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370SS vs Fountain 38EC

Old 03-10-2019, 10:06 AM
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Default 370SS vs Fountain 38EC

Continuing the used boat search. Looking at 330SS but a good friend with loads of Great Lake experience also suggested looking at the bigger 370SS. I then stumbled upon the Fountain 38EC in my search. The Fountain has great performance numbers but I am concerned about build quality over the long haul - my friend was not familiar with the 38EC but warned against Fountain's build quality Any thoughts on this boat - the Fountain Forum is quiet. The 37SS is a little slower with similar 496 HO motors but from what I am reading, is heavier, more room, quality through out. In terms on the 37SS, what year groups do you recommend, things to look out for unique to this boat, how does she ride in choppy seas, best cruise fuel flow, etc. As always, thank you for your time - really appreciate it.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:16 PM
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Keep in mind the 370SS is a stepped hull, while the 330SS is not. I'd expect the speed of the 370 to be higher than the 330 with same engines, but that's just my gut.

If you are stepping up to 370, it's brother the 400 is a lot more common, and shares the same stepped hull.

Don't know about Fountain's build quality, but they stopped making the 38, and all like it, right? That could lead to an orphaned model.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:39 PM
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Really good points made. I am tossed between the 370ss and the 330ss. The 330 might be the right boat right now - young kids, beach it, bring people out for joy rides, etc. while the 370 would be a great retirement boat in 10 years. The 350 is the perfect compromise but being newer, it’s out of my used boat price range. You are corrrect with your assessment of stepped hull design and speed. May bite the bullet and try to find a 370 with 496 HOs and call it a day. It’s a little more boat than I like right now but something I can keep well into retirement. As for the 38 - beautiful boat - great lines and about 10 mph faster in terms of WOT and economy cruise. However, they have less oom when compared to the 37Ss. I have been told by extremely experienced boaters that their build quality is no where near a Formula. Perhaps this is why they are no longer made.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:01 AM
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787Drive, I have 370 SS and a guy in our boat club has the 38EC. You're pretty spot on with your OP assessment, both are good boats. The Fountain will be faster and the Formula is nicer with much better build quality. I've actually never ridden in my friend's boat but I have to assume the 370 being heavier lends to a better ride also. The biggest compliant my friend has when he looks at my boat is how much smaller the 38EC's cockpit feels compared to the 370. This is because the Fountain accesses the bow from the gunnels which narrows the cockpit at least foot to make room for the walkways. The Formula has a walk through windshield to access the bow which IMO is the better way to go. The other major difference is underneath, the Fountain has dedicated front birth and divider bulkhead with a door. The Formula's front is wide open to the galley and uses filler cushions to make a bed. He prefers his arrangement, I prefer mine so the is up to your individual taste and the way you boat.

Specifics to the 370, mine is a 2005 and this hull really likes to cruise in the 36 - 38mph range which I'm turning about 3600 - 3800RPM. From my own calculations, it's burning about 36 gallons/hour at these speeds. I just purchased a set of 4x3 Bravo Three XR props (I currently have the factory Bravo Three 3x3 props) and hope the bring the RPM down to the 3400 range with the same speeds.

As far as the 330, I believe the speeds are just as fast and maybe a little faster than the 370 with similar power. Even though the 330 isn't a stepped hull, it's much lighter. The 330 has a surprisingly roomy cockpit also. It has almost the same beam as the 370 and the windshield and helm are much more forward in the boat compared to the 370. Where you loose a lot of the 4' is in the bow and down below but if you mostly day boat, this probably won't matter too much. The biggest complaint I hear about the 330 is the ride quality. The 330 has 1 degree less deadrise and a wide beam relative to the length. Also, with the helm being so far forward, it beats up the captain pretty good. If you boat mostly in a lake or calm waters this might not be an issue.

Last edited by afratki; 03-12-2019 at 10:24 AM. Reason: to add fuel consumption
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:19 AM
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All of the above are accurate. The 370 will feel MUCH bigger and the build quality is significantly better. (I too wanted a 370ss/38EC but ended up with a 400ss last year).

FWIW: Fountains had the divided front berth early on but then in the late 2000's switched to an open cabin layout more like a typical cabin cruiser. Not only does the fountain reduce interior space with a walk-around but they also taper the hull sides in faster creating a narrower beam at the waterline......on a hull that is narrower to start with.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:29 AM
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afratki.....How did the prop change go? Whatíd you gain or lose going to the 4 blade? Was it worth the money?

Last edited by Faster Daddy; 03-24-2020 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 03-22-2021, 12:10 PM
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I am debating the Formula 370 SS versus the Fountain 38 EC. Love the fact that the Fountain has the front bedroom (2002 to 2007?).

I would love to hear comments from someone that has ridden in both boat so as to compare ride. I boat on the Lake of the Ozarks and the waves can get really wicked on weekends and holidays.

Appreciate all the comments in advance.
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by machboat View Post
I am debating the Formula 370 SS versus the Fountain 38 EC. Love the fact that the Fountain has the front bedroom (2002 to 2007?).

I would love to hear comments from someone that has ridden in both boat so as to compare ride. I boat on the Lake of the Ozarks and the waves can get really wicked on weekends and holidays.

Appreciate all the comments in advance.
Iím at Loto. IMO the 370 feels closer to the 330 than a 400 in ride and driving. The 400 is a lot more boat than the fountain but the fountian rides better than them all. I love the formulas and still own one. But they seem to bow steer and like negative trim. The fountain can take some time to get on plane when itís really loaded down but once itís up on top it runs really well. The cockpit is narrow because of the wide gunwales on both sides. If you want more room and less performance the formulas are your boat. If you want the performance of a sport boat and still bring friends with you you want the fountian.
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