There's so much going on in the Formula 45 Yacht that it's hard to know where to begin. She easily transitions between distance cruising, weekending for two couples or a small family, and entertaining a crowd for docktails and hors d'oeuvres. She's flat-out one of the most comfortable boats we've driven and the fit and finish, as with all Formula boats, is top-tier. And, of course, she is a status symbol extraordinaire.
Imron Standard graphic & cockpit accent striping
Electric windlass with chain counter, 200' chain, polished stainless steel anchor & hand-held remote control
Coupe top with tinted, tempered curved-glass windshield with vented center walk-thru door & side vents
Large, motorized coupe-top sunroof
Raymarine GPS navigational system with E120 chartplotter
Twin command seating with dual-position helm & companion seats with center storage compartment
High-gloss Deep Cherry finish cabinetry throughout
Formula had a successful run with its 48 Yacht, and set out to make ownership of such a fine piece of machinery available to more people by creating a smaller version. The plan worked and the 45 Yacht became so popular that it actually served to replace the 48 Yacht, which is now no longer in production.
Formula has combined the style and panache of a sporty express cruiser with the luxury of a large motoryacht in its flagship vessel, the 45 Yacht.
Sport Coupe Design
Anyone who's read my reports long enough knows how I feel about the logic of spending over $1,000,000 on a boat only to have to look through plastic windows stretching from the top of the windshield frame to the bottom of the hardtop. With the sport coupe design the glass windshield goes all the way up to the hardtop and the only plastic you'll see is the aft curtains, which are removable.
Formula was one of the first builders of express cruisers to adopt the coupe design in the U.S., so I am eternally grateful. But that is not the only place where they have been leaders in the boating industry. Because its boats are truly premium products the folks at Formula tend to try new things all of the time and when they discover a winning solution, they stick with it, often bringing other builders along the same path.
IPS is standard. While IPS used to be an option on the 45 Yacht, its popularity has proven that it's time to be relegated to the standards list. In the case of our 45 Yacht, the IPS600 has been chosen as the standard and only power plant. By mating the IPS600 system to the 45 Yacht, Formula has given it a lot more utility.
Joystick comes with it. This big yacht now has the handling of a runabout so the cruising couple who isn’t comfortable with a boat this size -- or just doesn’t want to sweat parking in tight slips with a crowd watching -- doesn’t have to consider their skill level as a deterrent. The cost can also be a positive with the IPS600 system, both in acquisition and maintenance. It takes less work to install during the build, and you gain more space to maintain the engine and drives. Formula could have taken the extra space gained for more interior room but elected to keep it in the engine space so you don’t have to be a gnome to comfortably work in there.
Imron Paint – After the hulls are completed they move into spray booth to get an expert application of Imron paint… a very high-end paint with proven lasting power. However, even this high-end paint isn't up to Formula standards and after the application the hull is then wet sanded and buffed out, sanded, buffed again, and again, and again until a mirror like finish, like none other in boating, is achieved. Having visited the Formula factory and seen firsthand how meticulous this process is, it was hard to imagine that when the team was done with the buffing that this boat was actually going to be destined for the water instead of being put under glass.
With radar and chartplotter the 45 Yacht can go anywhere your heart desires, day or night. The kids will love the optional satellite connection for TV. Dad can stay on top of the news from a remote island.
Surprisingly Expansive Standards List – I'm not talking about items to get added to the standards list just to make it look longer (nav lights, stainless cleats… etc.). I'm talking about actual items that are rarely seen on any standard list. From the minor items such as electric windlass with 200’ (61m) of chain and polished stainless steel anchor, to the built-in central VAC system, to the 18,000 BTU reverse cycle air conditioner. And that's just scratching the surface.
Formula Guard warranty program. Formula Guard is a Five-Year Limited protection plan designed to guarantee long-term satisfaction for Formula customers. Each Formula is protected by a combination of original manufacturers' warranties and supplemental product protection, which provides comprehensive coverage for a minimum of five years from the boat's original purchase date. In general, Formula and the boat's major component manufacturers (engines, transmissions, generator) administer warranty for the first year of ownership. Thereafter, a supplemental product protection plan -- Formula Guard -- takes over, providing extended coverage for many factory-installed accessories and components, including the major items noted above.
Designer John Adams. For over thirty years John Adams has been designing Formulas. He is quick to pick up on trends and, in fact, has created more than few himself. He is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced designers in the world in this class of boat and works exclusively for Formula.
Family-owned. Because of the economy there are fewer company-owned boat builders in the U,S. than ever before. Yet some of the best builders in the U.S. are family owned, and Formula is certainly among them. Family-owned boat builders care about the reputation of their brand. They genuinely care about their customers and when something goes wrong they have a vested interest in putting it to rights.
High status. Formula boats are among the most expensive in class no matter which size range they are in, and the 45 Yacht is no exception. All of those unusual items of standard equipment, the five-year warranty program, and the Imron finish regimen do not come cheap. Nor does Formula do anything on the cheap. It uses the best materials, best practices and certainly has one of the best staffs in boat building on the shop floor where personnel average over 20 years with the company. It all shows in the product…and in the price.
We tested on a rather calm day and found the 45 Yacht to be a simple boat to drive. Out in the channel, she crossed wakes and took the chop without hesitation or noisy crashes and bangs. She has a nice wide flared bow that threw water out to the sides and kept low enough to ensure a nice dry ride. This is obviously a boat made for plunging through heavy seas. Hard turns were smoothed out nicely and recovery to full speed was quick. She displaces 32,500 lbs. (12,772.7 kgs.) which means she’s got the beef to handle the big stuff and give you a good ride.
The twin 435-hp IPS 600 engines brought us to a top speed of 31.4 kn at 3550 rpm. At that speed fuel burn was measured at 43.5 gph for range of 227 nautical miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 23.8 kn. At that speed fuel burn was only 30 gph for a range of 250 nautical miles with a 10% fuel reserve. We reached planing speed and 6.3 seconds and continued accelerating through 30 mph in 17.7 seconds
Formula has taken the smaller space required for IPS and kept it where it came from… in the engine bay, rather than allocate it to living space. An automatic fire suppression system is standard.
At the Bow
The ground tackle is concealed under a flush mounted hatch. The 26” (66 cm) high 316 SS bow rails have mid-mounted life lines for added security. Two DriFast loungers are on the bow for enjoyment at anchor, and these have multi-position backs. Polished stainless steel Bomar hatches allow light and air into the lower decks.
Dual sunpads with multiple position backrests will be the right stuff for sun worshipers. Notice the roomy walkthrough windshield.
All of the features in this concealed anchor locker are on the standard equipment list.
The hardtop coupe has a full-height windshield and dual wipers with washer spray nozzles on the blades. The windshield has optional multiple defrosters which means you will be able pilot your 45 Yacht in foggy, misty or heavy rain conditions without having to have a cloth in your hand to de-fog the windscreen.
The ventilation comes from forward-opening side vents, a drop-down windshield at the top of the walk through door, and the large opening sunroof. I found that to be perfectly sufficient on our hot South Florida test day but if you find you need more you've got it.
A/C-Heat. Close the windows and fire up the standard 18,000 BTU cockpit air to further extend the comfort, and the 7,000 BTU below. But if you really want to get Arctic, opt up to the 30,000 BTU A/C ($9880). Since these are reverse cycle units they also will provide plenty of heat if you are in cool climates or travel between the two.
And let's not lose sight of the advantage of having the opening sunroof allow you to just observe the stars at night.
The 45 has an 11.5 kW generator with sound shield and dedicated battery to keep the A/C humming.
At the Helm
The helm seat is a split bench with dual bolsters and Ultraleather upholstery with deep comfortable cushions. Between the seats is a box large enough to store the electronics covers. The large Volvo Penta EVC display is to the left beneath the autopilot and depth gauge. These are part of a Raymarine electronics package that also includes the twin 12 inch displays ($17,545 – $42,635).
State-of-the-art Volvo Penta QL trim tabs with indicators are standard. To starboard and on top of the side panel are the IPS Joystick and Volvo Electronic Throttle and Shift controls for complete ease of operation.
That small triangular window was a forward opening vent. The seat is double-wide with twin flip up bolsters and storage in the middle armrest. The teak decking for the cockpit and swim platform is optional ($18,880).
The helm is laid out for extended cruising with a very high-end array of electronics available.
The Volvo Penta EVC display is completely customizable. The autopilot (upper left) will make extended voyages a relaxing affair. Yep, that's real burl wood.
Across on the port side is a large lounger for the family, or an additional couple, to join you and the Admiral as you head to your next destination. Under the seat is a large storage compartment. Seventeen stainless steel drink holders are peppered around to manage the drinks. Throw pillows are tethered to keep them on the lounger.
The roomy lounge seat to starboard shares the same great views as the helm, and what a place to watch a starry night from. The pillows are tethered to the seat to keep them from blowing away. Note the hand railing for going up through the windshield.
Even with the roomy walk-through windshield, Formula still accommodates side decks for line handling.
The Bar Is Open
Behind the helm is the cockpit wet bar/galley. The Corian top has a concealed sink, trash bin and carry-on cooler for clean ice to keep the drinks fresh. I really liked how the covers for the sink and cooler are hinged, saving one less item needing to be stowed.
Our test model had an optional electric cockpit grill ($3,235) and the optional cockpit ice maker/refrigerator ($690) in lieu of the standard refrigerator. An aft canvas curtain separates the chilled bridge deck and aft cockpit seating, and opening it up really brings the outdoors in.
Dining al-fresco has never been so good as on the Formula 45 Yacht. Check out how there are grab rails everywhere, and the covers are hinged so you don’t have to find a home for them.
The cockpit wet bar/galley is in close proximity to the cockpit seating and helm deck.
Across from the cockpit galley is J-shaped seating, and note the pedestal bases for the cockpit table. The day hatch leads to the engine room for quick checks.
The aft seats form a large sun lounge with tons of room. Thank goodness those weather-resistant cockpit seat cushions treated with PreFixx stain inhibitor or I'd never let those girls put their feet on them.
An aft facing, double-wide chaise lounge makes a great place to watch the action off the stern while at anchor.
Under the aft seat is plenty of storage and I'm holding the remote control for the optional hydraulically actuated swim platform/teak beach ($33,435) that lowers for an easy launching pad for your tender or PWC.
Another look at the optional hydraulic swim platform. Teak decking for the platform and cockpit deck is optional.
The centerline cabin entry has teak and the wood steps with rubber anti-skid treads leading into the salon/galley. The port side L-shaped galley is gourmet-quality with rich deep gloss cherry cabinetry with furniture-grade dovetailed drawers and Corian counters. There is plenty of room to store food and dry goods, including a sole locker. Galley equipment includes a double-burner stove with vent fan, convection microwave oven, brushed stainless steel sink, coffeemaker and upright refrigerator/freezer. In the end of the cabinet is a nifty lighted showcase wine rack complete with tempered stemware and tumblers… all standard.
This galley is an exciting combination of light-wood cherry cabinets above and dark wood below. Natural light comes in from overhead hatches and opening hull side port lights and notice the high overhead. Clearly, this galley does not lack for storage.
Here's a nice touch for storing your wineglasses and tumblers in a secure position that eliminates damage while underway.
This entire galley/salon area has 6'11" of headroom. The salon has a large U-shaped lounger with solid wood table and barstool. Deep gloss cherry cabinets surround the lounger, housing storage space and the entertainment center. Among the standard features are a Bose Lifestyle surround sound home theater system for the 40 inch widescreen LCD TV. On our test boat, the 40 inch widescreen was also rigged to display images from the helm nav system, right down to the thermal imaging camera.
The 40 inch flat screen is standard. Seats are soft Ultraleather and notice the lumbar supports.
Just drop the table and add filler cushions to form another berth so the boat can sleep six in a pinch.
The mid cabin stateroom has twin beds with storage under the steps, a drawer in the end of the forward bed and a quick-fill, flip-over filler to convert this into one large bed. An LCD TV is mounted on a storage door which allows the TV to swing out for viewing from the berths. There is standing headroom between the bunks, at least for my 5'8.5'' (1.73 m) height.
This stateroom has its own separate combination head and shower. The vanity and sink are outside the head so two people can get ready for night on the town at the same time. The power distribution panel is in a wall closet just as you enter the room.
Twin berths easily convert to a queen sized. Notice the full length mirror on the closet door.
The back of the guest stateroom door features a full-length mirror. The vanity is just to my left.
The entry to the master stateroom is via a solid core door. The centerline bed has a step up and matching port and starboard hanging lockers. Our test model had a safe mounted in the port locker and the stereo CD stacker and iPod cradle mounted in the starboard locker.
The in-room LCD/TV with DVD player is mounted on the starboard side for private night-time entertainment. The Bose sound system has a zone system to pipe the surround sound into your private space. This stateroom also has a separate shower and head compartment so you don’t tie up the head while taking a shower.
The two doors at the entry to the forward master are for a head and sink, to the left, and shower to the right.
How’s this for the "little things mean a lot" category? The mirrors in the master head are positioned so you can see your back as well. Try to find that little touch in another boat.
Note the steps to either side of the island berth to ease getting in and out. The cabin could use some overhead storage over the curtains, as well as forward and behind them.
Price and Observations on the Formula 45 Yacht
The suggested retail price of the standard 45 Yacht is $1,038,000, pretty nicely loaded, including VHF radio, chartplotter, and the Raymarine ST-70 graphic information display. All you need is radar for night running, or operation in foggy areas.
She was a pleasure to operate in clearly has the capabilities to become a home away from home, or a very classy weekend getaway. And in that respect you can think of her as a weekend waterfront cabin -- a movable one of course.
Formula 45 Yacht (2012-) Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Formula 45 Yacht (2012-) is 36.1 mph (58.1 kph), burning 43.50 gallons per hour (gph) or 164.65 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Formula 45 Yacht (2012-) is 27.4 mph (44.1 kph), and the boat gets 0.91 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.39 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 288 miles (463.49 kilometers).
Tested power is 2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Formula 45 Yacht (2012-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Washdown: Fresh Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Oil Change System
= Standard = Optional
Formula 45 Yacht (2012-) Warranty
Formula 45 Yacht (2012-) 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.
Formula 45 Yacht (2012-) Price
Formula 45 Yacht (2012-) Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
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.
Members must log in to view the test results section.