Formula 350 Sun Sport – built to last long
Formula first made the 350 SS for filling in gap of their line up, but this goal has been in “mission accomplished” list & now 350 has received its respect out side the shadows of her siblings. She surely looks very pretty, but important question is that, can it dance? I recently conducted full test of 350 SS, and you can judge it here.
Originally, mission of 350 SS was just to keep flock of the loyal 310 SS buyers from going out of their brand if they wished to trade above but not all way to 37. The 350 filled this gap quite well. However, now she has been around for a while & the new mission here is to be consistent along with philosophy of upholding reputation which Formula was constructed with … quality. On this task, 350 has fulfilled its goals very nicely.
Handling & Ride
It is always pleasure while testing boats of Formula as the handling & performance is pretty stellar. For Formula 350 SS it is pretty much as we expected. I thought that the performance was really good and it cut the wakes of the other boats even with the self generated wakes, along with clean slice & no pounding. The 21-degree dead rise at transom is winning compromise amongst soft ride of deep-V hull & speed possible through flatter bottom.
I was testing in narrow water way, & this means tight turning, & expected, this bloat went off lot of speed while turning. You can’t crank & bank to where every one & everything is tossed around, & really… you wouldn’t want to. The boat here will keep all your guests really comfortable even if u do not have presence of your mind for doing it by yourself.
With weight (empty) of around 13,470 lbs. or 6109.9 kgs., half filled fuel & 4 people onboard, I had testing weight of about 14,686 lbs. or 6661.5 kgs. Along with pair of 430 horsepower engines of Merc 8.2 MAG HO tucked inside stern, I got top speed of about 53.3 mph or 85.7kph for 4700rpm. At this speed I was burning combined 72gph (272.5 Lph) and got .74mpg (.31 kpL) for range of 114 miles or 184km.
The best cruise was @ 3000 of rpm & 29.4mph or 47.2kph. Now we measured burn of fuel of about 24.3gph or 92 Lph, which was 1.21mpg or 0.51 kpL & range of about 187 miles or 301 km.
For 35′ or 10.7 m boat, this one had got surprising acceleration. I reached my targeted speed in just 4.9 seconds & cruised @ 20mph in about 7.7 seconds, & continued acceleration through 30mph in about 12.7 seconds.
Tour Starting Forward
Going up to bow, u get to climb 3 steps molded in to dash & then step through center wind shield walk through. Top latch for walk through wind shield is inter connected to bottom and hence you don’t need to reach all the way down for unlocking lower latch. The stainless rails of grab are placed conveniently to give you safety & security when you go forward through the steps. On the front, the minimal rails of bow flank sides. I had remote optional spotlight (for $780 more) & Lewmar wind lass along with chain counter at bow of my test model (this will cost you $5,210 more). Some might opt for LED bow lights of docking (for $690 more) & while they were not on my test boat, but let me tell you that they are really bright.
The sophisticated helm
As one steps back in to cockpit the Formula is dressed up dash along with accents of burl wood & Livorsi instruments. Optional Garmin 740S GPS ($2,040 extra) was locted in center of panel, & Mercury’s SmartCraft screen was on right. Mercury’s System of Digital Throttle makes the corrections of engine comfortable affair along with 0 feed back. I thought that the 350 was having very good controllability of close quarters & benefits of Axius sterndrive joystick of docking system ($16,120 more) can’t be under stated. Amongst standard features for 350 are Bennett tabs of trim & trim indicators to give you good control of the engine attitude when you are running.
Comfortable cock pit for the long day trips
Going back down inside cockpit, you will not be struggling for making all the people comfortable and entertaining them all the way. On the helm, there is port side lounger along with room for 2 but there is little of room to stretch out for lounger style. Usual dearth of storage is there underneath and this gives you head room in mid cabin below.
Going back to aft cockpit is wet port side bar to preparing cold beverages & sandwiches for crew. Carry-on cooler is offered standard, but my test model came with good space-saving drawer of cooler ($2000 extra). Corian counter top comes with twin hinged lids to give you access to concealed bin of trash & sink. In storage locker underneath you will find switches for battery & main breakers at aft locker & carry-on cooler at the other end if you do not opt for cooler drawer. While you’ll usually have big conversation pit at aft lounger which wraps on from back of helm to port side walkthrough to swim plat form and you get to convert aft facing the sun lounger in to full length sun pad or in to cool bed below stars.
Big sole locker will store all the gear that you have brought on board, unless you go for 7.3 kw generator ($13,545 more), which fits inside this space. I was impressed with attention given to detail & order by the people at Formula. The materials of noise suppression, conduits & wire runs looked really neat & orderly. Getting up aft hatch, optional 496 MAG HOs ($29,380 extra) came with enough of room for easily doing all the daily checks & routine maintenance.
The swim platform
Walkthrough to swim platform is to the port, & it is boarding area if you tie it to floating dock. If you are secured to fixed pier, non-skid wide caprail & stainless grab rail will lead you to step inside cockpit. Boarding gate is inwards opening, as expected. Fresh water shower is located on right at entrance making for getting all the sand from the feet, or for washing off salt water before you board.
Full beam swimming plat form is out 32″ or 81.3 cms from transom, & space of walking extends on the sides. While out drives are tucked in to extended surface of running, I would like see reboarding ladder relocated on the side for further protecting the feet from any sharp edges, but this is my nit picky side. It isn’t like I jumped in to water for seeing if there is a problem.
Aft facing seat of rumble is pretty comfortable, & makes easy conversion in to sunpad. Storage of trunk is on starboard & all the TV, shore power, & inlets of city water are located below.
The features below
Just behind stairs of cabin is aft cabin having enough of room for queen-size bed & open enough for preventing claustrophobia. Mirror across aft wall makes room look larger. Forward on aft cabin is port side galley having beautiful cabinetry along with cherry accents & microwave oven. The open storage on the back of countertop is big enough for a wine bottle or bread loaf & spices. On the top is concealed cover of trash bin, single-burner concealed cooktop & over sized sink of stainless steel. Storage below has holder for paper towel & 3 drawers for the utensils. Refrigerator/freezer is on star board side and is in easy reach of galley.
Forward dinette convertible comes with Ultra leather upholstery & matching dual height table. This table stores away easily for more of room for chatting, installing the dinner, or dropping down & gets large berth along with the filler cushions. On star board side above refrigerator is entertainment center. My test model came with big large Sharp LCD TV along with DVD player. Standard system of stereo is Kenwood stereo. TV gets mounted on front of cover of cabinet over switch panel. This panel has bright lights of LED so you do not have any trouble seeing the breaker which you will be turning off & there’s iPod cradle in side for the MP3 player. Full wet head comes with Vacuflush toilet. Molded vanity comes with Corian counter top along with separate pull out for shower & sink along with faucet.
If you have been yearning to go up in terms of size, with out cutting on performance & power, then you now get a good choice with 350 Sun Sport of Formula. Pricing along with standard 377 MAGs is about $319,200. This might be pricey, but you get plenty of quality & detail and this makes a big difference. This boat will last long & it looks really good too.