Reggie Fountain, the world-renowned "King of Speed," is in the throes of a major comeback. The former CEO of Fountain Powerboats has a new venture—one that, by all rights, should catapult the famous offshore racer (along with his two sons) to the top of the performance arena.
Reggie has been working tirelessly with sons Wyatt and Reggie III on Fountain Performance Marine, a 23,000-square-foot Washington, N.C.-based facility designed to service, refurbish and increase the performance on virtually any boat. Working with him are a team of key individuals who have been with the Fountain family for a significant amount of time.
"We're working with the good folks who were with us at Fountain Powerboats—some who have been with us for 30+ years, either as employees or subcontractors," said Wyatt Fountain. "So we've still got the same talent pool. From upholstery and canvas covers to vinyl graphics, troubleshooters and testers, we've got all of it covered here."
Wyatt emphasized Fountain's new mission: to improve, modify and renew "any boat out there," regardless of size, age, brand or power configuration. "I've got a Contender fishing boat sitting here right now," he said. "We'll share our speed secrets with anybody. We can take your boat and upgrade it to today's specifications." Although the setups on older boats is not as sophisticated as on today's powerhouses, the Fountain crew can refurbish anything to make it look and run as if it had come off one of today's assembly lines.
"Boats come in running one speed and leave running another," Wyatt said. "Eric and Gavin Seeley brought us their 2005 42' Lightning. When it came in, it was running around 94 mph. and when it left, it was running 122."
Reggie and Wyatt Fountain.
Fountain's one-stop-shop approach is the hallmark of Fountain's new performance center, with experts on hand to deal with any problem—motors, drives, routine service, custom service. "When putting their boats together, a lot of guys will go to one guy who fixes motors, then visit a different shop to resolve a drive problem, then go to an expert on propellers, and then take the boat to another shop to see a fiberglass guy with a different issue," Wyatt said, "and finally they'll wind up searching for an upholstery shop. But if you bring the boat to us, we can take care of the whole shebang."
He adds that nobody else can deliver all of this with Fountain's unique approach to personal service. "We were here on Father's Day delivering a boat," Wyatt said. "That's the kind of service that you get from us."
The question remains: Will Fountain return to building new boats? Plans are still on the drawing board, but Reggie told Performance Boats that a new 43' vee hull would likely be available in 2013—and that he may finally enter the cat market with a new 40' offshore cat.