Formula 353 FasTech full review
Formula chose to make a boat which goes really enough, but still has fine coach work & reliability which made Formula very famous for the cruiser express line. 353 FasTech isn’t a boat that is built in garage from wild-eyed gear heads. Rather, it’s production boat that is built in same factory along with same crafts men as rest of Formulas. Also, 353 has plenty of amenities & comfort – & warranty too, some thing that is unusual for the go-fast boats. The engines come through Mercury Racing’s works of skunk at Fond du Lac & options of horse power go up to about 1200-hp. Lets see how this thing performs along with 525s pair?
Key Features Of Formula 353 FasTech
Foam-filled molded continuous structural grid
Hardware of stainless steel and 316 L welded rails of stainless steel
Tempered, tinted curved-glass wind shield
Panels of dash along with blue, black, or red finish of carbon-fiber
Livorsi chromed throttles/shifters along with an in-handle out drive switch of trim
Illuminated water proof accessory switches of rocker along with circuit breakers of E-T-A
McLeod offshore-style electric-assist bolsters
Cock pit cover along with non-fading color-coordinated Sun brella acrylic fabric along with vinyl SeaMark undercoating
Wrap-around ultra leather lounge double/seating berth along with cushions of filler
Entertainment center along with stainless steel polished sink, Corian counter top and demand system of water
Brand of Formula was born in early heady days of sport from off shore racing of powerboat along with the pioneers like Jim Wynn and Don Aronow beating hell out of the kidneys racing to Nassau from Miami. Porter family which owned Formula for a long time & built it in to brand that is world-class, isn’t a stranger for racing. Scott Porter, the company president, is former off shore World Champion & for a long time Formulas were campaigned for circuits racing all over world. Now, due to world situation of economy Formula is now taking subdued approach for racing, but their commitment for building plush, high-quality, boats of high-performance is still unabated.
The New hull. New line Formula 353 FasTech is now denoted by the design of new hull which incorporates 3 separate surfaces of running produced by 2 steps that are built in to this hull. These “steps” serve actually for forcing the air under hull & thereby reducing friction of surface for faster ride as compared to boat having smooth deep-V. Few builders put in 1 step, but the Formula puts 2.
Strength needs weight
Now that we’ve stepped hull & horses are doing the job, we are slowing this boat down a little as it is relatively heavy… about 9,500 lbs (or 4,309 kg), which is about 1000 – 1500 lbs heavier as compared to most, but not each one, of other boats of high-performance. So what is it that makes 353 very heavy & why is Formula doing this? Weight comes through construction methods, some added materials, & for lesser extent, few amenities.
Instead of using traditional system of stringer injected along with closed-cell super light foam, Formula uses separately that is made by fiberglass system of grid which chemically gets bonded to hull. Due too this, there is heavier boat, but beefier & stronger 1, which means building boat that is more solid in riding and more safer boat too. It also says that 353 may be a bit slower as compared to other go-fast boats which are lighter.
Speed needs strength
I can not stress enough importance of getting strong hull while operating at the high speeds. For the high speed, waves aren’t soft, instead they’re more like some concrete with out rebar. That’s why shape of hull, dead rise & strength of boat is really important. Picture any car going through speed bumps for every fifteen feet while it is traveling @ 70mph and you will get some idea of punishment that boat needs to endure.
Let us not forget that this Formula 353 FasTech is still Formula. They did not simply make empty cabin hoping to keep things light. 353 FAS³Tech comes with plush flush cabin along with perks. Starting @ bow along with Ultraleather berth of double bow, then Ultraleather lounge seat that is wrap-around can convert to 1 more double berth along with filler cushions, removable Corian cock tail table, entertainment center along with polished sink of stainless steel & Corian counter top, refrigerator dual-voltage & compartment of private head.
Sitting @ helm, along with 353’s narrow and long figure, makes one feel like you are sitting @ controls of missile. But it’s comfortable missile. Wrap-around dual McLeod seats that are electrically adjusted are built to give you sustained operation at high-speeds. These McLeod seats are developed over the years for racing offshore. Additionally, driver gets electrically adjustable footrest of McLeod. For all heights, the captain will feel at home on this Formula 353 FasTech .
Lets talk about the engines. How fast can this boat go? As mentioned, this test boat is powered by twin 8.2 L 525-hp EFI engines through Mercury Racing going through Bravo One XR units of lower. This is smallest engine which Mercury Racing is offering and it will give you some idea about where the boat will go idea of about the boat will go, if you wanna to take her around.
Now before I get to the top speed, let me talk regarding getting this boat to the run. While moving Livorsi throttles ahead, this bow comes all the way up. You will lose some visibility so you need to check area before taking off, once you are on the plane, it is all business. It is fast business.
Steering at speed
You might be expecting a description from me about for describing unique skill set which it takes for getting up to speed realm which not a lot of people will afford, but I am sorry to disappoint. Not for this boat. The speed is matter of putting in more throttle & along with 353, any one will do it. This is really scary for that any kinda idiot will be able do it. It is also good praise for design of 353 in for any idiot will do it, including myself. Speedometer needle comes really fast, & because of the size, you won’t feel that you are going very fast.
While moving throttle forward & bow gets down, do not lolly gag @ 2500 rpm just because she is not solid on the plane. Just keep moving throttle forward & she will be one happy lady. Around ¾ of the travel of throttle had me @ 4000 rpm & I looked down very briefly for seeing that I was @ 57.9 mph… & she had plenty lot of handling to give. I eased throttles forward expecting bad characteristics of handling for materialize that some times come along with this kinda speed, but it did not happen. The oscillation that is operator induced, chine walking… things you’ve to compensate for & go through. But she was rock solid. Hence, forward went throttles again… up to top 5250 rpm.
The speed numbers
Some fiddling along with trim for keep bow nailed to water & there I was at the top speed. There was no chine walking, none of fear factor, just plenty of looking really awesome & sounding really tough. My top speed? it was 80.2mph. Not really bad for boat which is not competing for high end of speed chain of food & I was doing it along with pair of the Mercury Racing 525s.