Beaufort County Boat Company Fights Tough Economic Times

Fountain Powerboat Industries in Beaufort County has turned to a Raleigh company to help it weather tough economic times.

Fountain announced Thursday it has hired investment banker Jacobs Capital to help find a partner to secure additional capital for the boat company.

"The present market for boating is not immune to the same forces impacting the auto industry and the overall economy," said Reggie Fountain, chairman and CEO of the powerboat company. "Fountain Powerboats is one of the premier brands in the powerboat industry, and we plan to be a survivor of the current industry shakeout. We have unparalleled customer loyalty, which has allowed us to see less falloff than most of our competitors. From experience, we know the companies that come through this recession will be poised to capture even greater market share."

Fountain was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in January. Dozens of workers have been laid off, and other employees are dealing with salary and benefit cuts. Fountain is one of Beaufort County's largest employers.

On the positive front, Fountain officials say the company was "recently rated by Soundings Trade Only as the second most searched brand on in the 30 to 40 foot and 40 to 50 foot powerboat categories in a 28-day activity report ending May 2009, behind only SeaRay, who produces many times more boats."

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