To be fair, the first Fountain Powerboats sport catamaran model—a 32-footer—showed a lot potential. To be honest, it was far from a finished product. It was a bit rougher around the edges in fit and finish than most of its competitors in the class and it also rode a tad harder. But it also was significantly less expensive than the other offerings in its segment.
Fountain’s new-for-2020 34 Thunder Cat is a welcome and worthy addition to the outboard engine-powered sport catamaran segment. Photo by Mark Spencer/courtesy Fountain Powerboats.
That model is no longer in the Washington, N.C., boatbuilder’s lineup. It’s been replaced by the Fountain 34 Thunder Cat that is—from workmanship to ride quality—a far more polished and impressive offering. And with a base sticker price of $307,400 with twin Mercury Racing 300R outboards, it still is on the low price side of the sport cat market.
Of course, the 34-footer we logged some time in with the company’s Billy Moore on the Pamlico River behind the Fountain plant was equipped with a bit more juice in the form of two Mercury Racing 450R outboards. Those engines upped the as-tested price to $385,500.
Still, that, too, is on the lower end of the sport cat price spectrum. And yet nothing about the boat felt cheap.
Fountain set up the boat with Mercury Racing CNC 14-3/4” x 38” five-blade cleaver propellers. The gear ratio in the outboards was 1.60:1. During our tests, the chop on the Pamlico River whipped up to a wild and crazy six to 12 inches and the 34 Thunder Cat had no trouble dominating them. As expected, the ride was smooth throughout. We’d have been disappointed with anything less.
To enjoy the complete feature, click the download link for the PDF of the November/December 2019 Speed On The Water magazine, and please share any feedback with us below, via email or on social media.