For many Fountain fans across the country, left-hand throttle-and-shifter placement is sacred. So the depiction of those controls on the right side of the helm station in a recent speeonthewater.com story on the new 42 Lightning from Fountain Powerboats did not go unnoticed.
Despite that the article explained that the controls could be mounted on the right or left side of the helm station, much of the Fountain faithful lost its collective mind at the misperceived slight to the Washington, N.C., brand and its iconic founder, Reggie Fountain, Jr.
The Fountain faithful can exhale. For those who want the throttles and shifters on the left side of the helm station, the dash was designed to accommodate that option.
Said Mark Spencer, Fountain’s marketing and media man, “We solved the age-old controversy about left- or right-hand throttles. Now, you can have it either way.”
Powered by Mercury Racing 1350/1100 dual-calibration engines, the first 42-footer will be Greg Knutson’s second Fountain sportboat. The Pacific Northwest-based owner bought a 38 Fever in 1996 and has used it ever since. Knutsen and his local mechanic eventually hopped up the 38-footer’s original engines with superchargers and the boat was able to touch 100 mph. But when his mechanic retired, he decided it was time to look for something knew.
“It was a really good boat for us, but I figured it was time for me and my 24-year-old son to get into something new,” said Knutson. “I have always been a Fountain and had wanted to buy a new Fountain sportboat for the past several years, but that really wasn’t possible. We wanted to go faster, so it’s time for something new.”
Ask on which slide of the helm station he’ll have the builder install the boat’s throttles and shifters, he laughed. “On the left. Of course.”
Though Knutsen’s new boat is considerably more expensive thanks to his choice in power, graphics upgrade and more. a “standard ” 42 Lightning with a two-color paintjob (see the red and black model in the slideshow at the bottom of the page) twin Mercury Racing 565 engines and no additional options, the boat lists for $495,900.
Ordered with custom colors, the first 42 Lightning is going to a Greg Knutson in Portland, Ore.
Powered by Mercury Racing 860 engines and a bit more loaded with options, the boat lists for $689,900. Options include premium graphics (a $20,000 upgrade), a black-bottom hull, colored deck gel, custom-color marine mat, air-conditioning, a Garmin 8610 GPS unit in the port dash, a Garmin 8612 GPS unit in the helm station dash, Mercury VesselView 502 monitors on the backs of the driver and copilot bolsters, an upgraded JL Audio sound system and RGB Underwater Lights. Cabin features include a refrigerator, a cabin table that coverts to form a V-berth and a Dometic head unit.
The Fountain 42 Lightning can be ordered with premium (gray-blue example above) and standard (red and black) graphics packages.