People who like their boats famous and fast will be glad to know of a recent development in the high-performance world. With little public fanfare or play in marine industry media, Custom Marine Group—a partnership between the Ross and Wortley families— recently acquired Baja Marine LLC. According to a press release from CMG, the goals of the new owners were to “leverage the decades‐long legacy of brand leadership built among the partners to accelerate superior product development, enduring customer service, and consumer‐driven geographic expansion in its reintroduction of the boating industry’s most iconic brands.”
Iconic is the right word. The four brands are among the most famous in boating: Baja Marine, Donzi Marine, Fountain Powerboats, and Pro-Line.
And these are lofty objectives, to be sure—the kind that will take investment and patience to achieve. But with the recent delivery of a new Baja 23 Islander and a Donzi 22 Classic delivered to Big Thunder Marine in Osage Beach, Mo., CMG appears to be on the right track. Big Thunder Marine, which has been expanding ever since its rebirth nearly a year ago, ordered the boats as inventory and they are currently for sale. What’s more, according to Big Thunder’s Ed Champion, the dealer has several more boats scheduled to be delivered throughout the summer, including a Fountain 38 Lightning with twin 565-hp Mercury engines.
“Both the Baja 23 Islander and the Donzi 22 Classic are great little boats,” said Reggie Fountain III, the company’s high-performance engineer who is involved with new product development, quality control, and other functions. “The Baja is a great runabout, and with a 300-hp Verado on the back, it has a bunch of room and a ton of versatility.”
The boat also has a lot of storage, a head compartment, and a cool lounge area.
“And the Donzi 22 Classic—you wouldn’t believe how hot those boats are right now,” he continued. “We probably have 20 or more on order. Talk about a great starter boat for someone looking to move up the Donzi line. We just built one with 540 horsepower under the hatch that is going to Outpost Marine Group—it is real fun to drive. It’s a great-running boat.”
Carol Price, a 29-year veteran of Fountain Powerboats, said she couldn’t be more excited about the relationship between CMG and all of the Baja Marine LLC brands. “I’m proud to enter into a successful journey with Custom Marine Group and excited for great things to come,” said Price, CMG’s president. “Our possibilities are truly endless. This is just what our employees, local community, vendors and current and future dealer partnerships need. This is the re-birth of four of the world’s best boat brands.”