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Fountain 43 NX (2019-)

4 x 400-hp Mercury Racing

Brief Summary

The 43 NX is Fountain’s biggest center console to date. The 43 NX is a luxury, performance boat with an offshore hull design adapted from Fountain’s popular 38 Sport Fish Cruiser. She uses quad, Mercury Verado 350 or Mercury Racing’s 400R engines. The 43 NX is built by Fountain at the parent company’s Iconic Marine Group facility, in Washington, NC. There’s no doubt this boat can fish but she’s tailored more toward the luxury cruising market.

Key Features

  • Dash Carbon Panel with LED push button switches
  • Triple wide helm seat with flip-up bolster and rear facing seat
  • Dive door with integrated ladder
  • 3 fishboxes with overboard discharge

Test Results

600 4.1 3.5 4 1 0.9 456 396.2 63
1000 6.5 5.6 4 1.6 1.4 726 631 72
1500 8.6 7.4 8 1.1 0.9 481 418.2 72
2000 9.3 8 15.5 0.6 0.5 269 233.5 78
2500 11.3 9.8 19.5 0.6 0.5 261 226.8 80
3000 19.2 16.7 29 0.7 0.6 297 258.4 89
3500 35.8 31.1 35 1 0.9 460 400.2 87
4000 40.8 35.4 40.5 1 0.9 453 393.7 89
4500 46.6 40.5 48.5 1 0.8 432 376 90
5000 52.2 45.3 61 0.9 0.7 385 334.5 89
5500 57.5 50 74 0.8 0.7 349 303.8 91
6000 64.1 55.7 98.5 0.7 0.6 293 254.4 94
6500 70.3 61.1 144.5 0.5 0.4 219 190.4 95
6650 73.4 63.8 150 0.5 0.4 220 191.5 96


Length Overall 43' / 13.11 m
Beam 12' 3''
3.73 m
Dry Weight 15,800 lbs.
7,167 kg
Tested Weight 17,288 lbs.
7,842 kg
Draft N/A
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance 10'
3.05 m
Fuel Capacity 500 gal.
1,893 L
Water Capacity 64 gal.
242 L
Total Weight 17,288 lbs.
7,842 kg


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.7 sec.
0 to 30 8.2 sec.
Ratio N/A
Props 24P Mercury Bravo1
Load 2 persons, 1/3 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 38 deg., 20 humid; wind: 20-25 mph; seas: 1 chop

Engine Options

Tested Engine 4 x 400-hp Mercury Racing
Std. Power Not Available
Opt. Power 4 x 350-hp Mercury Verado
4 x 400-hp Mercury Verado

Captain's Report


Contents of Report


Big center console boats, like Fountain’s 43 NX, with overnight capabilities and luxury appointments are a growing segment.


The Fountain 43 NX is helping to redefine the Fountain brand with yacht-like qualities.


Fountain’s racing heritage always focuses on performance. Their NX series is aimed at boaters who appreciate the functionality and offshore performance of a center console, but enjoy the refinements and features of a luxury sport boat.


Four engines, either the Mercury 400 Racing engines shown here, or Mercury Verado 350 are the only configurations available on the 43 NX.



The Fountain 43 NX takes its hull design cues from the popular Fountain 38 Sport Fish Cruiser. Lifting strakes and double steps on the hull pushed by quad outboards give the 43 NX a WOT speed of 73.4 mph.

In the early 1990s, Reggie Fountain introduced a new design for his high-performance boats: the Positive Lift Hull. The design claims increased acceleration, improved handling and cornering agility, and reduced fuel consumption. This hull form has been a signature element of Fountain boats since then.


The Fountain 43 NX has a resin-infused composite cored hull with a fiberglass stringer grid. The deck, hull, and grid are all bonded. The deck inner liner is designed to be self-bailing and has an anti-skid surface.

Copious attention to detail indicate the quality and brand loyalty the company is looking to achieve and maintain with this build.


The eyebrow accents near the chine amidships indicate the location of the steps in the hull.


Big performance-oriented center consoles are trending up in the boat building industry just now. At least eight builders have current designs combining luxury amenities, maximum horsepower, overnight/weekend accommodations, and offshore capabilities.

The Fountain 43 NX fits in this category of 41’ to 50’ (12.50 m to 15.24 m) center consoles that are stretching fundamental fishing boats into the luxury market. Go big, go fast, go in style, or go home seems to be the mantra and the market.

Boat Inspection

Power and Platforms


The outer engines do the steering, the inboard engines mimic the motions via tie bars.

Our test boat was powered with the quad 400R option. The 2.6 liter, in-line 6-cylinder supercharged engine features Dual Overhead Cams [DOHC] and 24 valves to accommodate sequential, multi-port electronic fuel injection (EFI).


Look for the AMS logo on the side of a Verado, it indicates four independent shock absorbing mounts, two in the front pointed to here and two in the back of the engine.

Verados Advanced Mid-Section (AMS) with perimeter mounts greatly dampens vibration in the boat. The progressive rate design stiffen on acceleration and reportedly reduce engine vibration effects to the boat by 50%.

Rigging tubes are positioned just about as close to the engines as possible for a neat installation. The hydraulic steering mechanisms are attached to the two outer engines and are fed individually by hydraulic lines mounted beside the rigging tubes. Steering for the two center engines is accomplished by using tie bars from the outer engines.


Non-skid pads are on both quarters, but if reboarding from the water, the side dive door has a built-in ladder.

Gunnels on both sides slope down to small steps all the way aft beside both the outer engines. The steps are a few inches above the waterline and could be used to get into or out of the water. Each has non-skid surface material so there’s no doubt they’re meant to be stepped on with wet feet.


Port and starboard transom doors lead to the platform in front of the engines.

A catwalk runs along the span between the port and starboard gunnels. There’s a twist-open inspection port at each end. Rigging tubes and hydraulics are mounted along the aft section. Faux teak non-skid padding runs below the transom bulkhead.

There’s room to walk between that bulkhead and the engine service tubes. However, rocket launchers mounted on the aft edge of the bulkhead take up some of that valuable space. Don’t leave the stern area without seeing the light show courtesy of the standard RGB underwater light system.



The starboard side dive door has a hatch in the sole inside that houses the re-boarding ladder.

The transom bulkhead has two walkthrough doors for stern platform access from the cockpit. Fountain makes up for the small swim steps with a dive door cut into the hull on the starboard side, just forward of the transom walkthrough. With the door open, a self-draining, hinged deck hatch with gas assist reveals the integrated, four-step retractable ladder.


The reboarding ladder is permanently mounted and stowed in the locker by the dive door.


Swing the ladder up, extend the four steps, rotate over the side and close the hatch for reboarding.


The hinged bench seat in the cockpit swings up to reveal storage. The cushion is not designed to be removed.

A bench seat backs up to the transom bulkhead. At 7’2” (2.18 m) long, it will comfortably accommodate four adults.


Here’s an area where the Fountain attention to detail really stands out. Notice stitched panels, custom stitching in a honeycomb pattern and the Fountain logo. The padding is firm under the outer bolster and softer in the main part of the seat.

The seat has a 10” (.25 m) deep storage below but the bench cannot be lifted and stowed to make extra cockpit room for wrestling in that big catch.


Rod holders in the caprail double as drink holders.

Rod holders built into the caprail. The padded knee bolster beside the dive door provides added comfort and leverage for working fish up to the boat. The bulwark bolsters begin at 13” (33 cm) above the cockpit sole and end at the 24” (61 cm) gunnel height – 11” (28 cm) of comfort.


Just in front of the cockpit bench seat, a hatch is opened to reveal the diesel powered genset.

Another wide self-draining locker with the hatch supported by a gas assist strut provides access to systems and storage below the cockpit sole. The most prominent item in the compartment is the Fisher Panda 5 kW generator. It runs on diesel fuel and draws from a dedicated 10-gallon (38 L) tank. This is an important safety feature as CO danger is all but eliminated.


The space below the aft bench seat houses numerous plumbing connections - the black can on the left is a muffler for the genset.

The hatch also conceals generator exhaust and cooling, fuel lines, and filters. Three 1500 GPH Rule-Mate bilge pumps are located in compartments below the cockpit sole. Notice the galvanized Fitworks manifold.


The padded teardrop cocktail table and pedestal used in the bow also stows away in the compartment under the cockpit bench seat.

The adjacent, self-draining compartment is dedicated to storage.


The hardtop covers the helm and a portion of the built-in cockpit galley. Fishing fanatics may opt for a tackle center instead of the cockpit galley.

A hefty powder-coated aluminum frame supports the sturdy hardtop. Another set of rocket launchers is fitted to a white powder-coated rail that has multiple handholds. The lift-top, waist-high compartment that makes up the rear portion of the helm seating could be mistaken for a cleaning and bait station. It’s actually an optional cockpit galley. A rear-facing seat comes standard.


Captain Steve inspects the built-in insulated cooler in the cockpit galley.

The on-deck galley has everything the nautical chef needs to feed a hungry crew, including a refrigerated drawer, a freezer, an electric grill, and sink. The sink and grill are set in a solid surface countertop. A trash drawer rolls out of the middle of the galley, right where it’s needed.

For more fishing-centric use, there is an optional tackle center/bait station to replace the cockpit galley. Fountain offers lots of other fishing enhancements.

Fishing Options

• 6 additional rod holders

• GS 280 outriggers

• Carbon 20' - GS 380 outriggers

• 2 electric reel outlets

• Dual livewell transom - in lieu of rear seat

• Starboard livewell/bow cooler

• Port livewell/bow cooler

• B175L transducer

• R599C transducer



The hardtop connects to the plexi windshield to provide a dry ride at the helm.

The sturdy fiberglass hardtop with overhead storage box covers the whole console area including helm seating and optional cockpit galley. The top is wired with courtesy lights and bow and stern spreader lights.


Having a wheel in the middle of the console works well, even with guests seated on either side of the skipper. Bolsters and armrests can be employed on any or all of the seats, so guests may be seated, but the helmsman can choose to stand.

Helm seating features triple flip-up bolster seats with adjustable arm rests.

Below the console, angled footrests make longer voyages easier on the feet and legs.


Carbon-fiber trim accents surrounding the multifunction Simrad displays may remind the driver of the Fountain raceboat heritage.

The carbon panel dash with LED push-button switches provides a next-generation look for the Triple Simrad - 16" NSS EVO3 displays that include radar and Broadband Sonar Module with Chirp Technology. 4G Broadband-capability comes standard. Notice how the electrical switches are spread across the console rather than being configured in a cluster.


The Mercury Smartcraft VesselView touchscreen display is the engine monitoring system. It can display tankage, fuel economy, and suggest rpm and trim tab settings in ECO-mode to achieve best fuel performance, among many other capabilities.

The space below the multi-function displays holds a complete collection of controls and displays without appearing cluttered. VesselView 703 and Merc digital throttle and shift (DTS) are located adjacent to the Sea Star Steering Wheel that thoughtfully includes a steering knob. The RS35 autopilot, VHF radio controls, indicator and controls for the Merc 380 K Plane high performance trim tabs are all mounted in the same panel along with the audio system.

Standard Equipment Audio Entertainment

JL audio

• Source Unit - MediaMaster MM100s

• Amplifier - 800 Watt, 8 channel marine class D

• Speakers - 10 - M-Series Coaxial, White with LED ring

• Subwoofer - 2 - M Series - 10" - White with LED ring

Bow Area


The bow of the 43 NX will easily seat eight people or more. A pedestal table can be fit for café dining.

Moving forward along the starboard side, we see plenty of grab handles including sturdy handholds attached to the hardtop frame. One of the boat’s three fishboxes with overboard discharge is cut into the sole just outside of the cockpit.


The padded bolster on the gunnel runs from the stern all the way forward. In-deck fishboxes are on both sides of the console.

The contour of the hull rises above the waterline moving forward. At 26” (66 cm), the bottom of the bolster adjacent to the console is twice as high above the sole as it was in the stern. It meets the top of the 12” (30 cm) wide caprail at 35” (89 cm) above the sole.


Captain Steve inspects the chaise in front of the console.

The fine upholstery work we’ve seen in the stern and in the bolsters that line the cockpit continues as we enter the bow area. Chaise seating in front of the console is nothing short of elegant, not to mention comfortable. The chaise has headrests, movable armrests, fixed footrests and cup holders.


The contoured storage that is used to support a padded backrest on the forward seats can hold cans or bottles, even when fitted with optional livewells, as on our test boat.

More comfortable, plush wrap-around seating lines both sides of the bow, with storage below the cushions, and in the sole. Powder-coated bow rails behind the bolsters provide convenient handholds.


USB ports are conveniently located below the bow seating bolster.

Bow seating can easily accommodate six adults. Add the removable table for food and drinks and the bow area becomes the party place for eight people seated comfortably and a few others if a crowd begins to gather.

Ground Tackle


The anchor rides in a through-the-stem holder with striker plate.


The foredeck has an anchor locker with a friction-hinged lid. The windlass and controls are located within easy reach. Anchor and rode are standard equipment. We like the center mounted cleat and there is room to get to the rode.



Captain Steve slides the pocket door to the cabin aft into its recess and prepares to step down the two steps that lead into the cabin.


Viewed from the door into the cabin, we see that Captain Steve has already come to appreciate the 6’7” (2.01 m) headroom.

The new breed of longer, more powerful, luxurious center consoles provides cabin space between the console and the bow. It’s important to remember, everything on deck takes room away from the cabin and everything in the cabin takes space away from the deck.

That said, Fountain did a commendable job, in our opinion, of designing the 43 NX to include a center console cabin with a separate head, shower, sink, and vanity.


Directly across from the companionway, a compact galley has a microwave and a glass sink mounted on a solid surface counter.

There is storage below the sink along with a refrigerator. The main electrical panel takes up most of the bulkhead to the left, just inside the companionway. Also on the bottom of the uncovered electrical panel are switches for each of the four engines’ batteries, along with a fifth, house battery switch.

A door just beyond the electrical panel opens into the head. The head includes the toilet, sink, storage, and shower along with ample headroom.


The privacy of the head compartment on the 43 NX is welcome.


A center console cabin that contains a ventilated berth, galley, and a private head with shower is beyond most people’s expectations.

A large berth makes up the forward part of the cabin. Side vent hatches provide light and ventilation.



Fountain power boats are known for speed and style. Quad-only engine options are a hint that the speed tradition is alive and well.

The Fountain 43 NX has a 12’3” (3.73 m) beam and a dry weight of 15,800 lbs. (7,167 kg). With two people onboard and 178 gallons (674 L) of fuel in her 500 gallon (1,893 L) capacity tanks, the test weight of the boat was estimated at 17,288 lbs. (7,842 kg). She was powered by four Mercury Verado Racing engines developing 400-hp each and turning 24” x 15.25” Bravo1 FS, four blade props.

We recorded a top speed of 73.4 mph at 6650 rpm. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm where she averaged 35.8 mph, burned 35.0 gph or 1.0 mile per gallon for a range of 460 statute miles while still holding back a 10% fuel reserve in her HD Aluminum - 500 gallon (1,893 L), Diurnal, EPA-compliant tank.

At speed, and up on step, she rides with the bow down slightly more than we might expect with four big outboards hung off the back and that gives her good wave penetration. We recorded 0 to 20 mph in 6.3 seconds, hitting 30 mph in 8.2 seconds.

These numbers are impressive, and remember, she’s 12’ (3.66 m) wide, has a generator and an interior, plus windage from her top. Comfort is always the enemy of speed and vice versa. Fountain seems to have found a pretty good balance with the 43 NX.


Fountain 43NX acceleration

We tested the 43 NX on a cool, 38-degree day, with 1’, light chop and 20 to 25 knots of breeze. The Fountain’s exclusive Positive Lift, Double Step hull provided a stable, flat ride through the mushy surface. She was quick to respond to the throttle and there was no apparent strife or struggle revving up over 5000 rpm.


Sixteen hundred horses cranking four, 4-blade props give the boat impressive speed.

The four big Mercury Racing engines also account for nimble turning and maneuvering out in the open water. The overall stability and solid performance of this boat has a lot to do with how well the boat is constructed.



Mercury’s Joystick makes maneuvering around a dock easy.

The 43 NX will certainly get noticed near the dock. Where some less maneuverable boats attempt to walk sideways with lots of grunting and groaning, Mercury Joystick Piloting makes it look as simple as moving forward at idle speed.

Equipment Discussion

A white gelcoat hull is standard, and colored gelcoat and/or a painted Awlgrip are extra with multiple options for customizing, including metallic paint finishes, boot stripes, pin striping, painted underside for the hardtop, special console paint, and Fountain NX sport paint, among others.

Standard electronics include Simrad triple 16” NSS EVO3 displays – 4G broadband radar dome, broadband sonar module with chirp technology, autopilot with remote RS35 marine VHF radio with antenna and GoFree Wi-Fi, B175 H transducer. Autopilot can be deleted if Optimus joystick is selected.

Color choice of PlasTEAK flooring in gray, or teak and holly, along with upholstery finishes in pecan and Trexx, or white and Trexx with charcoal accents are no charge offerings.

Standard features are numerous and include Mercury K-plane trim tabs, a battery charging system, hydraulic steering, RGB underwater lights, rear-facing helm seat, anchor and windlass, navigation lights, bilge pumps, courtesy lights, horn, genset, dive door, gunnel bolsters, bow rails, shore cord, freshwater washdown, fishboxes with overboard discharge, a Garelick safety ladder, cabin outfitting (berth, head, mini-galley), hardtop, audio system, and helm and chaise seating.

Optional Equipment

• Quad, White, Mercury Verado 400s ($54,000)

• Engine paint accents ($3,700)

• Colored gelcoat hull sides ($1,700)

• Custom Awlgrip painted hull (see dealer)

• Optimus 360 Joystick with Sea Station ($25,400)

• 2 additional reel outlets ($500)

• 6 additional rod holders ($1,600)

• Air conditioning package ($11,000)

• Bow thruster ($15,400)

• Cockpit galley ILO rear facing seat ($15,400)

• Canvas covers for dash and helm seat ($2,000)

• Dual livewell transom ILO stern seat ($4,700)

• 2 electric reel outlets ($700)

• Garmin electronics package ($18,300)

• Garmin 424 XHD2 open array radar ($4,800)

• Livewells in forward bow coolers ($770)

• Outriggers GS 280 ($3,600)

• Outriggers GS 380 with 20’ carbon-fiber poles ($8,000)

• Simrad Halo 4 open array radar ($5,600)

• Tackle center/bait station ILO rear facing seat ($15,400)

• Transducer R599C ($12,200)

• XM Radio ready ($700)

• XM weather (includes XM radio ready) ($2,000)


$692,400 includes quad Verado 350s (in black).


The Fountain 43 NX will get to and from the fishing grounds in a hurry or entertain alongside in style, as it helps set the bar for the big center console market.


The new Fountain 43 NX has an attractive sheer that looks fast.


We are impressed by the level of luxury and finish work put into this new Fountain 43 NX – and it is a big step up from the days when Reggie was at the helm. That is not to denigrate Reggie, for he was building boats in a different time when buyers’ focus was on speed, price, and sizzle. And on that he delivered, building a lot of boats fast. He single-handedly saved the high-performance market at the time, and dominated it until the economy turned south and he had to give up the company he loved.

But times have changed. Today, buyers are looking for beautifully-designed boats with sculptured fiberglass exteriors and Bentley-quality interiors cockpits. Speed as the main focus has been replaced by luxury and jaw-dropping amenities. We think the Fountain 43 NX delivers both on the old paradigm and the new one, and the word is that the man himself is pleased by the new boats that bear his name.

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