For the past three decades Reggie Fountain has dedicated his life to the boating industry in Beaufort County. Fountain says, “It’s like one of your kids. I've got kids. I know how it is to have kids and I love it and think a lot of it. And I spent day and night down there for 30 plus years.
He was known for building performance sport and fishing boats and making boat racing very popular in the area. But then tough times hurt the company. Fountain says, “When the economy hit it was so bad.”
Fountain Powerboats went through tough financial times and that’s when a new group of owners, Liberty Associates came into the picture. Fountain says that was a tough thing for him to deal with, "I've always run my own businesses, I’ve been independent, I don't want to be any other way."
And on Friday Fountain announced he was resigning, saying, “There was differences from the beginning in engineering, manufacturing, the sales, the marketing and the financing of the operation too."
And as fountain thinks of the past 31 years he says, “My biggest regret is all the great employees I had for the 30 years. They became my friends. They were like my family and it was tough to have to let them go."
Fountain says he isn’t closing the door to the boating industry. But has no set plans yet on what he’s doing next.
Reggie Fountain, who founded Fountain Powerboats in Beaufort County, says he has resigned from the company.
Fountain Powerboats emerged from bankruptcy this year and was purchased by Liberty Associates.
"I am resigning over a difference of opinion and philosophy with the new owners," Fountain told WITN News. "They own it and have the authority to run it as they see fit. I thought the best thing to do would be to charter my own course. I'm totally ineffective there."
As far as Fountain's future plans, he says, "I'll see what else is available. I have nothing planned for now, but have some ideas."
According to Fountain Powerboats' website, it announced Reggie Fountain was placed on administrative leave Wednesday.
It was November 20th that Fountain Powerboats announced plans to move Donzi Marine and Pro-Line boats to the plant creating over 400 jobs over five years. The plant currently employs 75 people.
When asked what he thought the future of Fountain Powerboats would be, Reggie Fountain said, "I don't want to comment on their future."