Thanks to the staggered engine installation, the 35 Lightning/ICBM's hatches are extra long, measuring just under 6'. The cockpit is 6'3" long. Fountain says that the cockpit length hasn't shortened. Instead, the company smartly condensed the least used area on any go-fast boat, the cabin. The implementation of a new one-piece sliding cabin hatch necessitated the aforementioned raised engine control box because otherwise the cables and bottoms of the levers wouldn't have cleared the hatch when you slid it closed. Once you're belowdecks, aft to port is a small galley area with a drop-in cooler and sink. When nature calls, the private head is arranged so that an adult can sit comfortably.
Rear passengers in the cockpit will also be sitting pretty during your 100-mph blast thanks to Fountain's improved three individual bolsters in the aft seat, instead of the more typical flat bench. The seat has stowage in the base, and you'll find more space for gear in the gunwale trays. Up front, the bolsters are on aluminum frames, and to me, the boat is more comfortable to drive while seated. The windscreen protects the driver from the elements and the Livorsi instruments are in clear view. Forward of the compass, the dash should be finished in a glare-killing color such as gray, instead of the blinding white on my test model. Also, I'd rather see the water temperature gauge positioned where I could see it better, possibly in the spot occupied by the oil temperature gauge, because water temperature is a better indicator of engine health.
After your 106-mph run, you'll want to raise the engine hatches to show off the bullets that propel your missile. The engines are laid out port forward with the water tank aft. Aluminum L-angle brackets through-bolted to the stringers provide the anchor to which the cradle-style racing mounts through-bolt. The trim pumps are on the forward firewall bulkhead for easy refills. Batteries are forward on each side of the compartment. Rigging looks clean, but attention to detail is lacking under the gunwales.
Fountain builds the 35 Lightning/ICBM for a hassle-free life. Using high-density foam cores in the construction ensures a strong hull and keeps down weight. Proprietary quad-directionally woven fiberglass that's laid in by hand provides strength across all angles, and it's wetted out with vinylester resin that provides for even saturation with no cosmetic issues. Fountain replaced the old-school plywood stringers, and now the bulkheads and transom are composite-cored to give the boat a strong backbone without the risk of water intrusion. Finally, when the hull and deck are put together, they're sealed around the interior perimeter with fiberglass mat and a super-strong adhesive. Then that seam is capped with a plastic rubrail, protecting graphics from accidental scuffs around the docks-after all, you might be too preoccupied with bragging about your 106.1-mph top end to pay attention when pulling into the slip.
EXTRA POINT: Think a staggered 35' Fountain is something new? A canopied 35-footer was among the first Factory II class boats to run 100 mph nearly 10 years ago.