Chad Budge‘s passion for powerboating didn’t begin with DCBs, but it’s a pretty safe bet that it ends there. The M33R that DCB delivered to Budge last week is his fourth DCB, his second M33R, and his first to be powered by Mercury Racing 450R outboards. It may not be his last DCB, but it’s hard to imagine him transitioning to another builder—he’s as smitten with DCB as any customer we’ve ever met.
Introduced in 2018 close on the heels of DCB’s largest model to date (the M44), the M33R was first tested by Speedboat Magazine in its August 2018 issue. It remains one of DCB’s newest models, joining the M28, M29, M31, M35, M41 and M44 in the builder’s ever-growing stable, with an M37 to be added to the ranks later in 2020. (A new review of an M33R will be appearing in Speedboat’s forthcoming April 2020 issue.)
Budge, 67, lives in Jackson Hole, WY, and works in real estate development. He got into the boating scene with an 18′ Glastron Carlson, then moved to Eliminators and Howards before switching to the DCB brand four boats ago. His first was an M31 with 700 SCi stern drives, he recalls. “Then I made the mistake of driving a friend’s 31 that had 1100s,” he chuckles. “I loved it, so we ended up buying that boat when our friend stepped up to an M35 with 1350s.” Later, he moved up to an M33 with Mercury Racing 400R outboards, and now he has taken delivery of the 450R-powered M33.
Transitioning from I/O power to outboards was a major step, but not one that Budge regrets for a moment. “We hesitated for a long time on whether to do it,” he admits. “But we finally pulled the trigger, and never looked back.”
Budge and his wife, Dianne Budge, are both avid boaters who have taken Tres Martin‘s safety classes and are highly seasoned boaters. “She’s been around them for 30 years,” he says of Dianne. “She’s a very experienced driver, and it’s important to me to have a boat that she’s comfortable with. That’s why we love the M33R with the 450s. It really makes the boat come alive, and makes it more solid. When she’s cruising around at 100 mph and I’m sitting in the passenger seat, I want her to feel comfortable. And she’s totally comfortable in the boat.”
Budge says he loves everything about the boat’s handling and performance, from the quick planing time and utter lack of bowrise to its nimble attitude, maneuverability and ease of turning. “Oh my God, it’s so flat,” he raves. “You can turn it at 100 mph and do 360s in it.”
Another aspect of the M33R that the couple praises is its beautiful construction and appearance. “DCB has been going over-the-top with their interiors,” Budge says. “The interior of this boat is the nicest one we’ve had so far. The quality of the stitching and the Alcantara fabric is really unbelievable. We’ve only had the boat for a few days, and people who have seen it just go, ‘Damn!'”
Finally, Budge gives credit to the entire team at DCB for being so open-minded about ideas and customization, for keeping the lines of communication open, and being so “hands-on” with their clients. “Depending on what phase of construction you’re in, you might be talking to Tony Chiaramonte, or Paul Miller, or Jeff Johnston. It seems like they’ll are experts at handling everything.”
But he emphasizes that he doesn’t throw out enthusiastic comments lightly. “We’re actually pretty fussy people,” he says.
Budge says he’s already had the boat up to 130 mph on Lake Havasu; he expects to use M33R in his home state of Wyoming, then trailer it to Lake Powell or up to Canada, just like his previous DCBs.
Just don’t expect him to switch to a different boat brand. It’s unlikely that he’ll Budge.
Some specs on the Chad Budge’s M33R:
• Beam: 9’ 7” beam
• Power: Twin Mercury Racing 450Rs (white cowlings – $4,200/set upgrade)
• Interior: 100% Alcantara with matching under cuddy
• Custom matching carpet kit with shaved diamonds in the fabric
• Half cap with SS rubrail painted black
• Vacuum Infused Resin (VIR) process, balsa-cored, with aggressive carbon-fiber & carbon-kevlar
• Two SIMRAD 12” monitors
• One Garmin 8612 (12”) center plotter
• Isotta Carlotta steering wheel
• PCI 6-person intercom system with VHF boat-to-boat communication (aka “DCB Channel”)
• Two Garmin GMi20’s in back of headrests
• Interior Rigid LED lighting package (mood lighting, courtesy lighting, LED cupholders) and bullet LED lighting package in 450 cowlings
• Billet foot shower
• Mercury DTS controls
• Oversized billet swimstep with SeaDek and telescoping ladder.
• Adrenaline Custom Trailer, triple-axle with custom chrome 18” FUEL rims, SS fenders, triangular drive guard, undercarriage LED lighting package, etc.
Some images of the boat: