When boat builders in the sport catamaran segment first began experimenting with Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines, their target top speed was a solid 120 mph. The cats, which range from 28 to 36 feet, didn’t rocket to that speed but most would—given enough time and the right water conditions—eventually get there. A few even were able to run a bit faster.
Serving as a pace boat at last Saturday’s OPA Lake Race, Fountain’s 32 Thunder Cat—the second model built entirely at the company’s Washington, N.C., facility—has raised the bar on Mercury Verado 400R outboard-powered sport catamaran top speeds. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Confirming Reggie Fountain, III’s Facebook page report, which included a GPS photo of the achieved top speed, that Fountain’s 32 Thunder Cat reached 130 mph with “more left” on the Pamlico River behind the Fountain plant, a Big Thunder Marine representative ran the 32-footer to 131 mph on the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri this morning.
“We’re excited to continue testing the 32 cat,” said Joe Curran, the chief operating officer of Iconic Marine Group, Fountain’s parent company, who also ran the boat this weekend. “We’re really looking forward to testing it with Mercury Racing’s new 300R V-8 outboards—we think that will be a great power package for the boat.”
The 32-footer served as a pace boat for last Saturday’s Offshore Powerboat Association on Lake Race on the popular waterway. Said Big Thunder’s Ed Champion, “It’s wicked fast.”
Editor’s Note: Since this story was published, Joe Curran, the chief operating officer of Iconic Marine Group—Fountain’s parent company—confirmed (today) that ECMs in the 32 Thunder Cat Verado 400R outboard engines were modified “for testing purposes.” Said Curran, “We are not developing hulls for today’s power, we are developing them for tomorrow’s power.”