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New venture for Reggie Fountain

Reggie Fountain is back.

Less than two months after announcing his departure from Fountain Powerboats, the company he founded 30 years ago and eventually sold after a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Fountain told Soundings Trade Only this morning that he's back in the boating business with a new company called RF, or Real Fast Powerboats.

"We're embarking on a new adventure," he said. "I'm not ready to quit yet. I'm going to start up what I had in a small way."

Fountain said he plans to start with two boats - a 39 center console, open and closed bow with a cabin on it - and a 43. He's already had orders and deposits from former Fountain customers, he said.

Fountain will lease space at Brooks Boatworks in Washington, N.C., to build his boats and he plans to use space at his home, also in Washington, for research, testing and development. His home also will serve as a center for VIP service that RF customers can expect.

"We're going to completely shower these people with personal attention when they buy these boats," he said, adding that service will be a major component of his company.

Boats will be sold factory-direct, as well as through a few select dealers, Fountain said.

He hopes to build 25 boats in the first year, with the first expected out in five months or so.

As for who's funding the new business, Fountain said, "Right now it's me, myself and I," although he's had interest from potential investors.

"I have a number of people that say they want to invest and, depending on who invests and how much, this thing can take a fast track," Fountain said. "Already the first boats are sold. The speed with which we move will depend upon investors."

Many former Fountain employees are interested in working with him, Fountain added, as well as his two sons.

"Most all of my key people with the company have either left up there or been fired and so, that being the case, they're all available and looking for something to do," Fountain said.

With no overhead other than marketing, Fountain said he expects to turn a profit fairly quickly.

"[At] 25 boats and we're in good shape. We can break even at 15," he said.

— Beth Rosenberg

b.rosenberg@tradeonlytoday.com

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