Our Test Ride Aboard the New Fountain 32 Thunder Cat

A rock-steady roadster at 120 mph

Iconic Marine dropped hull #3 of the its new Fountain 32 Thunder Cat in the water for us last week at the factory in Washington, N.C., the our first impression was a good one. Designed specifically to match the powerband of a pair of Mercury Racing 400R outboards, this 5,500-pound (rigged) is relaxed and steady at an effortless 90 mph, and topped out at 120 mph under the experienced hand of Reggie Fountain III.

New Fountain 32 Thunder Cat
Charles Plueddeman and Reggie Fountain III.Courtesy Iconic Marine Group/Mark Spencer

The boat has concave pads that let it heel slightly into turns, rather than turning flat in typical cat fashion. Overall deadrise is just 15 degrees, but there are three pronounced lifting strakes and each has its own variable deadrise. There’s so much surface area the boat will plane at less than 5 mph.

The cockpit measures about 5 feet by 7 feet, and there is more than 3 feet of legroom between the rear bench and front bucket seats. Hull #3 is rigged with an all-electronic dash; a central Garmin 7616 and a Garmin 7612 to port, plus a Mercury VesselView 703 tucked into the driver’s inwale. Mercury Racing Zero Effort controls are mounted to the driver’s right, but the boat can be built with a console and center-mounted controls. The windshield deflects all wind blast over the cockpit. Conversation was possible at very high speeds.

Watch for a full review of the Fountain 32 Thunder Cat in a future issue of Boating Magazine.