Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
With any purchase process, consumers have their choice of entry-level brands, middle of the pack products, or leaping all the way to the upper echelon of the marketplace. When it comes to recreational boat, there are countless brands that can cover the entire spectrum, so that same consumer choice exists. That’s a good thing.
Formula is widely regarded as a brand in the upper echelon, and for a lengthy list of well-earned reasons. Formula owners know that their purchase will bring those years of enjoyment and pride.
I am a passionate lifelong boater, and an admitted fan of ‘curb appeal,’ and for me Formula may well carry the absolute finest exterior finishes in the industry. Typically, fiberglass boats earn their colours from gelcoat, a proven process for most consumers. But consider for a moment that our vehicles are painted, and we expect the finish to last for years (with ongoing attention). Formula paints their boats with a meticulous, time-consuming process that yields years of exceptional curb appeal.
Since the late 1980’s, Formula have been painstakingly painting every boat in their lineup. The hull comes out of the mould after receiving a base of Ineos Maxguard premium gelcoat, and then their craftsmen and women inside Formulas’ 575,000 square foot plant in Decatur, Indiana begin to deploy the magic. Each hull enters the spray booth to receive an Axalta ChromaPremiere basecoat followed by an Imron Elite graphic clearcoat in what seems to be unlimited choices of colour variations. Sound intense? We are just getting started. There is a multi-step process of wet sanding and buffing for every boat as well. Your gain as an owner is an exceptional finish that never chalks, fades, or needs to be buffed. And if you love the look of metallic finishes, Formulas capabilities are mind blowing.
Want to be part of the design process for your own Formula? Check out the Formula Flex program where consumers get to choose their own graphic colours, upholstery base, accent and piping colours, cabin fabrics, Corian surfaces and cabinetry. You can even choose the positioning of your custom electronics.
The commitment to high-end treatment continues with Livorsi gauges, extensive use of 316 stainless steel, individually hand-crimped and heat-sealed electrical wiring systems with double wall shrink tubing, and E-T-A circuit breakers. Only waterproof marine materials are used in Formula’s incredible interiors. Their seating benefits from pre-shaped and contoured foam components, and 36-ounce base vinyls are treated to avoid staining. Even the threads used in the sewing process are high-grade Tenara which will not deteriorate from UV, cleaning products, or even saltwater.
Now, onto the boat test.
The 240 BR is the smallest boat in the Formula line which now ranges from 24’ all the way up to 50’. Your benefit lies in knowing that everything they put into their larger models applies to the 24’ as well.
Resting dockside, the 240 BR is unmistakably Formula with her classic lines and styling cues. Her Deep V hull sat beautifully and the sheer 20-degree deadrise screamed desire to run. Our test boat was dressed in the ‘Flagship Graphic A’ package in Electric Blue Metallic – I’m kind of a blue guy, so my smile was ear to ear.
The 240 BR interior is designed for entertainment with friends and family. Starting in the bow, there is extensive legroom and lots of space for passengers. Parents will appreciate that both port and starboard sides feature a one-piece 316 stainless grab rail for safety. Recessed stainless cupholders await your guests as well as a clever removable cushion on the port side for a forward-facing seating option. Storage compartments are beautifully detailed, and a bow anchor locker readily accommodates beaching opportunities.
The double wide helm seat will comfortably seat a parent and child or a cuddly couple enjoying an afternoon or evening cruise (works for me!). The molded fiberglass dash incorporates a Ritchie compass, Mercury active trim system, Bennett tab switches, and the Clarion sound system. The backrest is easily reversible on both the captain and co-captain chairs, which handily expands the seating layout at midship.
The generously sized and beautifully sculpted U-shaped lounge seating nestled behind the helm station features a stunning Anthracite dining table and a molded-in cooler. The passenger helm features a concealed, one-piece locking door which reveals a meticulously detailed compartment with a portable head. An aft facing sun lounge features a multi-position backrest, fender storage, more stainless polished cupholders (15 in total on board), and accessory outlet. It’s notable that there are power outlets scattered everywhere within the 240 for those who must have their devices at hand. Formula provides egress on the port side through a simple walkthrough gate – meaning your guests don’t have to step on the furniture you just cleaned.
The engine room on our test boat (another beautifully detailed space) housed a Mercury 6.2L, 350 hp engine with a Bravo 3 lower unit and digital throttle and shift (DTS).
Our test day brought gusty winds in the 50 km/h range and we were thankful for our hosts from The Cove as they guided us to calm Lake Joseph for our test trials. At 5,150 lbs (2,336 kg) the Formula 240 BR sits in at mid-pack for weight in her size. She delivered consistent hole shots in under 6 seconds and running solo with 2/3 of a tank of fuel, I repeatedly took her up to 53.7 mph at 5,280 RPM – there might be a little more once she’s broken in.
Cruising in a Formula means getting her up on plane and putting her in the 20+ mph range where her hull design can go to work. I found 24.9 and 28 mph to be the most responsive. Always keep in mind that passenger load, water conditions, and other factors will affect your results.
For me, the pleasure of driving this craft was an absolute treat. There is little doubt that the vast Formula experience of many years of building performance proven hulls carries in the 240 BR. The bottom line is that you are a discerning buyer and deserving of a moment to enjoy one of the finest watercraft in its category, go check out Formula.
|Dry weight:||5,150 lbs||2,336 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||55 US gal||208 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury|