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Reflections On The Donzi 38 ZRC

Uploading digital images of a new Donzi Marine 38 ZRC sportboat for Ricky Damien, the crazy-talented art director who handles designing the annual Speed On The Water Year In Review issue, I found a couple of shots that caught my eye. OK, that’s incorrect—all of them caught my eye, but two stood out.

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Skipping across the waters of Miami’s Biscayne Bay, the new Donzi 38 ZRC proved picture perfect (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Iconic Marine Group.


One has the 38-footer, which popularized sit-down V-bottoms in the modern era, in motion. The other has it barely moving. Both are spectacular.

And both are the work of Mark Spencer, who is handling marketing and media relations for Donzi, Fountain Powerboats and Baja Marine.

Readers of a certain vintage will recall Spencer as a former Powerboat magazine editor. Spencer replaced himself with Eric Colby, who hired me as the publication’s managing editor in 1993. When Colby moved on to a gig at Boating magazine, Doug Thompson, a superb outdoor writer from the Ventura County Star, took over editor in chief position. He was followed in the role by Jo Stich, Brett Becker, Gregg Mansfield and Jason Johnson, who eventually moved on to become the co-publisher and executive editor of speedonthewater.com.

You started all of this,” I told Spencer last Wednesday afternoon on the way to the airport in Greenville, N.C., after a frenetic 45 hours in nearby Washington—the home of Fountain, Donzi and Baja. “You should be proud.”

He just smiled.

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Even when it’s sitting mostly still, the Donzi 38 ZRC is a stunner (click image to enlarge).

A former Powerboat magazine editors reunion of sorts, Johnson, Colby and I converged on Washington to test reborn Donzi and Fountain models and report. A profile of the Fountain 47 Lightning ran on speedonthewater.com last Wednesday and you can read about the Donzi 38 ZRC next Tuesday. But in a meaningful way, it struck me that without the editorial standards Spencer set at Powerboat so many years ago, none of us would have been there.

Plus, as you can see from the images here, the guy is one hell of a photographer.

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