When Bob and Angie Rickard of St. Louis decided to begin their search for a new boat to keep at their home on Missouri’s ever-popular Lake of the Ozarks, they had their mind made up that they wanted a center console. They figured it would be a great complement to their Sea Ray 48 Sundancer and their pontoon boat, which they admit is not the best boat for running around the lake.
Big Thunder Marine in Lake Ozark, Mo., is going to deliver the first Fountain Powerboats 38 SC model soon (click to enlarge).
In the coming months, the Rickards will have their ideal Lake of the Ozarks boat in the form of the first 38 SC, which is shorthand for Sport Console, from Fountain Powerboats. The couple ordered the 38-foot center console, which is going to be powered with triple Mercury Marine Verado 400 engines, a couple of months ago and was able to select everything from the power and paint to the interior and electronics.
“We knew we wanted to go the center console route eventually, but we started seriously thinking about getting one a few months ago,” said Bob Rickard, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot who flew both F-16 and F-22 fighter jets—he reportedly logged more than 100 hours over Iraq in the mid-1990s—and was recognized as an award-winning fighter pilot instructor. “So we visited a few places on the lake and our last stop was at Big Thunder Marine. The sales guy there, Ed Champion, showed us several boats and also told us about the new models coming from Fountain—the 34 SC and the 38 SC. I’ve always like the lines of a Fountain, and Ed said if we ordered it soon, we’d be able to pick everything out, so we made a deal.
“The whole process has been great—working with Ed and the team at the Big Thunder, along with the folks at Fountain,” he continued. “They’ve been very helpful and open to things we wanted to do to the boat. We’re really excited about the amount of customization that’s gone into it. Needless to say, we can’t wait to get it. We wanted a boat that we could run across the lake for a pizza without it being a two-hour trip like it was in the pontoon, which can feel unsafe during a busy day on the lake. The 38 SC is big enough to have fun on the lake, but small enough to go places where our cruiser can’t. I feel like we’re going to have the best of both worlds in terms of reliability and performance, as well as overall appearance.”
In total Rickard spent 27 years in the Air Force between active duty and reserve positions, and now he owns his own consulting company—Rickard Consulting Group, a fighter aviation related corporation that has grown since he started it more than 15 years ago to include representatives across the county and software products for training purposes. So it’s no surprise that Rickard chose a patriotic-themed paint design.
What is somewhat surprising is the name of the boat—Hellion, a nod to the emblem on the Air Force 302nd Fighter Squadron patch (at right, click to enlarge). Rickard said the logo is going to be included on the transom along with the Hellion name, which will be done in the squadron font. He added that once the boat arrives at Big Thunder Marine this summer, he and Angie are going to get to select the SeaDek color they think looks best and Big Thunder will install it before delivering the boat to the Rickards.
Editor’s note: Speedonthewater.com plans to follow up with Rickard once the first Fountain Powerboats 38 SC is delivered to him in the coming weeks.
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