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Fountain 42 Lightning with 525-hp MerCruiser

2 x 525-hp MerCruiser 575 SCi (Bravo I)

Brief Summary

If speed is your middle name and you love a thrill ride then this high-performance machine is a dream come true. According to Fountain the 42 Lightning holds the V-bottom world record at 140 mph.

Key Features

The 42 Lightning offers a fast ride with luxurious accommodations below. The cockpit features a good size sun pad, large aft bench seat for up to four, and two comfortable bolster seats that will lock both the driver and passenger in place. The helm is loaded with all the gauges and switches you’ll need, Gaffrig throttles and shifters, heavy-duty hydraulic trim tabs, and more. Down below the 42 features a V-berth forward, with a wraparound leather sofa and plenty of lighting. There’s an enclosed head with a porti-potti and sink with pressurized water system.

Test Results

1000 7 6 10.3 0.67 0.59 158 137 87
1500 6.6 5.7 14.7 0.45 0.39 105 91 79
2000 8.3 7.2 21.5 0.38 0.33 90 78 81
2500 22.6 19.6 26.6 0.85 0.74 198 172 83
3000 40.2 34.9 37.9 1.06 0.92 248 216 87
3500 52.5 45.7 50 1.05 0.91 246 214 88
4000 61.3 53.3 62.6 0.98 0.85 229 199 90
4500 70.2 61 74.6 0.94 0.82 220 191 94
5000 84.4 73.4 91.9 0.86 0.74 200 174 97
5400 88 76.5 93.9 0.9 0.78 210 183 97


Length Overall 42' 0''
Beam 8' 6''
Dry Weight 9,400 lbs.
Draft 3' 4''
Deadrise/Transom 24 deg.
Max Headroom 5'
Bridge Clearance ~
Fuel Capacity 260 gal.
Water Capacity 13 gal.

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 4.3 sec.
0 to 30 7.0 sec.
Ratio 1.5:1
Props 19 1/2 x 22 stainless steel
Load 4 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, min. gear
Climate 60 deg., 44% humid.; wind: 10 knots; seas: light chop

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x 525-hp MerCruiser 575 SCi (Bravo I)
Std. Power 2x425-hp MerCruiser 496 MAG HO gas sterndrives
Opt. Power 2x 470-hp MerCruiser 500 EFI sterndrives
2x525-hp MerCruiser 575 SCi sterndrives

Captain's Report

A World-Class Offshore Race Boat
If you’re in the market for the ultimate blend of performance, styling and bragging rights, then Fountain powerboats of North Carolina have something you should consider. The 42-foot Lightning currently holds the world speed record for v-bottom boats at an astonishing 140 plus miles per hour. Of course a full race rigged machine holds this record, however, you can get your hands on a recreational version of this boat and enjoy the experience of a world-class offshore race boat.
It was a chilly morning on our test day; the temperature was hovering just above 50 degrees with a stiff wind of 10 to 15 knots. Perfect, for testing one of the longest and fastest sport boats that money can buy. Our test boat was powered by a pair of MerCruiser 550 horsepower supercharged EFI stern drives, also known as 575 Csi’s. The power plants are staggered to provide a low center of gravity and great access to perform maintenance. The people at Fountain pay great attention to detail, as the engine compartment is one of the most meticulously prepared bays that I have seen. Every component and sub-system was in a proper place and neatly secured and easily accessible.
Pulling in and out of the dock, I found the Lightning quite easy to handle considering her overall length of 42 feet. Underway, I was pleased to find her maneuvering abilities to be nimble and responsive. Getting the 10,000 pound boat on plane was much easier than I expected, she popped out of the hole with little effort. Trim and tab adjustments were a breeze as we accelerated to a cheek flapping 86 mph. During our aggressive testing regiment, I could not help but feel that all this fiberglass felt more like a thirty-something boat, as she gave a sense of refinement and forgiveness that I have not found in other long speed machines. I must say that the line of sight over the bow is excellent.
If all this good feeling is not enough for you, then go below deck to find a spacious cabin that accommodates you and guests for over night trips. Access to the cabin is through a three-piece companionway door, and although the headroom is good, a single sliding door would be more inviting to use. Below deck, an enclosed head with shower is located to starboard. To port is a small galley, which incorporates a self-draining cooler, sink and ample storage cabinets. Leather couches are on both the port and starboard sides, and a large V-berth finishes off the over night accommodations.
I found this boat to be very user friendly for the driver, and also for friends and family. A beam width swim platform with a recessed folding ladder make going for a dip easy, and the transom shower will help get the salt off after your swim.
The 42 Lightning is an exciting high performance boat that will get you to your destination with style and speed. She’s one boat that will keep everyone’s attention from the time she leaves the dock, up until the last roar of her engines.
By Capt. Ron Svoboda
Test Captain

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