boat that you would use more often than others. A good example of that is a single push button switch turns on axial flow fans under the deck that move a ton of air and blow out of the vents on the dash! It was an extremely hot day when we were shooting this boat, and I didn't think they'd have much of an impact being in the cockpit, but I was pleasantly surprised!
Of course when it comes to DCB the interior is going to be first class without so much as a stitch out of place or frayed. They have set the bar for a long time and continue to do so.
To once again hit on something that is simplistic also functional and adds a bit of style, check out the sides of the front seats! Not only are they adding some style on the side of them to match the rest of the boat, but they double as grab handles while you are sitting in them. This is a perfect example of some of the change of design attitude that really changed the direction of where DCB was and always has been heading. Sometimes less is more, and this is a great example of it. (Also note in typical DCB fashion all the screw heads are clocked).
The balance for seat height in Cats has always been like walking on a razor blade. If the seats are too low you can't see out of the boat at idle, but yet just a few inches higher and now you are in the wind above the windshield. DCB found yet again another simple solution that is found in many other types of boating (Center Consoles etc) with just a simple stainless flip up hinge on the front part of the seat cushion. Why did we wait until now to do this? It's genius in it's simplicity, and common place in other types of boating.
Both the driver and the passenger seat are power so they can be adjusted forward and back electrically to your comfort zone, which will bring us now to the foot rests. (below)
The Foot rests are also adjustable (if needed) which would allow you to move them towards the cockpit if you wanted to set one up for someone shorter than average or a youngster.
I have gone into way too much detail with regard to the interior, and there's a lot more we could write up about it, but I'd suggest simply going and checking the boat out for yourself! DCB is being very forth coming with this model, and have been giving a ton of demo rides to perspective customers!
Once Tom had gotten his shots, and I had gone through the cabin of the boat (leaving no stone unturned) we jumped in Tom's boat out to get slow speed running and aerial shots of the M37R. I had to cut some of the interior short (not mentioning some features like the boat to boat communications etc.) because these shots came out beyond my wildest expectations and I wanted to include a few of them in the first part of the review!
I have plenty more of these that I'll be uploading into the forums for everyone to see. I had to pick one, and it's a challenge.
The lines of the boat speak for themselves. It should be noted they did a great job putting a tall windshield in the boat, yet it still looks sleek and in place. You will see in the following pictures how far above your head it is when you are driving / riding in it.
Next week will be Part II of the M37R Review where we will get as in depth as we can with how the boat performed in the limited conditions we were able to experience with it, as well as the subtle and notable differences between DCB's first True Tunnel Cat and their more traditional Center Pod offerings. It will be one you won't want to miss!
For a quick teaser on how she runs? Well go back to the first pic and look how it carries once it's packing air... Don't take my word for it though, here's a quick fly by from where we were getting the "at speed" shots boat to boat that we will dive into in the performance article!
Words : RiverDave
Photos : TommyGun Images