Fountain’s new boats aren’t just as exciting as always—they are even more so today. That’s thanks to new high-performance outboards, better components and refined integration of electrical systems. The 43 NX is a perfect example of this.
First, you’ve got the quad Mercury 400 R outboards pushing the boat to exciting top speeds. Couple that with the crisp ride of the hull and the efficiency of the double-stepped design, and you’ve got the performance and luxury on which Fountain was founded. In turns, the stepped hull showed none of the bad behaviors for which some steps are known. It stuck to the turns with just a tad of down trim and added throttle coming through. Handling was positive and smooth.
The helm’s height and breadth accommodate triple Simrad 16-inch MFDs, plus Mercury’s 7-inch vessel view and an audio controller; our test boat also was equipped with Optimus 360 joystick steering and autopilot. There is nothing missing to put the captain in command of both navigation and entertainment.
He’s flanked by crew, sharing the three-wide bucket seats with flip-up bolsters for stand-up driving. (Who can remain seated when a standing ovation is in order?)
The center-console design boasts all of the fishing accommodations for which Fountain’s center-consoles are known, but manages to give luxury rides to everyone on board. A full-beam aft bench is only interrupted by port and starboard transom doors. There’s also a starboard-side door with a folding ladder tucked under an adjacent hatch in the sole.
Forward seating includes a double lounge that we think would easily accommodate three passengers; a curved walkway around it leads to wraparound bow seating too. An outdoor galley set behind the helm seats held an electric grill, sink and wine cooler. (Fishermen might swap that for a tackle center with baitwell.) Beneath it are two electric refrigerators, tackle storage and a waste basket.
For overnighting there is a queen berth below the console, complete with a private head, shower, sink and plenty of space for comfort. There’s also a galley area with a microwave and sink.
⋅Panda Fisher genset is a low-emissions diesel generator for safety and convenience.
⋅Optional Sportmaster drives on the Mercs boost performance.
⋅Aft bench seating can be exchanged for a dual livewell and rigging for fishing.
Draft (max): 3′3″(engines down)
Dry Weight: 15,800 lb. (with quad engines)
Seat/Weight Capacity: Yacht Certified
Fuel Capacity: 500 gal.
How We Tested
Engines: Quad Mercury 400R
Drive/Props: Sportmaster Drives/Bravo 1 4-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 270 gal.
Crew Weight: 800 lb.
Fountain Powerboats – Washington, North Carolina; 252-975-2000; fountainpowerboats.com