As of Friday of last week, West Coast builder DCB Performance Boats of El Cajon, CA, officially became DCB Performance Marine of Phoenix, AZ.
But that's not all: In addition to the name and location change, there has been a change in ownership as well, as Scottsdale, AZ-based speedboat aficionado Craig Hargreaves purchased a majority ownership of the company from Rob Blair. (Hargreaves is also the owner of the Spooled Up Racing fleet, which includes his DCB M44 Widebody, MTI 52 pleasure cat, MTI-V 42 center console, 30’ Playcraft Tritoon, and a tournament boat, all emblazoned with the familiar orange and black livery, sporting the team mascot “Booster.”)
None of these changes happened overnight. They've been in the works for quite some time, Hargreaves told Speedboat, with the genesis being a conversation he had five years ago with Blair, DCB President Jeff Johnston and Vice President Tony Chiaramonte. "That was the first dialogue we had about this possibility," he recalls. "The timing wasn't right for everybody. Then, in the Spring of 2022, Jeff called me to try and rekindle that conversation. When we revisited the topic, the timing was much better for our family."
There were numerous hurdles to overcome before a final deal was finally struck last week. One of the major factors was moving the operation to Arizona, and whether the core DCB team members would be willing to make the transfer.
"We had to ask everybody whether or not they would be willing to relocate," Hargreaves says. "We were a lot more interested in doing the deal if they would be willing to move. And the other owners said they would be willing to pack up and move to Phoenix." That proved to be one of the main facilitators for striking the deal, he says.
Hargreaves and Johnston were quick to praise Blair for working hard to get everything in order.
"Rob rescued the company," Hargreaves says of Blair's 2011 partnership with DCB. "Under his ownership and tenure, they introduced a variety of really great products. After everything was signed, Rob and I left off with a good conversation on Friday, and we're on good terms. There was some give-and-take and push-and-shove to finalize the deal, but in the end, we got it done and everybody's happy."
"We wouldn't be here right now if Rob Blair hadn't done what he did," adds Johnston. "And now, with Craig and his wife, Kim and his son, Jake involved, we've got the horsepower and the enthusiasm. It's a really good fit."
Hargreaves’ son, Jake Hargreaves, who is also a massive speedboat enthusiast, traveling with the Spooled Up Racing Team to many events across the nation, has assumed the role of Purchasing Agent for the company.
Preparing to make the move from California, DCB purchased what Hargreaves calls a "plain Jane warehouse" in Arizona back in March, after almost a year of searching. Since that time, the team has been working overtime to remodel virtually every aspect of it. "We had to prepare administrative areas, set up air conditioning and lighting, lay in an epoxy floor, get the power figured out, and so on," he says. "There's a lot to engage—so much needs to be designed, installed and permitted."
When completed, DCB will have more than 40,000 square feet of manufacturing space. "Some things still need to be done, but we're pretty far along with it," Hargreaves says. "We've got a couple of brand-new paint booths on order, so they'll need to be delivered and set up. We hope to be up and running in Phoenix in three to four weeks." DCB plans to be out of the El Cajon facility completely by July 15.
The current California facility is just over 20,000 square feet between three different shops, so the team will appreciate having twice the space to build their nine different models, specifically designed to accommodate DCB’s flawless hulls and legendary impeccable rigging––with their latest M42R outboard catamaran expected to be debuted later this year.
DCB, which stands for Dave’s Custom Boats, was founded by Dave Hemmingson in 1990, when he started rigging Eliminator Daytonas. Chiaramonte and current General Manager Paul Miller joined Hemmingson a few years later.
The new DCB Performance Marine Team plans to host an Open House at the new, state-of-the-art location this September.