Captain's ReportOver twenty years ago, Reggie Fountain began his journey into the consumer performance boat market place. He brought with him decades of high-speed experience from F1 racing, and set out to provide the avid boater with a racing quality product. The boat that stared it all was the 10-meter Executioner. Today, the Fountain factory is offering this legend in a totally redesigned package. The 35 Lighting is all-new with the proven notched transom, pad keel and positive lift ventilated hull. They didn’t stop there; the cabin and cockpit have also been completely redesigned to provide more room and greater comfort both above and below deck.As with most performance boats, you start with the power package and work your way forward. This boat comes standard with a pair of MerCruiser’s new 496 HO MAG sterndrives. Coupled to Bravo One drives, this boat will do 80 mph with no problem. You can order your Lighting with almost anything from MerCruiser or you could opt for a pair of efficient Yanmar diesels, if all day high speed cruising is your bag. Fortunately, our test boat came equipped with a pair of wonderful Merc. 575 Csi’s. These engines put out over 550 hp at the prop by supercharging and electronically controlling the fuel injection through two throttle bodies. Now if that’s too much tech talk for you, then the most important point is our test boat got to an eye watering 92 mph! Reggie explained to me that with a little coaching at the throttles, he could get me to 95 mph. Needles to say, I’m looking forward to some high-speed training with the king. At the edge of the 35’s top end speed you do get a bit of chine walk that can be tempered by tabs, or you can be like the faint hearted and back off the throttles. This is a difficult decision because once you hear the superchargers whine at high speed, the screaming turbine like melody entrances you.The 35 Lighting exhibits outstanding handling characteristics. Her mannerisms are predictable and she provides the confidence to take on more speed and rougher waters. I was impressed with how the boat could virtually turn on a dime at over 50 mph with no loose feeling like you get with some ventilated hulls. The years of research and development have truly paid off! I liked how the boat required very little attention once on plane. Most hulls require constant adjustment of the drives and tabs to get the perfect ride angle at various speeds. I have found that Fountain boats are almost a ‘set and forget’ style of driving. Even while planing, they have an exceptional line of site over the bow.There is more to this boat than just cardiac arrest speed. She also has a well thought out cockpit and cabin. The size of the cockpit is the same as her big brothers, the 38 and 42 Lighting models. Lay out is typical with a wide bench seat aft and separate helm seats with the companionway down the center. As always with the Fountain sport boats, electric drop bolster seats provide the security you need when pushing the throttles. The Fountain helm is also distinctive, with lefty throttles and shifters. Drive and trim switches join the controls on the left and are complimented by the Gaffrig gauges. The left-handed set-up was awkward for me, especially at 90 + mph, but I’m sure you can get used to it. So if have the need for speed, but are looking for something more refined than just a race boat, keep in mind that Reggie has been working to perfect this speed machine for over twenty years. By Capt. Ron SvobodaTest Captain
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Fountain 35 Lightning is 91.7 mph (147.6 kph), burning 94.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 356.55 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Fountain 35 Lightning is 39.2 mph (63.1 kph), and the boat gets 1.23 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.52 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 201 miles (323.48 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 525-hp MerCruiser 575 SCi (Bravo I).
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!