In New Orleans, LA., in 1990, one of Reggie Fountain’s largest milestone achievements in offshore racing came when Fountain and longtime navigator Joey Detore used a 47’ V-bottom to defeat actors Chuck Norris, Don Johnson and Kurt Russell in their more powerful, high-tech one-design racing catamarans with his V-bottom.
This version of the 47’ Lightning (2007) might look more modern and have more accommodations, but the spirit of Reggie’s red, white and blue Number 76 still remains in the performance.
The 47’ Lightning has benefited from the company’s involvement in racing. Its twin-step Super Ventilated Positive Lift bottom has been proven on the offshore circuit as evidenced by the 45’ racing version’s running more than 170 mph to set a V-bottom kilo-speed record. In addition to the twin steps, the boat has two pairs of lifting strakes (the inner set ends at the first step), a keel pad and a notched transom.
The power in our test boat was a testament to a Fountain marketing credo, more miles per gallon per dollar spent. The boat was powered by a pair of Mercury Racing’s relatively new 700 SCi’s. They were hooked up to a set of the also new NXT1 (New Xtra Torque) drives and transmissions, which were spinning a set of 38” six-blade props. With a full load of fuel, the boat ran a top speed of 86.2 mph at 5200 rpm with outstanding fuel economy. A combined total of 1,400 hp is not much comparatively and for this power package to push the boat to these speeds shows the efficiency of the bottom design and weight conscious construction.