DCB FX-28 Extreme: Powerboat Performance Report
DCB FX-28 Extreme: Craftmanship and performance combine in sharp V-bottom.
It’s safe to say we liked DCB’s 28′ V-bottom from the first time we drove it. When we tested it at our 2002 Performance Trials, we enjoyed it so much we gave it our Award for Outstanding Sport Boat Workmanship.
Well, it seems DCB couldn’t leave well enough alone. For 2004, the company debuted its improved FX-28 Extreme, complete with an all-new deck, a tweaked bottom and a host of new appointments inside.
It’s still a twin-step V-bottom with a modified V-pad keel. The four-strake bottom also featured a roughly 3-inch notch. Though there are no strakes on the center running surface, the outermost strake resumes in line at the last running surface. The chine is about 3 degrees negative, 4 inches wide and continues through all running surfaces uninterrupted.
At the business end, the boat came fitted with Eddie Marine trim tabs mounted parallel to the deadrise and TCM switchable exhaust tips, which muffled the new blown Teague Custom Marine 900 EFI engine.
The drive was IMCO’s new 4 x 4 with a 1-inch shorty gear case, which was mounted on a standoff box with a BAM transmission bolted inside. The drive setup also featured an IMCO shower and dual-ram steering with the rams mounted to the standoff box’s wing plates. For a wheel, DCB went with a blueprinted Hydromotive 15″ x 32″ without a diffuser ring at the rear.
That’s a lot of potent hardware and the performance numbers reflect it. For example, the FX-28 Extreme hit a top speed of 93.4 mph at 5,400 rpm on San Diego’s Mission Bay.
In rough water, the 22-degree bottom showed slight limitations in head seas. Quartering and following seas were no problem. Tracking was aces at all but the highest speeds, where it required a bit more driver input to keep it in line.
Its performance numbers were impressive, such as the boat’s cruising speed: 63 mph at 3,500 rpm. Adding 1,000 rpm bumped the speed to 82 mph, which should put you in the lead 10 percent at most poker runs.
The acceleration should get you there—in a hurry. The FX-28 Extreme shot from 30 to 50 mph in 3.9 seconds and from 40 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. From a standing-start, the boat hit 86 mph—within 8 mph of its top speed—in 20 seconds. What a blast.
This section of the Performance Report could begin and end with the same three letters: DCB. However, since we get paid to write about such things, we feel compelled to report that the FX-28 Extreme was as well built a boat as you can find.
For example, the bilge was coated with epoxy, but before any epoxy goes on, the builder spends a week prepping the entire area, sanding and resanding. The outcome is breathtaking. The smooth finish set the stage for the riggers to come in and work some magic. Well, it’s not magic. It’s just more hard work.
The riggers bolted in the TCM 900 EFI engine using the Mercury feet mounts on custom fabricated L-angles through-bolted to the stringers. At the rear, the standard transom mount supports the extension box on the transom. The box contains the BAM transmission, whose input shaft slides into the drive coupler. The IMCO Extreme drive then plugs into the back of the transmission.
Since the blown motor is intercooled, it incorporated two sea strainers, one for the intercooler and one for engine cooling water. The water from the intercooler was routed through a fuel cooler before exiting overboard. A TCM oil cooler also was installed for added protection.
Wiring that was visible was clamped and tie-wrapped in place in parallel runs. What wasn’t visible was handled with equal care and tucked beneath the gunwales. Trim pumps were bolted to the sole back toward the transom. DCB also provided two fender racks to either side at the front of the engine bay.
Behind the helm, the wiring was a showpiece from which virtually any builder could learn. Evenly spaced tie-wraps kept everything in place and looking good. Even the full-hydraulic helm was installed with fastidious care and its hoses were routed and supported in spectacular fashion. Race-boat quality stuff.
On the outside, mold work was as good as it gets. The rubrail was executed perfectly and the in-gelcoat graphics were delineated precisely.
In the bow area, DCB included two forward facing lounges with gently angled backrests. That’s important for passenger comfort, but DCB went the extra mile and provided side bolsters to help keep people in place while the boat turns. What’s more, the seats were set deep in the boat, which added an extra measure of security.
The bow area also featured a couple of lighted enclosures with cupholders and grab handles. There was stowage beneath each lounge and even under the sole of the bow area, which was accessible via a carpeted lift-out lid.
In the airy midcabin, the FX-28 Extreme came with a cooler that fit into its compartment on the port side and a stowage cabinet with shelving on the starboard side. Farther aft, twin facing lounges offered enough room for a 6’4″ passenger to sit upright without slouching. More impressive, DCB accomplished it without spoiling the sleek deck lines.
Out in the cockpit, front-seat passengers benefited from quarter canopies that offered excellent visibility, thanks to startling clarity and glare-cutting black cloth atop the dashboard.
The helm was fitted with top shelf Gaffrig by Livorsi instruments and levers, and comfy bucket seats.
It’s difficult to take an award-winning boat and make it better. DCB did just that with the exciting new FX-28 Extreme.
Hull Information and Propulsion Information
|Deadrise at transom||22 degrees|
|Hull weight||5,000 pounds|
|Engine||Teague Custom Marine 900 EFI|
|Lower-unit gear ratio||1.5:1|
|Propeller||Hydromotive 15″ x 32″|
|Price as tested||$182,300|
Options on Test Boat
Upgrade to Teague Custom Marine 900 EFI engine ($45,000), IMCO 4 x 4 drive and standoff box ($14,000), full-hydraulic steering ($4,900), billet trim tabs ($3,850), TCM switchable tips ($1,850), sea strainers ($1,200), Bluewater trim indicators ($795), lab prop ($570) and drive shower ($185).
|Wind speed||4-6 mph|
|Sea conditions||1′ chop|
|5 seconds||31 mph|
|10 seconds||57 mph|
|15 seconds||77 mph|
|20 seconds||86 mph|
|30-50 mph||3.9 seconds|
|40-60 mph||3.8 seconds|
|40-70 mph||6.3 seconds|
Rpm vs. Mph
|Radar||93.4 mph at 5400 rpm|
|Nordskog Performance Products GPS||93.1 mph at 5400 rpm|
|Time to plane||3.9 seconds|
|Minimum planing speed||18 mph|
For More Information
Dave’s Custom Boats
1468 N. Magnolia Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92020