Powerboat racing legend and longtime self-described “Fountain man” Ben Robertson and his crew at BAR Marine Group in Jacksonboro, S.C., are in the process of installing a pair of Mercury Racing 1350 engines in a Fountain 42 Lightning sporboat for a client in Stockholm, Sweden. Built in 2008, the 42-footer originally was powered by twin Mercury Racing 700 SCi engines with NXT drives.
Currently in South Carolina from a customer based in Sweden, this Fountain 42’ Lightning is being repowered with Mercury Racing 1350 engines.
Robertson estimated that the repowered V-bottom should top 150 mph. He said he expects to have it on the water for its first sea trial early next week—the boat is scheduled to be shipped back to Sweden on July 1.
“Basically, we are rigging this boat the same way we would rig a raceboat with braided stainless steel hoses for the oil system and stainless fittings everywhere—we’ve replaced all the original brass fittings,” Robertson said. “Right now we’re still plumbing the boat, and we’re waiting on the CMI exhaust system. We also turned over the boat and reworked the bottom, and we added (Mercury Racing) M8 drives.”
Robertson expects the 42-footer to top 150 mph with its new powerplants.
Robertson said he’s hoping to be able to have his longtime friend, mentor and former teammate, Reggie Fountain, the founder of Fountain Powerboats, on hand for the 42-footer’s first sea trial. BAR Marine, which Robertson founded in 1993 and has been producing 17- to 22-foot Talon bay and flats boats for the past three years, specializes in revitalizing Fountain sportboats and center consoles.
“Thanks to my affiliation with Reggie and racing, business has been good,” Robertson said. “We get a lot of boats in from overseas, as well as from the States. We have a couple of poker run boats coming down from Michigan now—we’re putting Sterling engines in those.”
Editor’s note: Look for a report early next week on the testing of the repowered 42-foot Fountain on speedonthewater.com.