By Capt. Bob Smith, Test CaptainDesigned to thrill
The new 240 Bow Rider enters the market this year bringing performance, handling and great looks in a smaller, more affordable open bow boat. Just because it is their entry level boat, don’t think for a second that Formula skimped on technology, styling or class with this one.At the Bow
Up front there is a boarding ladder with a cover so you can nose up to the beach and not have to take a leap to get to shore. The pop-up cleats up front keep the gunwales clear underway, and store way from when you do not need them. The recessed cup holders have room for two drinks on each side of the bow and a speaker is also in this recess so the tunes can easily be heard up here. Low stainless steel rails provide safety without distracting from the sleek styling. The lounger backs on the front of the helm and companion pods along with sculpted in armrests make it very comfortable for two to relax up front. The seat bottoms are hinged so that you can get to the ample storage without having the cushions moving around when you are underway. When you are ready to serve some snacks and beverages at anchor, simply add a stow-away table in the front.Great Storage
Below the snap-in carpet in the center is a huge locker for skis, wakeboards and a ton of other gear. Formula has even thought about how annoying it is to find all the poles to hold up the canvas and added clips in here to organize and store them. Inside the helm storage area, Formula has mounted the stereo so it is out of the way, yet easy to access when needed. And if you want to block the cool morning air, the door to this storage swings over and becomes a lower door.Cockpit Features
In the cockpit both bucket seats have slide and swivel adjustments to make it comfortable for all to sit up front or drive this model. The bolster provides enough lift to see safely over the bow when coming out of the hole and getting up to speed. Over on the companion side, you have two cup holders and rather than a simple grab rail you may see on other models, Formula’s is a wrap-around grab rail for added safety. Pop open the door and there is a relatively large changing room. Your family will also love the fact you can have your own portable head in here for extra convenience while out on the water and in the anchorage.Behind the Wheel
The helm reminded me more of a high-end car than a boat because of its wood accents and bright easy-to-read gauges. Over to the left is a digital depth gauge to keep you out of shallow water and a compass is over on the right to help you find you way in unfamiliar areas. You control the tunes with a remote just to the left of the wheel. Rocker switches control the power and have lights in the switch to show you what is still on when you are out at night. Talk about convenience, there is a handy refreshment center just aft of the helm with more cup holders and a single faucet. The trash bin is below along with the battery switches and main power breakers. Our test boat even had a stainless steel arch over the cockpit with a high tow point for wakeboard action.
The plush seating continues at the stern and these seats also have hinges to keep the cushions where they belong, even in rough waters. Three more cup holders are up in the corner above the stern seats so you can use them underway or from the swim platform while at anchor. Under the port side seat is a handy carry-on cooler for drinks and sandwiches. You can also set the table up here in the stern for snacks. The sun pad is going to garner a lot of attention. Once I figured out how to use the locking pin without a fight, I found it has three positions. You can set it up fully flat to make a huge sun tanning space, pop-up a headrest so you can lay out and keep an eye on the action, or set up the rear bench seat for more room to sit while underway.
The motor is accessed via a motorized hatch making it a snap to do pre-launch checks and light maintenance. Our boat was powered with Volvo’s 5.7 Ocean Series motor with Captain’s Call exhaust. They took full advantage of storage in this boat and that includes a nested space for the table in the engine box. Stepping through the starboard walkthrough brings you to the swim platform which extends over the exhaust. Over to port is another locker that has room for long skis and other water toys. This boat also had another stereo remote at the stern walkthrough so you can change the channels or CDs without having to climb all the way back in the boat.Specs and Performance
This exciting new model is 24-feet length overall with a beam width of 8’6”. She weighs in at 5,000 lbs and only needs about 36” draft. With a beefy 60 gallon fuel tank, you will enjoy a great day on the water without stopping for fuel. We tested her on the salt waters of the Intra Coastal waterways in Sanibel, FL. With a lot of chop from a busy weekend, this boat handled very well. I found she topped out at 46.2 mph turning 5000 rpm and was cruising at 22.8 mph at 3000 rpm for a full tank range of 149 miles. She is out of the hole in only 3.9 seconds and up to 30 mph in 8 seconds.
If you have always wanted to get into a Formula performance ride and needed to have something a bit more affordable or trailerable, the new 240 BR will deliver this and much more.