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Earlier this month, Reggie Fountain II, the founder of Fountain Powerboats and the man who built the company into the largest manufacturer of offshore performance and center console boats when he was president/CEO, joined the team at Iconic Marine Group. The owner of Fountain Powerboats, Baja Marine and Donzi Marine, Iconic occupies the former Fountain Powerboats factory on the Pamlico River in Washington, N.C.
Fountain officially signed with the company on the first weekend of August and he said one of the first assignments the ownership gave him was, “I’m supposed to go around and look at everything and fix what I see is broken.”
Initially, the company is focusing on 34’ and 38’ outboard-powered center consoles that Reggie Fountain II had originally designed. Fountain would like to see the company start building 35’, 42’ and 47’ performance models as well, but he recognizes that he has people he has to answer to. If they want to build center consoles then he will help the company manufacture the best center-consoles it can produce. He said that one of the biggest signs of the mismanagement that took place after he left the company was that the molds for the 38’ Lighting and Fever performance models were destroyed. That boat was one of the most popular in the company’s history.
Fountain’s other marching orders are for a mission that is near and dear to his heart. The company wants to take back the V-bottom kilo-speed record that Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats now holds at just over 181 mph.
Prior to Outerlimits setting the record on the Pamlico River, Reggie Fountain II and Ben Robertson had established the mark at just over 170 mph. A new twin-step, pad-bottom 40’ Fountain with an enclosed cockpit that the company hopes will re-claim the record is being built at Iconic Marine as this is being written. Robertson will be joined in the cockpit by Reggie Fountain III, who has been working at Iconic Marine for most of 2017.
The elder Fountain said that even though most of the sales have focused on center consoles, taking back the record will show the company’s technological and design prowess. He wasn’t sure who would be providing the power for the record attempt, but he’s hoping for at least 4,000 hp from two motors. “I think getting 190 mph is going to be relatively easy to do,” said Fountain. He admitted that the magic number, 200 mph, will be a bigger challenge.
He bases his speed estimate on some personal experience. Even though his hair is a little grayer than when he was on the kilo course with Robertson, Fountain still remembers that after the boat ran through the course, he stayed in the throttle and the duo saw 184 mph on the GPS before slowing down.
Because he’s so beloved by performance-boating enthusiasts, the company knows that it’s smart to have Reggie Fountain II out and about at upcoming marine events. He will be at the Lake of the Ozarks shootout next weekend and then will attend the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and the Superboat offshore racing world championships in Key West, both of which are in November. If history is anything to go by, the kilo record attempt will probably take place in November, December or January and next up will be the Miami Boat Show in February.
Looking forward, Reggie Fountain II is excited about the future of Iconic Marine Group and especially Fountain Powerboats and the new ownership. “As far as how effective I can be, (the new owner) has 1000 times the resources that I had,” said Fountain. “He seems to want to do it right.” And that’s the only way that Reggie Fountain II has ever known.