Since Baja Marine officially acquired the Donzi and Fountain powerboat brands in October 2012, decision makers at the Washington, N.C., facility reportedly have been planning not just the best timing for their reintroductions but what they actually will offer in each line. With the reported signing of six Baja dealers—dealers who also wanted to carry Donzi and Fountain offerings—since the beginning of 2013 and a modest backlog for orders of Donzi and Fountain boats, the company has resumed limited production of both brands.
At present, the company is building boats in those lines to dealer order. Although some dealer inventory is required, the majority of all the boats manufactured in Washington start production when the builder receives the orders.
“We have been absolutely slammed with customer and dealer inquiries,” said John Walker, the chief executive officer for Baja Marine. “That’s been a pleasant surprise from me. In addition to the six orders for Donzis and Fountains we have right now, we’re talking with 12 to 15 people on deals for Fountains and Donzi. We have three different people interested in Fountain 48’ Express Cruisers.”
Among the models is production, said Walker, is a 43-foot Donzi with 1350-hp engines from Mercury Racing. Larger Donzi and Fountain models are providing the push for both brands, according to Walker. For sportboats up to 35 feet long, Walker said his customers are buying Baja—at present the company has four 26 and 35 Outlaw series models in production.
“We went back through the Donzi and Fountain lines—we recently updated the Donzi website and we’re working on the Fountain site now—and made some decisions,” said Walker. “When you go through your lineup, you ask yourself what is selling and what has sold. For Fountain and Donzi, sales of boats less than 35 feet have been nonexistent for some time. Those products lines have pretty much set up themselves in the 35-foot-and-up range.
“We’ll build anything our customers want, but it may cost more in the case of tooling that hasn’t been used in a while and that hasn’t been refreshed,” Walker added. “For example, we have a customer who wants a Fountain raceboat. We’ll build it if he orders it.”