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Shogren and Fountain Part Ways

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Old 01-22-2011, 09:08 AM
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Hey Gordo!

Your comments definitely mirror what Don was able to do with his companies, but not anyone else that immediately comes to mind, certainly not Reggie other than on the race course.

Don sold his companies when he was ready to, on his terms, & usually for a profit or advantage to him in some way. He also did it multiple times, where Reggie started one company that did have success, but unfortunately lost that success, & ultimately lost him as a result of it's decline.

Hopefully Reggie will be able to start something fresh soon, & have the success that you mentioned above.
Don also did this in the industry's infancy, there were no other powerboat companies out there other than his. He started the offshore business so naturally people wanted to get involved with something new. Today's market is shrinking with many established builders leaving the market.....

Baja, Black Thunder, Donzi, Eliminator, Fountain, Magic, etc. have built tens of thousands of boats (in total) over the years but all went out of business recently. As an investor/potential owner you have to look at the business model and wonder if it will ever be profitable again. Frisini obviously believes they can buck the trend with their acquisitions but they are still stuck with old hull designs and not much innovation to spur new sales (the Ilmor 32 Spectre is an exception).
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:24 AM
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Here's a crazy thought. What if Fountain & Baja become the only support in the "mid level" boats small to big. Fountains 35' and up, Baja 30' and down. No doubt the market does/will need a entry/mid level performance line even if lower volumes. In terms of development and name, it's probable the Fountain and Baja development will "freeze in time", but at least for quite a while that would fit the market segment.
Let's face it, most can't go from a Checkmate to a Nortech.

But that's just market positioning. The business side (floor plan, loans, etc) all could make or break that for sure. Curious what Liberty has up it's sleeve at this point in time.

You can be sure if Reggie comes back, it will be in a big way, and his own way.
By the way, not starting brand rivalry, just pointing out a way to keep new boat sales alive.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Yamaha 225 View Post
What is Fountain Powerboats without Reggie?
What is Cigarette, Formula and Donzi without Don Aronow?

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Originally Posted by Jupiter Sunsation View Post
Baja, Black Thunder, Donzi, Eliminator, Fountain, Magic, etc. have built tens of thousands of boats (in total) over the years but all went out of business recently.
Baja, Donzi and Fountain never went out of business and Donzi never went through bankruptcy. The companies merely changed hands and consolidated some facilities.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:45 AM
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new boats sales is in the tank ,entry level on up, i cant see Reggie starting a new boat company at his age unless he's doing it for his boy's Wyatt and little Reggie. and then id have to think he would think real hard on that. He had his time when the times were at there best and i dont think you will see the performance boat business thrive again.

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Old 01-22-2011, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by paulb32 View Post
Here's a crazy thought. What if Fountain & Baja become the only support in the "mid level" boats small to big. Fountains 35' and up, Baja 30' and down. No doubt the market does/will need a entry/mid level performance line even if lower volumes.

Let's face it, most can't go from a Checkmate to a Nortech.
One of Fountain's biggest problems was the fact they priced themselves out of the markets they had been successful in, and potential future markets.

Then, they tried to re-price their new boats & give more incentives to new boat buyers, further killing the used market for their boats in the process.

Baja would have a better chance for success over Fountain at first glance to Liberty I'd think, because they are more competitive in the single engine 20-30ft range with Donzi, Cobalt, Formula, Sunsation, etc, than Fountain is in the 30ft+ range with the same companies I listed that Baja competes with & more.

At minimum, Fountain needs to do something to update that drivers' side dash panel the company has literally been using since The very FIRST 33 Executioner was built in 1981..... They could at least justify SOME of the price they would like to be positioned to get for their boats, if they would simply update the boats to a more modern layout than the exact same one they've had since the company's inception, done in different colors.

A quality fit & finish in a boat or car is a gauge that people use to rate the vehicles' overall quality when they're shopping. Fountain really handicaps their new boat sales by trying to compete with their rough edged, plexiglass hardware & structures.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:24 PM
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What is Cigarette, Formula and Donzi without Don Aronow?



Baja, Donzi and Fountain never went out of business and Donzi never went through bankruptcy. The companies merely changed hands and consolidated some facilities.

Cigarette, Formula and Donzi all have continued with innovations from their new owners. Not a whole lot of Don Aronow designs left in those brands. Formula had greater success in the SS/Cruiser line than the go fast line up.


Donzi ceased production in June 2008. In my opinion if you don't produce boats for an extended period of time you are out of business.....They needed to stop production because dealers were already choking on leftover 06,07,08 inventory which is still sitting around unsold.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:20 AM
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I think a big story is brewing. I heard both the head engineer and the designer at Fountain resigned on Friday. It is sad but it sounds like Liberty the group that took on the debt of Fountain is making mistakes. Is the Titanic sinking?
I really believe that Reggie Fountain is going to be back in the boat business soon. He has two sons who are very capable and he has a fire like most business men I have known to never give up. Too many things are lining up to scream a new boat manufacturer is on the horizon.

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Old 01-23-2011, 12:47 PM
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Fountain has its place in this industry but they are not that impressive to me.

Reggie might do something new in the future but who knows. It seems to me that Reggie is passionate about BOATS not MONEY. To make it in the current boat industry you need to put money first not the passion of powerboats. Thats why an "investment" company owns fountain, baja, donzi, proline.

Shogren parting ways with fountain is purley about MONEY! Shogren (the dealer as a whole) was so cocky about fountain over the past years. Even to downgrade some of the boats they now sell. To do a 180 shows they care about money more. Do you blame them? Thats what most humans in this world care about, "money is the root of all evil".

Black Thunder is STILL in business and build an impressive unique boat. A floating condo that does 91mph (propped for midrange) with side by side merc 700's! 47 fountain staggered 700s (propped for top end) only does 89.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:53 PM
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At one time Fountain sold more performance boats per year than any other builder. No denying the performance of the the boats either. However business decisions are made not in an "evil" manner but often times with protecting the customer which ultimately protects the dealership. Evil business owners never stay in business very long. Sell a good product for a good price and customers will come and refer even more business. Shogren Performance is a successful business for a reason. Smart good people selling good product. I really believe a much larger story is coming. Even if I am wrong about my Reggie prediction Shogren is still going to sell a lot of boats new or used of any quality brand.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:00 PM
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Thats what most humans in this world care about, "money is the root of all evil".

Black Thunder is STILL in business and build an impressive unique boat. A floating condo that does 91mph (propped for midrange) with side by side merc 700's! 47 fountain staggered 700s (propped for top end) only does 89.
Ok its Sunday so you might be fresh off a church sermon......but money is certainly not the root of all evil if so the Catholic Church is in trouble being one of the wealthiest organizations worldwide!

Any pics of 2009-2011 Black Thunders? Several reports from OSO'rs in the midwest the factory is closed.
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