|Deadrise/Transom||18 deg.||Water Cap||
|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.|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||2 x 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG|
2 x 380-hp Volvo Penta V8-380
2 x 300-hp Volvo Penta D4 DPH
2 x 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT
We find that the Formula 34 PC comes nicely equipped with features usually reserved for larger boats.
Capt. Steve Says…
Try as I might, I’m never able to find much to be disappointed about in a Formula. That’s par for the course though, since there are so many items that make a difference in these boats so that you really can have a good time showing it off when the friends come aboard. The Formula 34 PC is just another reason why formula boats are more expensive, but the extra bucks are worth the finished product.
You step aboard the 34 PC from the swim platform that measures 9’10” (25.4 cm) across, by 2’6.5” (16.5 cm). In the middle, is the concealed re-boarding ladder and here’s where the Formula difference begins. It’s a four-step ladder, held on by massive stainless steel hardware, the lid is supported by two gas-assist struts (as if any were needed at all) and the recessed well that the ladder resides in is self-draining.
The door that leads into the cockpit is fitted with a micro-switch that prevents the engine hatch from opening when the door is closed. The push of a button lifts the electrically actuated engine hatch and once raised, you really appreciate the roominess of the engine compartment. Everything is done right here, and I mean everything. All electrical connections are sealed for a harsh saltwater environment, sea strainers are massive, and all hoses double clamped. I even tried to shove the batteries with my foot and got nowhere. If you look at the aft quarters of this compartment, you can see extra bracing at the hull to deck joint, right where an errant captain may tag a piling in approach. Hey, even with Axius it happens.
Notice the optional hardtop with dual hatches. Ten custom made cleats surround the boat and make tie-ups a breeze.
Back up in the cockpit, all stowage areas are accessed by articulated stainless steel piano hinges for no-hands access. Nice touch. In those places where hinges can be seen, such as on doors or counter top hatches, the hinges are powder coated white.
The helm features dual flip-up bolsters, and I usually have trouble actually flipping up the bolsters on Formula’s, but these worked flawlessly and easily. The layout was textbook Formula with a Garmin chartplotter front and center and the MerCruiser Vessel View off to port. Engine controls were mounted on the 45-degree angle but it wasn’t so bad as these were digital throttles and worked effortlessly. Just ahead of the engine controls were the trim tab rockers. Just ahead of the tabs control was the Axius Joystick.
Down below, Ultraleather is everywhere and oh-so nice to touch. The aft (or mid) cabin was well laid out and just a step down from the main salon. This makes for a great conversation pit, and because it’s wide open to the salon, it really keeps everyone in the thick of the gathering when there’s a crowd below. And of course there are filler cushions for converting to a berth. I found 4'9” (1.45 m) of head room, but the sole goes forward to the salon enough, before stepping up, that you’re never in danger of hitting your head.
Note the pull-down blinds over the settee. These do a much more effective job than the curtains we see in other boats. The electrical panel is in the locker to the aft end of the settee.
The Main Salon
Between the dual overhead hatches, large portlights, and cabin door, the area has large amounts of natural light entering this salon. The 34 PC comes standard with an 18,000 BTU air conditioner, that worked marvels on our sweltering test day, but evenings tend to cool down to more tolerable levels and a sliding screen in the companionway would be a plus.
The settee is C-shaped, also Ultraleather, and converts to a berth. It faces the galley that is nicely appointed with dual voltage 4.6 cu. ft. stainless freezer/fridge, and a two burner stove recessed into the counter to keep pots from sliding and the cover has a micro-switch that shuts it off when closed. The upper cabinets are 13” deep, so yes, they will hold dinner plates. This galley also has a feature that we see on all Formula cruisers now... a coffee maker garage. There is an outlet inside and the compartment holds the standard Krupps coffee maker. What I thought was going to be a wastebasket in the counter turned out to be wine storage for four bottles. It was not refrigerated so this will be for your reds.
You have to appreciate how Formula never forgets that you are on a boat. Note the convenient grab rail for traversing the salon. The door to the left is access to the head.
The head is large enough to include a separate shower stall. I loved the contemporary faucet and Corian countertop. There is a portlight in the head that I’d like to see moved into the shower. The shower door is usually open so ventilating odors will still be effective and you’ll have the added bonus of allowing shower steam to be vented as well.
Up forward is an island berth that measures 6’4” by 5’9” (2 m x 1.5 m) and features a memory foam mattress and roomy storage below. The overhead hatch is screened and shaded to allow you to sleep in. The hatch also provides an emergency egress route. The two lockers to either side of the berth have shelves and internal lights on a micro-switch.
Under the forward berth are two large drawers. Additional storage is in the center of the deck. Notice how all the cabinet doors join in perfectly straight lines.
Handling and Performance
We tested the 34 PC on a (as usual) hot and humid day. She was powered by a pair of 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG outdrives. We reached a top speed of 46.7 mph at 4800 rpm. This gave us a fuel burn of 67.55 gph or .69 mpg. Not the best way to spend your time onboard, so dialing it back to a more economical 3500 rpm turned in a 32.2 mph speed. That generated a more reasonable 33.258 gph fuel burn meaning 0.97 mpg and a range of 179 miles with the 206 gallon tank topped off and holding back a 10% reserve. Time to plane was 4.8 seconds and 0 to 30 mph was 11.6 seconds.
Handling was just like you’d expect from a Formula. She took to the maneuvers just like… well, a performance cruiser. Her deep V hull and 18-degree deadrise, coupled with her fairly light 16,500 lb. dry weight kept her nimble and quick to respond to the helm. I did find the 34 PC to be sensitive to weight distribution but nothing a tab or two on the trim tabs couldn’t correct with ease. This is an outdrive powered boat so a couple of shots of up trim had us running nicely and at a good clip. Hard turns at speed showed no ventilation and the boat rolled into the turns comfortably so nothing got thrown to the outside of the turns. Jumping wakes showed no spray coming over the bow and we tended to go through the waves rather than over them. All in all, it was a nice experience handling this boat.
Formula 34 PC floor plan.
Of course with Axius, docking is a non-issue. If you are moving up from a sportboat and have any reservations about whether you can handle this boat or not, rest assured… you can, and so can your wife and kids. One thing though, the Axius system starts off in whatever mode you have the engine controls in. Therefore, a word to the wise, hit the “docking mode” button and then you can have much more sedate and gentle approach to your docking. Also, don’t be heavy handed. Just use pulses of joystick controls as you approach and let the boat’s momentum take effect. What you don’t want to do is crank on the stick like you’re playing a video game. You have to consider that each time you hit the stick, you’re engaging mechanical gears. You wouldn’t throw the engine controls back and forth, and you shouldn’t do it here either, slow and steady works every time.
Whether you refer to the Formula 34 PC as a pocket cruiser, or performance cruiser, the simple fact remains… this is a comfortable and great handling yacht that has a lot to offer. Not only does Formula add a lot of features that are typically reserved for larger yachts, but they stand behind their product with a 10-year hull and deck warranty.
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
= Standard = Optional
|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.|