Later today, Reggie Fountain, III, and Billy Moore will head out for their second test session in a 40-foot canopied Fountain sportboat designed and built to make an assault on the American Powerboat Association Unlimited V-bottom kilometer speed record this Saturday. According to Reggie Fountain, Jr., the founder of the Washington, N.C., company that bears his name and the leader of the kilo boat project, yesterday’s test session met and even exceeded expectations.
“With the engines at the 1,500-hp level and running 60 percent throttle, they ran 165 mph with no problem,” he said. “It was like a Sunday drive.”
Laid up using the vacuum-infusion process incorporating vinylester resin, Kevlar, carbon fiber and quad-directional fiberglass, the 40-footer weighs 9,200 pounds without fuel. The hull was derived from the original Fountain 42’ Lightning minus the swim platform and cut down one foot to reduce bow flare, according to Fountain
“At these speeds, we don’t need any extra bow lift,” he said. “The boat has a 22-degree bottom with a 14-degree pad and an eight- to 10-inch setback. We must have blueprinted it about half a dozen times. It’s about as perfect as it can get.”
Fountain said that the boat’s cockpit capsule was built to Union Internationale Motonautique—powerboat racing’s international sanctioning body (the American Power Boat Association is the domestic arm of the UIM)—safety standards and includes a steel roll bar, multiple air bags, full-time oxygen and “hard-mounted” five-point harnesses and bucket seats for the driver and copilot. Meeting the exacting UIM requirements made the boat 250 pounds heavier than the V-bottom Fountain used to set a kilo record in 2004.
Engine builder Mike D’Anniballe of Sterling Performance in Milford, Mich., arrived in Washington today to assist with testing and upping the power output of his 557-cubic-inch engines when the time comes. While their peak operating speed is 7,500 rpm, the 1,900-hp turbocharged engines make their peak horsepower at 6,800 rpm and peak torque of 1,500 foot-pounds at 4,700 rpm. At the 1,500-hp output, the turbochargers run 11 pounds of boost. At 1,900 hp, the boost goes up to 18 pounds.
“The biggest changes in going from the original 1,700-hp Sterlings to the 1,900-hp versions happened in the valve train with a little more lift and a more-aggressive cam,” said D’Anniballe. “We also went with a different impeller and housing to improve the efficiency of the turbochargers.
“I just got here,” he added. “I talked to Billy Moore and all he said about yesterday was, ‘It was incredible. The boat walked on plane.’ And that was with a 41-inch-pitch prop and a very tall gear.”.....click here to read full story.