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38 Fountain vs 392 Nor-Tech

Old 06-02-2019, 09:02 PM
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Default 38 Fountain vs 392 Nor-Tech

Looking to upgrade within the year to either a 38 Fountain or a 392 Nor-Tech and looking to hear peoples reviews on both models. I was considering the 390 Nor-Tech, but I don't care for the small livewell on the transom and deck fish boxes wont be large enough. I know the fit and finish on the Nor-Techs are top notch, but know that Fountain in the past year has really upped their game and looking for feed back from people who have time on both.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:09 PM
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Full disclosure, I owned a previous 38 Fountain, so I already liked the boat, but it was time to upgrade to a new one and my short list was another Fountain, Nor-tech or SeeVee. I rode all three. I do about 70% Cruising, 30% fishing. The SeeVee was probably the best built, the best for fishing, but honestly, just a little slow for my taste and had a long build time, so it got dropped from the list, but it was a great boat. That left Fountain and Nor-tech. Both handled well. The Nor-tech just felt a little "lite", seemed to bounce a little more and it does weigh less, but overall, a great handling boat. So, it left the Fountain and Nor-tech pretty much tied in my opinion. I was just able to make a better financial deal on the Fountain. So I ended up back at another Fountain. Just keep in mind, the Fountain has to be "driven". You need to know what you are doing and how to drive them, they are touchy. Love the new boat. Fit and finish is better than in the past, still not perfect, but much better. Still built like a tank. Still the fastest hull in the business. So far, we have hit 91.9 MPH in her. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SaltyG View Post
Full disclosure, I owned a previous 38 Fountain, so I already liked the boat, but it was time to upgrade to a new one and my short list was another Fountain, Nor-tech or SeeVee. I rode all three. I do about 70% Cruising, 30% fishing. The SeeVee was probably the best built, the best for fishing, but honestly, just a little slow for my taste and had a long build time, so it got dropped from the list, but it was a great boat. That left Fountain and Nor-tech. Both handled well. The Nor-tech just felt a little "lite", seemed to bounce a little more and it does weigh less, but overall, a great handling boat. So, it left the Fountain and Nor-tech pretty much tied in my opinion. I was just able to make a better financial deal on the Fountain. So I ended up back at another Fountain. Just keep in mind, the Fountain has to be "driven". You need to know what you are doing and how to drive them, they are touchy. Love the new boat. Fit and finish is better than in the past, still not perfect, but much better. Still built like a tank. Still the fastest hull in the business. So far, we have hit 91.9 MPH in her. Hope this helps.
Best overall review your going to come across. Fountain is a speed machine, and you must have the skill/talent to run them to their full potential.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:50 AM
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I'm in the market now for a 38', I currently have a 34' Fountain and have had a 38' sfc. When you say " you have to drive it" what exactly does that mean? I've run this 34' going on 2.5 years in 120 mile run lots of times. It seems like a pretty good ride except for being very wet. Just want to know the difference. Thanks
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:04 AM
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TJackson - this is just my opinion only.... Many boats run comfortably in the 25 to 35 MPH range, in up to 2 or 3' seas. You kind of set the throttle and you just steer. Easy and a lot of people like this. The 38' Triple Fountains really like to do about 41 to 45MPH + for a bow down cruise and the quad fountain really wants to be doing over 50 MPH for a bow down run. At these speeds, the K Plane tabs become more important and engine trim becomes much more important. Plus the big fountains want to run on top of the waves, they actually get smoother, but you are moving and the few rogue waves, you have to be prepared to throttle back. So, just at the speeds of 40 to 50+ MPH, staying on top of the waves and really using your tabs and engine trims to get the most out of the boat and working the throttle is what I mean by "driving" the boat. You just need to pay a lot more attention, if for nothing else due to the speed, but the tabs and engine trims make a big difference you can constantly be adjusting them. Again, just my opinion. Others with fountains can chime in. But I think they are one of the fastest hulls, but you have to work them....
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:30 AM
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Thank you for the feedback and gorgeous Fountain SaltyG. I saw that at Grander a while back.

Another thing I’m curious on is if the day bed that a Nor-tech offers is typically used on overnight trips or if it ends up more of a storage area?
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:29 PM
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Nobody?
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:54 PM
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We can't afford those toys, I'm looking at upgrading to a 2009 21' Keywest with a 130 hp Force motor.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:20 PM
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People defiantly use it on trips. I am sure many people end using it for storage as well.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Schmaltz~Herring View Post
We can't afford those toys, I'm looking at upgrading to a 2009 21' Keywest with a 130 hp Force motor.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:16 PM
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I don't have any experience on a 392 but I got to spend a day at the helm of a nor-tech 340 with trip 300s a couple years ago and I was shocked at how easy it was to handle. If anything, it was the opposite of the description of the fountain above. Took it out on a nice day, was probably 2' seas with a surprise afternoon thunderstorm thrown in, and it practically didn't matter what I did with engine trim, tab, etc, the boat just got up and went and sliced through everything with no drama.
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:28 PM
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Anyone have a ride comparison between the Nortech 392 and Fountain with the 392 being around 2000lbs heavier?
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:33 PM
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If you are interested in a Fountain, Bob Hewes in Miami is selling their inventory for cost or under cost to move them.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jwmd2010 View Post
Anyone have a ride comparison between the Nortech 392 and Fountain with the 392 being around 2000lbs heavier?
Nor-Tech 390 is a 2 piece hull, 392 is a 3 piece and is about 3k heavier than the 390.

I would pick the 392 every single time. Nor-tech resale holds a premium over the Fountains also.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by reeeljob View Post
If you are interested in a Fountain, Bob Hewes in Miami is selling their inventory for cost or under cost to move them.
I saw that. Why are they going so cheap? A 2018 34 fountain for $219k. I understand need to add electronics, but still that is low for a 34. Even cobia large model sells for more
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:49 AM
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The real question is whether you feel the Nor Tech is worth +/- $250K more than the Fountain. There's nothing the Fountain can't do compared to the Nor Tech. Personally, I don't care for the narrow beam on the Nor Tech, as it's tight around the console area when moving around the boat, especially when fighting fish. I do think the irony here is Fountain seems to be modeling their new boats to have a similar "look and feel" to the Nor Tech brand. Another thing to keep in mind, is the 38 Fountain does have a much shorter running surface as compared to the 329 NT. If it were my $, I would purchase the Fountain. Good Luck!
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocnizer1 View Post
I saw that. Why are they going so cheap? A 2018 34 fountain for $219k. I understand need to add electronics, but still that is low for a 34. Even cobia large model sells for more
They have been sitting on their lot for awhile and I would guess they are tired of staring at them. Maybe they are dropping that line since everyone in Miami wants a Sea Vee, Midnight Express, Yellowfin, Contender or some other boat that is out of my price range....
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocnizer1 View Post
I saw that. Why are they going so cheap? A 2018 34 fountain for $219k. I understand need to add electronics, but still that is low for a 34. Even cobia large model sells for more

looks like a demo boat. They don’t say it but since they have it all lettered up and pictures of it on a lift behind someone’s house, I’d bet there are some hours on it already.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Contender One View Post
The real question is whether you feel the Nor Tech is worth +/- $250K more than the Fountain. There's nothing the Fountain can't do compared to the Nor Tech. Personally, I don't care for the narrow beam on the Nor Tech, as it's tight around the console area when moving around the boat, especially when fighting fish. I do think the irony here is Fountain seems to be modeling their new boats to have a similar "look and feel" to the Nor Tech brand. Another thing to keep in mind, is the 38 Fountain does have a much shorter running surface as compared to the 329 NT. If it were my $, I would purchase the Fountain. Good Luck!
Can you elaborate on the shorter running surface? This would make the boat potentially more efficient with less in the water?
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SaltyG View Post
Full disclosure, I owned a previous 38 Fountain, so I already liked the boat, but it was time to upgrade to a new one and my short list was another Fountain, Nor-tech or SeeVee. I rode all three. I do about 70% Cruising, 30% fishing. The SeeVee was probably the best built, the best for fishing, but honestly, just a little slow for my taste and had a long build time, so it got dropped from the list, but it was a great boat. That left Fountain and Nor-tech. Both handled well. The Nor-tech just felt a little "lite", seemed to bounce a little more and it does weigh less, but overall, a great handling boat. So, it left the Fountain and Nor-tech pretty much tied in my opinion. I was just able to make a better financial deal on the Fountain. So I ended up back at another Fountain. Just keep in mind, the Fountain has to be "driven". You need to know what you are doing and how to drive them, they are touchy. Love the new boat. Fit and finish is better than in the past, still not perfect, but much better. Still built like a tank. Still the fastest hull in the business. So far, we have hit 91.9 MPH in her. Hope this helps.
I as well had a 38 fountain (quad 300XS). The boat was great. You defiantly drive it though. It likes tab and trim, but if you hit the throttle and pick up the speed, the nose gets pushed down and you need to lift the tabs. They are pretty big tabs. None of this is a bad thing, it just requires more input with tabs and trim. It is more challenging and very rewarding.
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