Fountain Powerboats Delivers 30′ Lightning SVL Race BoatPublished 6:42pm Saturday, September 7, 2013
Proving that its custom race boat shop still has what it takes to build a highly competitive thoroughbred for the Super Boat International racing circuit, Fountain Powerboats, a division of Baja Marine, recently delivered an ultra-fast, smooth-running Fountain 30′ Lightning SVL to Absolutely Not team owner and driver Mark Gibbons of Long Island, N.Y.
Fountain’s in-house team fabricated the boat’s hull, deck and cockpit, and designed the graphics in collaboration with Gibbons, while North Carolina race boat guru Jerry Haney did the rigging. After scorching the river behind the Baja/Fountain/Donzi/Pro-Line factory in sea trials, the new 30-foot Absolutely Not makes her race debut this weekend in the Suberboat Vee Class in the 23rd Annual New York Super Boat Grand Prix, Sept. 6 – 8.
“She came out better than I ever dreamed,” Gibbons said. “We are super-pleased with how she did in the testing. I’m looking forward to racing her in the New York Super Boat Grand Prix – this is our home race.”
Gibbons, who started racing in 2006 with Peter Meyer on the 40′ Fountain Superboat Extreme Instigator team, has spent the last few years campaigning his own 27′ Activator Absolutely Not in the Suberboat Vee Class with Tommy Palasciano as throttle man and chief mechanic. After flipping that boat, rebuilding it and upgrading its equipment with Haney’s help, Gibbons began thinking about building a custom Fountain race boat.
“I felt that Fountain was the safest and fastest thing out there,” he said.
Once the Fountain 30′ Lightning SVL’s hull and deck were built, Gibbons had Haney transferred the Activator’s Mercury Racing 525 sterndrive engine to the new boat, along with its navigation instruments. Gaffrig, which sponsors Absolutely Not, contributed a brand new gauge array. Dane Efretz aided Haney in rigging the race boat. Then it went back to Fountain for final tweaking and testing.
“Everybody at Fountain took so much pride in the project – it was like it was their own boat,” Gibbons said.
Members of the Fountain custom race boat design and construction team who contributed to the Absolutely Not project include Chief Engineer David Hardison; Lamination Manager Reggie Ross; Upholstery and Woodshop Manager Guy Woolard; Graphics Designer Clint Garant; Technician Joel Kinney, who did the layup; Tommy Respass, manager of the plex and metal shop, and James Bass, service technician, who helped to complete and run the boat during the sea trials. Most of these staff members have been with Fountain for more than 20 years.
“Despite the gossip and the rumors, we have a team of people here who know how to build a race boat and make it perform. I’m proud of our team and what they’ve accomplished with the new Absolutely Not,” said Baja Marine CEO Johnny Walker. “It has been a real pleasure working with Mark and Jerry on this project. I will be at the race in New York to cheer them on.”
For more information, visit www.fountainpowerboats.com.