Fountain Powerboat’s new 38SCX is ideal for hanging at the sandbar or bar hopping.
By PRA’s Gregg Mansfield
When Reggie Fountain started Fountain Powerboats, he staked his reputation on building the fastest and best-handling powerboats in the industry.
Five decades later that DNA still exists at Fountain Powerboats, especially when it comes to the North Carolina builder’s new 38SCX center-console boat, an updated version of its popular 38SC. Buyers going all in can own a 90-mph center console with quad Mercury Racing 400R outboards on the transom.
“The boat definitely says, ‘I’m a performance Fountain’ and it is,” said Jeff Harris, chief operating officer for Iconic Marine Group. “It’s the best performance center console in its class by a longways. Second place isn’t even close on the performance, fuel economy and top speed.”
As the industry transitioned from sport boats to center consoles, Fountain was in the right position to capture the emerging market. Fountain had introduced its first fishing boats in the late 1990s and the center-console line powered the company for the next decade.
That legacy is obvious in the 38SCX with a stepped-bottom design that is regularly updated to improve handling and performance.
Fountain gave the 38SCX (38’ 4” LOA, 10’ 6” beam) a styling makeover for 2023, leaving few areas untouched. From the helm to the overnight cabin, the Fountain is perfect for bar hopping on Lake of the Ozarks or soaking up the sun on a Florida sandbar
“We’ve had customers that sell their ski boat and sell their other cruiser and they buy a center console because you can put 15 people on it,” Harris said. “Having maximum seating is king.”
Fountain offers the 38SCX with double row stand-up bolsters and a new contoured T-top with integrated lockers extends over the second-row bolsters. A three-piece ventilated glass windshield protects from the elements.
Inverter-powered air conditioning keeps the cockpit (and cabin) cool on hot days. Fountain offers an optional 5 kW Panda generator for full-time air conditioning.
The 38SCX has a redesigned aft bench seating that extends the full width, a first for a Fountain center-console model. The bench seats include an insulated storage/ice chest with a padded armrest and drink holders.
In front of the console are individual chaise lounges with articulating armrests that are the second-best seats on the boat. The bow has U-shaped seating with forward-facing backrests great for when the boat is at speed. A bow table can be used for meals or to create a spacious berth.
The 38SCX comes standard with a starboard transom door for access to the cockpit. For easier access, Fountain offers an optional dive door with a ladder. Additional creature comforts include a Seakeeper 3 gyostablizer.
Fountain has a simplified but powerful helm on the 38SCX. A standard C-Zone system eliminates the toggle switches with the onboard systems, navigation and music entertainment controlled through dual 17-inch Garmin GPSMAP-8617 touchscreens. The helm also comes with Mercury VesselView.
Helm upgrades offered include a VHF radio and antenna, a 50-watt dome radar, autopilot for the Garmin system and a Fusion stereo remote.
The 38-foot boat can host a small party and music is a big part whether hanging at the sandbar or heading to the next restaurant on the lake. The 38SCX has 29 speakers that are powered by a Fusion RA 770 touch-screen entertainment center with built-in Wi-Fi. Five JL Audio amplifiers deliver a combined 4,000 watts.
One of the coolest features is the anchor locker that opens to showcase four speakers. The cockpit and Shadowcaster underwater lighting can change colors to the beat, putting on a show at the docks.
Cabins are typically an afterthought on performance center consoles, but not on Fountain’s 38SCX. Spending the night is a treat, especially with dedicated air conditioning.
The side entrance door features a heavy-duty pantograph hinge for easy access to the cabin. Inside the cabin includes a couch that converts to a full-size sleeper and a VacuFlush ceramic toilet. A pullout sink shower allows for a quick cleanup before going out for the evening. A freshwater wash-down is available in the cockpit.
The electrical panel is accessible in the cabin with easy access to the electronics in the console.
To help buyers create their own unique 38SCX, Fountain offers 18 solid color hullsides in gel and paint colors or six graphics packages.
The customization extends to the upholstery giving buyers color choices for the base, quilted panel base, vinyl accent, piping, stitching and embroidered logos. Fountain offers three stitching patterns standard including the iconic lightning bolt. Fountain provides cupholders and USB outlets throughout the boat.
Fountain offers the 38SCX with triple or quad outboards from Mercury Marine and Mercury Racing. If buyers opt for the base power of triple Mercury Marine 300-hp boards, the 38SCX has a top speed of 70 mph at wide-open throttle with a range of 557 miles at a 40-mph cruising speed, according to Fountain. Opting for triple Mercury Racing 450R outboards, the boat will reportedly run 85 mph.
Buyers who opt for the quad Mercury Racing 400R outboards on the transom will have a top speed well over 90 mph, Harris said. Cruising at 40 mph, the package offers a range of nearly 390 miles on the 418-gallon tank.
“Some people don’t need all the extra power. They just want the amenities and the cool look,” Harris said. “The Mercury triple 300s are still a really good engine option for this boat because even with that power it will push the boat up into the 70-mph range.”
Fountain Powerboats debuted the 38SCX at the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October and the center console will be at the 2023 Miami Boat Show in February.
Fountain 38SCX Specifications
Dry weight: approx. 15,000 pounds
Fuel capacity: 418 gallons
Base Power: (3) Mercury Marine 300-hp outboards
For more information: 252-975-2000 www.fountainpowerboats.com