It’s Tuesday afternoon, and Ken Lalonde is checking the status of his brand-new M37R from DCB Performance Boats, which is being shipped from Lake Havasu to Lalonde’s home in Rochester, NY. He’s keeping a close eye on the delivery via his home computer. “I just clicked on a tracker—it says that the present location is Oklahoma,” he says. “It’s on its way. Maybe tomorrow night it’ll be at my house. I can’t wait to put it in my garage and start checking everything out.”
He’s savoring the anticipation, but rest assured, he’ll savor its arrival even more. Lalonde recently flew to Havasu to do some testing with DCB’s Tony Chiaramonte—an experience he won’t soon forget. “It ran very comfortably at 100 mph, and it obviously had a lot more in it. The acceleration of the boat to 100 is amazing. Earlier in the day, Tony had run it to just over 130 mph. It was very stable, running nice and flat, even as we went over some waves. And the maneuverability is outstanding as well.”
The M37R is Lalonde’s first DCB after years of admiring the builder’s handiwork. “I’d go to the boat shows and marvel at their interior layouts and the detail on their boats—it’s just so perfect. Their design just has it all.” He checked virtually all of the boxes to make this M37R a genuine show piece: twin Mercury Racing 450R outboards, Shaun Torrente Racing engine brackets, 100% Alcantara interior package, plush four-color carpet kit with two-color SeaDek entry kit and locker liners, dash ventilation system, Stage III stereo, Garmin 22″ GPS monitor, two SIMRAD 12″ touch screen monitors, and so much more.
“Everything’s over the top,” Lalonde tells Speedboat. “The intercom systems are amazing—you can communicate with other DCBs at the push of a button. All of the push buttons are illuminated with different colors. There are beautiful powercoated cleats and special compartments for your bumpers—each one has its own slot; the pins slide out of their own rack. Everything is carpeted and has special lighting.”
After owning other brands for many years, Lalonde could not resist the temptation to purchase a DCB because he admires the company’s total commitment to custom—even if it involved making modifications to the boat’s pad, seats, etc. “Anything that I needed, DCB just did it. I told them everything that I wanted regarding the gelcoat and carbon fiber and different seats. The seating was very important to me. I drove them nuts—I told them that I needed a seat that people are comfortable with, with lumbar support. I wanted the steps and the carpet a certain way. I put it all in writing, and it took several paragraphs. And they did it.”
Working so closely with DCB also helped forge a lifelong bond with the team members, he says, and collaborating on the boat’s creation was immensely satisfying. “When I saw how they worked, I was blown away. You should see the amount of photos and emails [DCB President] Jeff Johnston has sent me during the build—I’m going to put them into a three-ring binder. It’s so impressive. They’re badass guys. I love them. They feel like family to me now.”
He gives special props to Chiaramonte, who “takes every boat, test drives it, dials it in and makes sure it’s spot on,” Lalonde says. “He tests every prop. He wants each boat to be running perfectly before it goes to the customer. His passion is unreal.”
Currently, Lalonde is also building a 39′ Nor-Tech center-console vee bottom with quad Mercury Racing 400R outboards (to replace another Nor-Tech he recently sold), and it has been designed to match the DCB M37R’s lines and color scheme. As the previous owner of a 1350-powered muscleboat, using the outboards convinced him to ditch the I/Os.
“I just fell in love with them,” he says. “They’re turnkey. I took the boat to Key West and I found the outboards very reliable. I could go boating by myself, which I hadn’t been able to do easily, and docking was such a breeze. You can dock anywhere in that boat. It was just a wonderful feeling, you know?”
Lalonde enjoys using his boats with wife Renee and their two sons, Jacob (21) and Joshua (18). They can scarcely wait to bring it to their local event, the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run.