The name Ilmor has been part of recreational and performance boating for over a decade, but now they’ve teamed up with Formula boats to provide the first crossover powerplant designed for both markets. To commemorate the event, Formula created all new graphics that signal that this boat means business.
10-year structural warranty
Silver Series 3-color Imron design #1, #2 or #3 in Antigua, Stealth or Bayport
Tilt steering wheel with silver, red or blue accent inserts
Clarion stereo with high power output and changer control
Integrated swim platform with concealed swim ladder
At 35’3” (10.74 m) LOA this 353 FAS³Tech is big, but she’s still surprisingly easy to handle.
Typically go-fast boats are made to do exactly that… Go fast. The recipe is a simple one, take a long, narrow hull, add massive engines with straight pipes, move levers forward as desired. Everything else is typically inconsequential, especially the fit and finish of the interior.
Formula decided to take a different route. Rather than make its performance boats the fastest on the planet, they chose to make them go fast enough while providing the luxury, upscale features, and fit and finish that they are so well known for. The result is the FAS³Tech line. While these boats may not crack 100 mph barrier, for most of us 80 mph will do just fine while it happens in one of the best looking boats in class on the planet.
Imron Graphics. Imron is a relatively expensive paint and the process to apply it can be difficult and time-consuming. But in the end, the looks are stunning and that's why Formula goes to the trouble of using it. But it doesn't just use it to change the color of the hull, they use Imron for the graphics.
Adjustable Foot Rests. While the high-performance McLeod bucket seats do not have a fore and aft adjustment, the foot rests do. In this manner a captain of any height will find comfort while operating the 353.
This 353 FAS³Tech is styled much like a missile. She has a narrow 8'3" (2.51 m) beam that seems to emphasize her length even more. Attention to cockpit and interior styling detail is exactly what we've come to expect from the design team at Formula. A hot boat should have bold interior trim and colors and the 353 has them -- but they are tasteful. That is to say, painted on flames, neon colors and rhinestone trim will not be found here.
The cockpit is laid out for five so everyone is guaranteed a thrilling ride.
Under the bench seat is room for storage, the main battery switches, and circuit breakers.
The sun pad measures 5' x 6' (1.5 m x 1.8 m). The swim platform comes out 15” (38.1 cm) from the transom.
The bow is as much a showpiece as the rest of the 353 with its Imron graphics, which run straight across the dash and all the way to the stern.
The Formula Recipe
The Formula brand was born back in the heady early days of the sport of offshore powerboat racing with pioneers like Don Aronow and Jim Wynn, beating the hell out of their kidneys racing from Miami to Nassau. The Porter family, which has owned Formula for decades and built it into a world-class brand, is no stranger to racing. Company president Scott Porter is a former offshore World Champion and for years Formulas were campaigned on racing circuits all over the world. Today, because of the world economic situation Formula is taking a more subdued approach to racing, but its commitment to building high-quality, plush, high-performance boats is unabated.
The new FAS³Tech line is denoted by its new hull design that incorporates three separate running surfaces produced by two steps built into the hull. The “steps” actually serve to force air under the hull and thereby reduce surface friction for an even faster ride than a boat with a smooth deep-V. Some builders put in one step, but Formula puts in two.
Formula 353 FASTech floor plan.
Strength Requires Weight
So now we have the stepped hull and the horses doing their job, but we’re slowing the boat down a bit because it’s relatively heavy… 9,500 lbs. (4,309 kgs.), which is 1,000 – 1,500 lbs. heavier than most, but not all, of the other high-performance boats. So what makes the 353 so heavy and why does Formula do this? The weight comes from the construction methods, added materials, and to a lesser extent, the amenities.
Rather than use a traditional stringer system, Formula utilizes a separately made fiberglass grid system that gets chemically bonded to the bilge. Because the boat will be hitting square ones at 80 mph or more, the hull laminate is sold fiberglass and tough. The result is a heavier boat, but a stronger and beefier one, and that means a more solid riding boat as well as a safer one. It also means that the 353 might be slower than some go-fast boats that are lighter.
In these three shots, the reason is clear for the added weight in Formula’s FAS³Techs. The first shows the reinforcing grid system suspended over the hull. In the center, the chemical bond is being placed onto the hull. And finally, the two parts are joined with the strength of one.
Speed Requires Strength
We can’t stress enough the importance of having a strong hull when operating at these high speeds. At 85 mph, waves are not soft, rather they are more like concrete without the rebar. That is why the shape of the hull, the deadrise and the strength of the boat are all so important. Picture a car going over speed bumps every 15 feet while traveling at 70 mph and one will get an idea of the punishment a boat like this has to endure.
Mercury’s Bravo 1 XR drives are interconnected by a stainless steel tie-bar.
And Then, The Amenities
Let’s not forget that the 353 FAS³Tech is still a Formula. It didn’t just make an empty cabin in the hopes of keeping it light. The 353 FAS³Tech has a plush cabin flush with perks. Starting at the bow with an Ultraleather double bow berth, then an Ultraleather wrap-around lounge seat that can convert to another double berth with filler cushions, a removable Corian cocktail table, an entertainment center with polished stainless steel sink and Corian countertop, a dual-voltage refrigerator and a private head compartment.
Rather than keep it Spartan, Formula fitted out the 353 FAS³Tech cabin with a double berth, wrap around sofa, entertainment center and head compartment. Far forward is a double bunk. The table stows and the two bench seats make into another double. To port is the modest galley and to starboard the head.
Seen from the front, the cabin is small, but serves its purpose for the occasional overnight.
Sitting at the helm, with the 353’s long and narrow foredeck, makes one feel like they’re sitting at the controls of a missile. But it is a comfortable missile. Dual wrap-around McLeod electrically adjusted seats are built for sustained high-speed operation. These McLeod seats have been developed over years of offshore racing use. And both the driver and observer get an electrically adjustable McLeod footrest. Any height captain will feel right at home on the 353 FAS³Tech.
The McLeod seats keeps the captain and observer secure when shooting through waves. The seats drop down and then they become leaning posts. While the seats have no fore and aft adjustments, the foot rests are adjustable.
The helm is laid out with a minimum of gauges so that the eyes are not drawn to the panel for an extended period. Dual Livorsi engine controls can be seen to the right and just ahead are the trim tab and outdrive switches.
Formula went with a carbon fiber panel with a plastic overlay for protection and the combination really adds to the looks of the 353 FAS³Tech.
So if getting there ahead of the rest of the pack and arriving in first class style are part of the float plan, then the Formula 353 FAS³Tech might be just the boat to fill the need. She is definitely not for everyone -- and that's a big part of her appeal.
Formula 353 FASTech (2014-) Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Formula 353 FASTech (2014-) is 85.2 mph (137.1 kph), burning 88.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 333.08 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Formula 353 FASTech (2014-) is 46.2 mph (74.4 kph), and the boat gets 1.71 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.73 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 229 miles (368.54 kilometers).
Tested power is 2 x 570-hp Ilmor MV8.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Formula 353 FASTech (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Formula 353 FASTech (2014-) Warranty
Formula 353 FASTech (2014-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Formula 353 FASTech (2014-) Price
Formula 353 FASTech (2014-) Price
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation.
Test Power: 2 x 570-hp Ilmor MV8
Time To Plane
0 to 30
2 x 570-hp Ilmor MV8
1.50 : 1
Mercury Racing Maximus 15.25 x 25 - five bladed
2 persons, 5/9 fuel, 4/5 water, 20 lbs of gear
55 deg., 85 humid.; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: 12-20'' chop