The founder of Fountain Powerboats, Reggie Fountain is back where he belongs—involved with the Washington, N.C., company he started almost 40 years ago. And make no doubt about it, the 77-year-old legend is excited about returning to the helm of one of the most recognizable brands in the business.
Reggie Fountain, Jr., and Reggie Fountain, III, test a Fountain sportboat in June. Photos courtesy Reggie Fountain, III
The news of Fountain joining Iconic Marine Group, which purchased the Fountain, Donzi Marine, Baja Marine and Pro-Line boat brands more than a year ago and sold the Pro-Line brand at the end of 2016 (read the story), was reported in a TradeOnlyToday.com story on Wednesday. The story also reported that Iconic is set to release several new models at upcoming boat shows.
“There’s some very familiar names over the last 100 years that have changed the business, and Reggie’s one of them, especially when it comes to performance,” Iconic Marine Group COO Joe Curran told Trade Only Today. “He’s definitely energized with this project. He’s going to have everything to do with performance and building a performance team around that [Fountain] brand, and so we’ll see how it develops.”
Fountain Powerboats set the V-bottom class record of 171.88 mph with a run by Reggie Fountain and Ben Robertson in 2004. Ten years later, in an American Power Boat Association-sanctioned special event on the Pamlico River near the Iconic factory, Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats established a new speed record of 180.464 mph in a 43-foot V-bottom with twin Mercury Racing 1650 engines.The plan is for Fountain to work internally on several projects, including a boat he expects to obliterate the kilo world speed record.
“It’s true, I’m back—and I’m looking forward to helping in any way I can,” Fountain told speedonthewater.com this week. “The main thing we’re going to do is get back to doing a lot of things we did before that made the brand so successful.”
Not only did Fountain point to the sportboat line, he also mentioned the center console market as Fountain Powerboats is planning to release both a 39- and 42-foot center console in fishing and recreational editions, as well as rebooting the 48-foot Express Cruiser that he said the company built 79 of in a four-year span before the economy took a turn for the worse.
“We’re going to have our hands in everything again,” Fountain said while mentioning that the factory’s 40-foot raceboat will be ready for competition for the 2018 season. “The raceboat is going to be fun—so is going after the kilo record—but this is about building boats and this organization has some good ideas on what to do to move the brand forward. We’ll be doing the same thing with the Baja and Donzi lines, but for now our focus is on getting Fountain Powerboats back to where it should be.”
When asked about a timeline for the Fountain Powerboats kilo record attempt, Fountain said the boat is going to be rigged with twin Mercury Racing 1750 engines—that’ll be 500 more hp than the record-setting boat that was built with twin 1,500-hp Sterling Performance engines not to mention standards for design, materials and technology that are almost 15 years old—and should be ready for testing and an attempt this fall.
“It’s going to bring back some of the Fountain enthusiasts; he’s definitely going to be a statesman of the brand,” Curran said. “Make no bones about it, Reggie’s there to work with ownership and management of the company and be part of the team. I’ve gotten to know him quite a bit in the last six months, and he’s a good man with a lot left in the tank.”
Iconic Marine Group Sells Pro-Line Brand to Former Partner
Iconic Marine Group Building New Fountain Offshore Raceboat
Outerlimits Breaks 180-MPH Kilo-Run Barrier
Fountain Sees ‘No Reason’ for Kilo Record Attempt