For the last several years Formula has been creating their new models for 21st Century and this year Formula targeted its efforts on the 290. It is “all new” which means not just a new deck or layout, but every inch of this boat has been redesigned and retooled from the keel up. The 290 Sun Sport replaces the old 280. The all-new Formula 290 Sun Sport has a 23-degree deadrise and lines that would make Pininfarina proud.This is not a bowrider – what you are seeing forward (with X-Ray vision)
is the interior of the 290 Sun Sport cuddy. Designed for Big Water
First of all she has a 22-degree deadrise, slightly deeper than the old model, and just two-degrees away from the 24-degrees that you find on the best offshore race boats. Two degrees may not seem like much, but when it comes to high-speed rides in a stiff chop, it makes a big difference. The other reason that Formula chose to go with the deep-V is because many of their customers use their boats in “blue water.” So you can have the biggest sports yacht on the lake, or a high-performance – and comfortable -- sportboat on saltwater. The Love Boat
Formula has placed the companion seat next to the helm seat and it is individually adjustable. We like this for a lot of very obvious reasons. Adjacent to the helm on the port side is seating for two facing the helm. We can’t recall seeing this before in this class of boat, and we think of it as a “love seat” – sort of like the kind you might have in your living room. We’re not sure Formula is happy with that description, but the fact is that it is a cozy place for two people to sit – close together – and it’s a nice place to be with your honey talking to the skipper and his honey! Or, if a family has this boat, mom and dad can be with the kids.All the New Innovations
Every year Formula evolves all of their models and of course the 290 has all of the latest tricks such as swing down arm rests, the folding sun pad aft, RTM, closed molding for hatches, etc. While lots of equipment comes standard on Formulas that is usually optional on other brands, the builder has also expanded its option list. And there are some new interesting things on it this year, for example the pull-out drawer refer for the cockpit and the Captain’s Call thru-transom exhauster diverter.As Shiny as a Formula
If you have ever had the feeling that the gel coat on a Formula is shinier than on other brands, that’s because it is. But those beautiful colors you see on a Formula are not in the gel coat – they are in the Imron paint. No only that, but Formula buffs its Imron paint and the gel coat up to 18 times before a boat is approved for shipping. But that is only half the story.
While at one time boat builders had to make their own hull tooling and molds, years ago most builders started farming out that unpleasant, and incredibly labor-intensive chore to third parties who could do it faster, cheaper and – they will tell you – better. The folks who own Formula disagree with the “better” part, and insist on making their own plugs and molds. And when it comes to faring hull plugs (from which the mold is made) there is no substitute for hundreds of hours of sanding with fine grit paper no matter who does it.
Formula credits the incredibly glossy and fair finish of their boats to “elbow grease” and plenty of it. Next time you see a Formula, sight along the hull and let the light play over it, and you’ll see a fair hull. This is one of the reasons that Formula boats cost more than many other brands.5 to 10-Year Warranties
Formula is one of just a handful of boat builders which offers a comprehensive 5-year warranty on virtually everything in the boat, and it is transferrable. There is a 10-year warranty on the hull. These two warranties not only offer piece of mind, but also make the boat worth more at retail. Built By Hand
Virtually all boats by all companies are built by hand simply because production numbers are so low robotics are limited even among the highest volume builders. But some hands are better at what they do than others. Formula is located in a small town in northern Indiana where the work force is stable and the same people have been working there for decades. They know what they are doing and how to do it. Also, Formula’s corporate culture has a lot to do with their extremely high fit and finish. Anything less than the best is just not acceptable and all of the workers take pride in their product.Three Weeks in Production
Increasingly these days boats are built to order. Dealers are not loading up their yard with stock, so if you want one of the new 290 Sun Sports for this summer, you’d better get your name in now. We’re told that it currently takes three weeks to just to build a 290, in addition to the time it takes to place the order and work out the list of options.The Price
The MSRP of the 290 with twin Volvo Penta 5.7 L GiDP engines is $179,410. As we look over the options, very few are really necessary, but some would add to the fun or ease of handling of the boat. All up, then, you might be looking at about $200k MSRP.