We will be back: better, stronger and smarter

Published 8:13 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Iconic Marine Group, the Chocowinity-based parent company of Fountain Powerboats, has spent the last few weeks trying to reclaim a title that once belonged to it. The team took to the Pamlico River again Wednesday morning, but fell short in its aim of tackling the 2014 record — 180 mph for a kilometer — set by a 43-foot Outerlimits V-bottom. Still, the group remains confident and will continue working to bring that speed record back to the Pamlico.


From the day Fred Ross formed Iconic Marine Group, he had a goal that the Fountain brand in the Iconic Marine Group stable should make an attempt at regaining the speed record for a Deep V. Fountain Powerboats held the record and advanced it for years by pushing the performance envelope. As we started the planning for this attempt, we brought back Reggie Fountain Jr., as well as Ben Robertson, and built a team around them that could put a safe, smooth, great-handling and fast boat on the water.

Many aspects in building a company can be difficult and complex. This challenge fits that description. There is investment, dedicated time, talent, coordination and a learning process. We have a new team here at Iconic that we blended with industry veterans for a reason, we are building a world-class organization. You can’t be world-class if you sit back and are content. We are not, and will not be, content to sit back and say, “We gave it a try.”

The boat ran well and we saw some 180-plus speeds in practice, and we made some adjustments. In Tuesday’s attempt, she ran an average of 175 mph. Wednesday, we had an engine issue that will cause us to pull the engines and have Sterling go through them. What this gives us is the ability and time to evaluate, regroup, plan, make some changes, test and go at it again. The difference, this time, is our group is quickly becoming not just talented individuals, but an experienced team. When a team stretches for accomplishment, you find a new level or gear.

WAITING FOR THE WORD: A group of spectators waits for the final speed readings on Wednesday morning. (Michael Prunka/Daily News)

Many have asked me, why we are doing this; will it sell more boats? I would have to say, yes, it will, because we have a better team, and we are willing to do things our competitors wouldn’t even think about attempting. What we have done this week is not for the faint of heart in business or on the water.

Performance comes not just in speed; we strive for advancements in efficiency, expanded range, stability and safety in every boat we put on the water. The team here is dedicated to that philosophy and our mantra. We build the fastest, safest, smoothest, best-handling boats on the water!

As this effort continues, I will continue to acknowledge Outerlimits Powerboats’ team of Mike Fiore, Joe Sgro and Brian Forehand that holds the record at better than 180, and we have the utmost respect in the efforts they dedicated to make it happen.

I would like to thank all that participated in the event, from the Iconic Marine personnel, APBA, OPA, UIM, Dark Side Rescue Team and support teams, to the U.S. Coast Guard and local law enforcement.

We will continue this Kilo attempt with caution in a professional manner with safety and experience. We will announce our next attempt at a later date, but be assured will be back better, stronger and smarter.

No hype, no bravado — it’s business.

Joe Curran is the chief operating officer at Iconic Marine Group, parent company of Fountain Boat, located in Chocowinity.