Hosted by the hard-working team at Big Thunder Marine in Lake Ozark, Mo., last week’s third annual Baja, Fountain and Donzi Fun Run—better known as the BFD Fun Run—went off successfully with another triple-digit boat turnout for the event on the popular Central Missouri waterway.
Jeff and Megan Fiehler and their two friends had a great time during the third annual BFD Fun Run hosted by Big Thunder Marine on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. All photos courtesy Clint Schafnit/Big Thunder Marine/Clint Cole Racing Photos
Paying tribute to the three sister brands—Baja Marine, Donzi Marine and Fountain Powerboats—that are all part of the same company in Washington, N.C., the fun run was very well received according to Jeremy Anderson, general manager of Big Thunder Marine.
“Everyone had a good time between Thursday evening’s meet-and-greet registration at the showroom to Friday’s fun run that hit several amazing establishments around the lake,” Anderson said. “I’m not sure how many people made it to most of the stops—some of them ended up at one place and just stayed there—but I know they had fun all day long. The weather was great so that helped.
“For me it’s fun to see the different owners interacting with each other because they’re all very passionate about their brands, yet they all respect one another and enjoy taking a look at the different boats,” he continued. “It helps that we’re all part of a larger family; no one looks at the other brand and wonders why it’s there. In fact, my favorite part about this event is seeing the Baja Islander next to a 43-foot Donzi or 47-foot Fountain with big blower motors. And seeing families out on the run. We’ve tried to make it as family friendly as possible and I think that is noticeable based on the diversity of people who attend the run.
Easily one the most unique boats in the run, Jeff and Megan Fiehler’s new Fountain Powerboats 34 Thunder Cat (Fountain’s first 34-footer) powered by twin Mercury Racing 450R engines took center stage as the couple from Wentzville, Mo., who owns a home at the lake, ran the red-and-black seven-seat boat in an event for the first time.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the BFD Fun Run.
“We had the boat for about a week before the run, so we didn’t push it too hard, but boy is it a lot of fun to drive,” said Jeff Fiehler, who ended up making a deal on Fountain’s Miami International Boat Show display model with his close friend, Nick Franklin of Big Thunder Marine, after checking out all kinds of brands in search for his first cat. “The torque of the 450R engines is impressive. The boat cruises well, turns nice and has enough punch to get out of trouble if necessary.
“Plus it’s red, which was my grandma’s favorite color, and she’s the one who helped me get my first boat,” he continued. “She’s not alive anymore, but her name was Grace so that’s what we named the boat. In fact the name on the back is in her writing, which is pretty special.”
Fiehler, who already did the Tres Martin Performance Boat School and spent some time in the boat with Billy Moore, the veteran throttleman who is one of Fountain’s resident cat experts, said the chance to get the carbon-fiber-constructed cat was too good to pass up. He’d been deciding between a center console and a cat, and he’s glad he went with the cat.
“We had a great time running with everyone on the lake and meeting them at the Big Thunder party the night before,” said Fiehler, who has two daughters—one is 2 years old and the other is just 4 months. “Everyone who saw the boat at the run had great things to say about it. We love the interior and all of the digital components. It’s quite different than my Formula Boats V-bottom with 500EFI engines.”
Fiehler laughed and added that he and Big Thunder plan to have the 34 Thunder Cat on display during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Not only is it going to be part of the Shootout on the Strip gathering on Wednesday evening (Aug. 26), the Fiehler plans to run it in Friday’s poker run and possibly even make a pass on Saturday or Sunday along the Shootout’s three-quarter-mile course.
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