Fountain Powerboats—whose legacy as a builder of high-performance and race-proven musclecraft dates back to the 1970s—announced plans Tuesday to introduce the next generation of the Fountain 42 Lightning, widely considered as the most legendary vee-bottom ever built.
With the popularity of center-console boats exploding over the last decade, Fountain’s core business has become its center-console sport and fishing boats. Today, Fountain ranks in the Top 5 nationwide in market share for center console boats over 30 feet.
However, following the purchase of Fountain by Iconic Marine Group (IMG) in 2016, Managing Director Fred Ross and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Harris have gradually been beefing up its high-performance offerings within both its Fountain and Donzi brands. The goal is to reestablish the company as a major force in the high performance stern drive segment.
“Our legacy in the high-performance market is evidenced by the nearly 150 years of collective history between Fountain, Baja and Donzi,” Ross said. “I went on record two years ago about my ongoing commitment high-performance stern-drive boats. “I was serious then, and today with the announcement of an all new Fountain 42′ Lighting I’m even more serious now.”
IMG’s 2020 lineup of I/O-powered vee-bottoms spells out the story pretty clearly, with Baja’s 24, 27 and 36 models, Donzi’s 22 and 38 ZRC, and the Fountain 47. In addition to its go-fast vees, IMG has developed a line of outboard powered cats including the Donzi 44 Icon and the new Fountain 34 Thunder Cat. V-bottom or cat, today, IMG today ranks among the world’s largest buyers of high performance outboards and stern drives.
Ross and Harris, joined by Fountain Director of Dealer Development Fred Pace, laid out the details of the new 42′ Lightning. The boat’s new look honors the classic styling while sporting extensive changes in the deck and cockpit design. The goal: modernize the boat and make it more user-friendly.
“At first glance, this boat has been six months in the making,” Ross said. “But when you consider all the R&D, racing and customer input, it has actually been more than 40 years in the making.”
Harris said that company founder Reggie Fountain—who continues as a consultant with IMG—helped shape the project every step of the way. “Reggie was involved throughout the design phase,” Harris said. “He saw no need to change the running surface—it’s the same, because you really can’t improve on that.”
“The new generation 42′ Lightning incorporates everything I’ve learned over the last 40 years about high performance boating,” Fountain told. “The 42’s performance is legendary and unmatched. No brag, just fact. Just look at the record book. Next you add in all the design and styling updates, and there isn’t a high performance pleasure boat that compares.”
Steve Miller, Mercury Racing‘s Director of Marketing, Sales and Service, said he was delighted to see IMG resurrect the Lightning.
“It’s such great brand, and Mercury has been a part of it for so long,” he told Speedboat. “With the 42 Lightning, modern technology meets those classic lines. I think it’s going to be a runaway hit. With the 1100/1350 dual-calibration engines, it’s going to be a rocketship. Even with the 1100s, it’s going to be a super-fast boat, running on the 89 octane. So we’re really excited to be part of the project, and in the presence of such great partners with Fred and the rest of the good folks at Iconic.”
• Seasmart brushed anodized cleats with the Fountain logo.
• Seasmart brushed anodized fills.
• Single engine hatch controlled via hydraulic hinges (a change from the old-style double hatches from years past).
• Sun pad with walkway on either side.
• Intakes feature a landing big enough for a step.
• Larger intakes.
• Frameless wraparound windshield.
• Raised foredeck for more cabin headroom.
• All-new fiberglass hatches.
Optional collapsible table with insert cushion.
• Forward storage compartment.
• Optional air-conditioning system.
• Optional audio upgrade.
• 2x 7.7 speakers.
• 1x mm100 head unit.
• Cup holders.
• GFI outlets.