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Weird question, trying to reach "38fountainecman". Fountain 38 EC questions.

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Weird question, trying to reach "38fountainecman". Fountain 38 EC questions.

Old 01-08-2022, 01:10 PM
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Default Weird question, trying to reach "38fountainecman". Fountain 38 EC questions.

Anyone know him?

I had a Fountain 38 Express Cruiser specific drive question and he used to comment in this Fountain forum about his boat a lot in the past. Looks like he hasn't logged into OSO since 9/2019 and I was just hoping someone knew him, his email or some way to get a message to him.

Thanks for the help.



Since I'm posting, questions I have about my boat.

2005 Fountain 38 Express Cruiser. 496 Mag HO w/whipples. Bravo 3 XZ dual prop drives with 30P 3 blades. (front and rear)


- Had so many issues with my Bravo 3s this year I'm trying to find people that have done a drive swap to a Bravo 1 drive. I'm trying to see if Bravo 1 XRs (or XZs) or IMCO SCXs are a better choice. Obviously SCXs will work better than XRs but come with a price. But maybe it's best to throw that money at it now and be done with it over rebuilding XRs or XZs every 2-3 seasons.

Switching to a single prop drive, I understand maneuverability around the docks could be worse and that getting on plane will take longer or have more of a potential to blow out. I believe it's the stress caused by the lack of prop slip that the dual props puts on the gearsets and shafts that may be better less with the single props drives. I have read past threads of others doing this swap but the information is not overly specific of what drive/ratio/etc was used and if they worked as hoped and expected with less failures.


- The anchor grabs for sh!t! I have only tried using it once so maybe I need to go out somewhere with no other boats around and try it a few more times, but I've read this about the anchor before even buying the boat so I am assuming it's not just me. It looks great up there all molded to the contour of the bow but I'd rather have something that worked then something that had a cleaner look. What other anchors has anyone swapped to and what modifications did you need to make to make it fit? I think I have 30' of chain and like 100' of rode but I don't remember right now. The windlass has issues going from the rode to the chain and someone has told me to just replace it all with chain. Not sure that's the solution or if the windlass can work better with this transition.


- Where can I get the outside window molding? I have tried finding it with no luck. This is the square shaped molding on the lower horizonal outside window channel where the window channel bolts to the boat. You would think all these Fountains take the same window channel molding and it wouldn't be hard to find but nobody seems to be able to point me to where to buy it.


I've asked all or most of this stuff in the FB Fountain Powerboat Owners page with little success so.... thanks guys!
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Old 01-08-2022, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by GSE Anthony View Post
Anyone know him?

I had a Fountain 38 Express Cruiser specific drive question and he used to comment in this Fountain forum about his boat a lot in the past. Looks like he hasn't logged into OSO since 9/2019 and I was just hoping someone knew him, his email or some way to get a message to him.

Thanks for the help.



Since I'm posting, questions I have about my boat.

2005 Fountain 38 Express Cruiser. 496 Mag HO w/whipples. Bravo 3 XZ dual prop drives with 30P 3 blades. (front and rear)


- Had so many issues with my Bravo 3s this year I'm trying to find people that have done a drive swap to a Bravo 1 drive. I'm trying to see if Bravo 1 XRs (or XZs) or IMCO SCXs are a better choice. Obviously SCXs will work better than XRs but come with a price. But maybe it's best to throw that money at it now and be done with it over rebuilding XRs or XZs every 2-3 seasons.

Switching to a single prop drive, I understand maneuverability around the docks could be worse and that getting on plane will take longer or have more of a potential to blow out. I believe it's the stress caused by the lack of prop slip that the dual props puts on the gearsets and shafts that may be better less with the single props drives. I have read past threads of others doing this swap but the information is not overly specific of what drive/ratio/etc was used and if they worked as hoped and expected with less failures.


- The anchor grabs for sh!t! I have only tried using it once so maybe I need to go out somewhere with no other boats around and try it a few more times, but I've read this about the anchor before even buying the boat so I am assuming it's not just me. It looks great up there all molded to the contour of the bow but I'd rather have something that worked then something that had a cleaner look. What other anchors has anyone swapped to and what modifications did you need to make to make it fit? I think I have 30' of chain and like 100' of rode but I don't remember right now. The windlass has issues going from the rode to the chain and someone has told me to just replace it all with chain. Not sure that's the solution or if the windlass can work better with this transition.


- Where can I get the outside window molding? I have tried finding it with no luck. This is the square shaped molding on the lower horizonal outside window channel where the window channel bolts to the boat. You would think all these Fountains take the same window channel molding and it wouldn't be hard to find but nobody seems to be able to point me to where to buy it.


I've asked all or most of this stuff in the FB Fountain Powerboat Owners page with little success so.... thanks guys!
We replaced our factory "for show only" anchor with a stainless Delta/ wing anchor and welded on a stop plate on the shaft. It works perfectly and doesn't look bad either.
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Old 01-09-2022, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mcraymond3 View Post
We replaced our factory "for show only" anchor with a stainless Delta/ wing anchor and welded on a stop plate on the shaft. It works perfectly and doesn't look bad either.
I'd like to get some information on this anchor swap. I need to do the same thing with my 38EC's "show" anchor.
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Old 01-10-2022, 12:07 AM
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welcome to the fountain 38ec ownership.

I haven't got a way to contact to him, but i think he replied to one of my threads before on his drives.

i have the 2008 version, and i think he said they changed the hull slightly between 2006 and 2008. so you would have the same hull as him.

Basically you can change just the lowers on the legs you have to get the bravo 1x( the uppers are the same between the bravo 1 and 3) the xr has and uprated top mount bearing and maybe an input shaft from memory, i think he was running 1.61 ratios and 25p prop and it did close to 70. However if i were you i think i would upgrade the drives to SCXs(but very pricey), you will have over 600hp and unless you a very kind you are going to blow drives. I very nearly did the whipple change on mine, but the drives i lost sleep over, and having already blown drives with standard power i wasnt going to risk it. what will happen is, the top bearing will eventually wear and then drop through the upper and into the lower. then you are up for a whole new drive. you should inspect every year but sometimes the mechanic wont catch it.

The biggest issue with the bravo 3x is you wont get over 65 as the drag will rob any additional gains, the benefits are better bite especially docking but also mid range and acceleration. The advantage of the bravo one is you do get a higher slip so if you are a bit rougher on the throttles you might be forgiven one or 2 more times. plus you will get a higher wot. If i could find some bravo 1 lowers and props for good money it would be worth trying. its not a big job to swap them, but props are expensive, i suspect you will need 1.5 ratio and 24p. but it will be a bit of trial an error as you have alot more hp then event he 525 ones had.

What sort of performance are you getting out of it at the moment? do you just want a higher WOT? the calcs i did with the whipple with 496ho @650hp each you should get mid 75-77s with a bravo 1. how long it will last will depend on you and conditions.

do you have any pictures of the boat?

For the anchor i got sick of it looking good and trying to kill me that i went for an excel #4 and modified the shank a little and the position of the roller. now it wont drag ever. You wont get the original to ever set all the time, even with alot of modification and adding chain.

There are a few other things that i have discovered as the years go on and 250+ engine hours.
you have 50gals of fresh water, that lasts a few days, mostly as the toliet uses it.
the genset can be troublesome especially if you use it while moving,
i ve replaced all the through hull fittings including steering many were about to leak, ( i am in salt water on a marina)
the tabs are big, use them. i start off with them fully down and only start triming up above 20mph ( it wont plane much below that)
sometimes a bit faster is more efficient in terms of fuel burn
it wont plane on one engine
latham is the steering system, its top of the line, but it does have a filter you should change every 12 months.
the gps speedo, can be fixed with than aftermarket antenna.
i replaced all the circuit breakers in the cockpit. electrics work much better.

they are great boats.



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Old 01-14-2022, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mcraymond3 View Post
We replaced our factory "for show only" anchor with a stainless Delta/ wing anchor and welded on a stop plate on the shaft. It works perfectly and doesn't look bad either.
I think I read about the Delta anchor swap in the past. If you know the size/weigh of what you went with, please pass that along. I'm guessing their 22lb should be ok but it's either that or the 35lb.
It's so bad I don't go anywhere that I can't just tie up with other boats that already have anchors out.
Thanks!

Originally Posted by mawfun View Post
welcome to the fountain 38ec ownership.
I haven't got a way to contact to him, but i think he replied to one of my threads before on his drives.
i have the 2008 version, and i think he said they changed the hull slightly between 2006 and 2008. so you would have the same hull as him.

Basically you can change just the lowers on the legs you have to get the bravo 1x( the uppers are the same between the bravo 1 and 3) the xr has and uprated top mount bearing and maybe an input shaft from memory, i think he was running 1.61 ratios and 25p prop and it did close to 70. However if i were you i think i would upgrade the drives to SCXs(but very pricey), you will have over 600hp and unless you a very kind you are going to blow drives. I very nearly did the whipple change on mine, but the drives i lost sleep over, and having already blown drives with standard power i wasnt going to risk it. what will happen is, the top bearing will eventually wear and then drop through the upper and into the lower. then you are up for a whole new drive. you should inspect every year but sometimes the mechanic wont catch it.

The biggest issue with the bravo 3x is you wont get over 65 as the drag will rob any additional gains, the benefits are better bite especially docking but also mid range and acceleration. The advantage of the bravo one is you do get a higher slip so if you are a bit rougher on the throttles you might be forgiven one or 2 more times. plus you will get a higher wot. If i could find some bravo 1 lowers and props for good money it would be worth trying. its not a big job to swap them, but props are expensive, i suspect you will need 1.5 ratio and 24p. but it will be a bit of trial an error as you have alot more hp then event he 525 ones had.

What sort of performance are you getting out of it at the moment? do you just want a higher WOT? the calcs i did with the whipple with 496ho @650hp each you should get mid 75-77s with a bravo 1. how long it will last will depend on you and conditions.

do you have any pictures of the boat?

For the anchor i got sick of it looking good and trying to kill me that i went for an excel #4 and modified the shank a little and the position of the roller. now it wont drag ever. You wont get the original to ever set all the time, even with alot of modification and adding chain.

There are a few other things that i have discovered as the years go on and 250+ engine hours.
you have 50gals of fresh water, that lasts a few days, mostly as the toliet uses it.
the genset can be troublesome especially if you use it while moving,
i ve replaced all the through hull fittings including steering many were about to leak, ( i am in salt water on a marina)
the tabs are big, use them. i start off with them fully down and only start triming up above 20mph ( it wont plane much below that)
sometimes a bit faster is more efficient in terms of fuel burn
it wont plane on one engine
latham is the steering system, its top of the line, but it does have a filter you should change every 12 months.
the gps speedo, can be fixed with than aftermarket antenna.
i replaced all the circuit breakers in the cockpit. electrics work much better.

they are great boats.
Thanks for your detailed response.
I read so many things he posted but just recently found a response he made to someone posting about a Formula 400SS with a little more info that was helpful.
I've also emailed and am in touch with Brett from B-blades. He provided some info as well.

My boat does 50mph at 3400rpm and 70mph at 5100ish. I don't care about the top speed much, it's nice to say you have a 70mph "cruiser" but we travel 15-50 miles at a time so cruising at 50 is what makes this thing amazing. We didn't venture as far as normal last year due to these drive issues since getting towed home 30+ miles is a PITA!
I think Whipple rates these engines at 600hp with the 4.5 lbs of boost they are set at. I think they are closer to 550 since my cruise and top speed is very similar to the same boat with 525s. The B3s work great out of the hole and at cruise and I know I'll lose a little cruise and add slip and not plane off as fast. I'm already babying this thing on plane due to all my issues I had last season. Never getting over 3k rpm, running tabs all the way down and adjusting as she gets up in the 25mph range. I just need something stronger. I think new XRs would be great for a while but while I pull drives every winter for inspection, I don't want to be rebuilding them every other season either. 2 new XRs are in the 30k price range right now and new SCXs are in the 35-40k range. The SCX is stronger and Bravo parts and gearsets are hard to come by this past year. Right now the parts I need to fix my current B3s are not even available! I think switching from B3s to the SCXs may lose a hair on cruise and not sure about top end but the strength and durability is far greater and worth the slight loss of cruise and price increase. So not 100% sure what I'll do but spring is on it's way so trying to make decisions now.
Brett recommends the Maximus 5 blades and that's what "38fountainecman" went with from what I've read. I know with the added power it may take some testing to get the correct size but that's better than pulling drives off every Sunday and spending all week trying to get the boat back together for the following Friday! Also the goal would be to swap drives now to something stronger so if/when the day these 496 need a rebuild, I can do forged internals and bump up the boost a little, maybe from 4.5 to say 6lbs and not have to think about if the drives can take it. If I do the SCX drives now, then they should be fine with that change whereas the XRs may hate me for it. lol

Thanks for all the info you provided. If you are on the Fountain Owners FB forum let me know. I'm on there, Anthony Savarese.
I've had no issues with the genny besides needing to replace the water pump for it cause it was leaking. I run it a lot, as well as a few times when running and it seems to work great but at well over 1000 hours will need work at some point. I have to go back to the info on the boat to see what/if anything has been done to it in the past. I have the westerbeke, I'm sure you have the Kohler. Thanks for the info on that steering filter, I'll look into it in the spring. I have 2 Raymarine Axiom 9" displays so that's my GPS. I have radar, sonar, and every other option you can imagine and it's a huge upgrade that the previous owner installed. Even has VesselView and other options I'm still learning about. I am curious about the upgrades you did with circuit breakers. Not sure what the benefit is but it's worth knowing for down the road. I have 3 batteries and it's been reconfigured in a way that kills the starting batteries when using the stereo out on the water unless the genny is running. So I need to figure that out and correct it if possible since the house battery should run that. Also had to replace a battery charger this summer, it took a sh!t and we woke up with no power.

Overall I absolutely love the boat. Just have a few minor things to work out and if I get resolve my chronic drive issues, that would make this summer a hell of a lot nicer!

Last edited by GSE Anthony; 01-14-2022 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:34 PM
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I dont think the xr legs will do what you looking for. i ve still been able to find most the parts i need, but it does require global searches and the shipping gets expensive. Another question on the whipples, what the MPG like at 50(cruise)? Have you thought of surface drives? i ve seen a few be converted and they seem to go well. price would be similar i would think and should help cruise speed.

Yes i have the kohler, i have about 25hrs on it. i never use it. the issue i have heard they have is if you use it while under way they can get water forced into it.

i think i know your battery issue, if it is the same as mine. you have 3 batteries. 1 is for the genset, and 2 are for the motors/house. on the big round switches you should select both switches to 1 on day one and odd days, and 2 for even. that way the stereo will only use 1 of the batteries and you can switch it to the other so you can start to get home. If you put it on 1 and 2, or both you will end up with not enough to start with a decent sound system. there is a BEP grey box with a little red switch that you can use to bridge the genset battery to start the engines if you do find you run both too low. But if it is really depleted this may not work.

Another hint, is to put an extraction clip in the engine hatch bolt and a way to extract it with the hatch down. if it gets stuck in the down position the only solution i found was to cut a hole in the hatch. I wished i had set this up previously

the circuit breakers on mine, were a little corroded and some kept popping. I bought a whole new set and replaced them all, the draw became alot less and everything worked. It may be just because mine lives on the marina.

i went for a 37lb excel (#4) anchor and 50ft of chain. it holds good now and i can sleep with ease. I probably use my boat in more blue water (deep ocean) then most but having an anchor that will hold is worth it even if it doesnt look as good.

Can you post a pic of your dash, i am currently planning the upgrade of mine but was thinking of the simrad evo3s. as i ve changed my transoms to digital so i can run active trim and this will work with simrad with out a separate controller.

keen to hear your drive solution, my view of the xr drives is there isnt enough of an upgrade over the x series i have to invest in them. i seriously looked at a xr when i blew my last drive but the mercruiser dealer told me i would be disappointed in him selling me one. i believe there is only one part different. he told me to buy the expensive merc oil for the drives, and look at a drive shower.
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