As the boating industry faces its toughest challenge ever in the super-exclusive niche of high-performance boats one
brand is emerging as the ultimate survivor – Formula. Ironically, in 1962 the Formula
233 -- in large part -- started it all. It's direct descendent 47 years later is
the Formula 353 Fas3Tech and it is perhaps the most classiest, most reliable, and well-built
high-performance boat on the water today. While the 353 is certainly adequately
powered with a pair of 496 Mags pushing the 63-66 mph range, it can solidly handle
power all the way up to twin 600 hp, and will approach 90 mph with the ITS drive
The Formula 353 Fas3Tech has bloodlines that reach back to the beginning of
the modern era of offshore racing -- and class, something often in short supply
in high-performance boats.
Fas3Tech test and video --
It All Started with Aronow
It is important to remember that the Godfather of offshore racing -- Don Aronow
-- founded Formula in 1962 in Miami, Florida. The original 233 deep-V hull design
was built at his direction and later earned notable victories on the national offshore
racing circuit. Formula was the first of Aronow’s boat companies. It was the charismatic
Aronow who popularized the new breed of high-performance speedsters and he sold
his boats to presidents, kings, sheiks, Indy race car drivers, and more than a few
Aronow sold the Formula company a few years later without a non-compete and quickly
started another boat brand that looked suspiciously like his first. What followed
was a succession of brands over the years as Aronow discovered that he could make
more money starting and selling boat companies than could actually selling boats.
Magnum, Donzi, Cigarette and several other brands all started off in Aronow’s 188th
St. North Miami “factory.”
Aronow with the Beatles in a Formula in 1965.
All of the boats were based on his first deep-V Formula 233 design, but were simply
longer and wider, and equipped with ever more powerful engines as time went on. It
wasn’t long until there were imitators and by the 1980s there were dozens of go-fast
World in Transition
But things have gone full circle. Today most brands of high-performance boats are
gone, some that do remain are built in little more than garages here and there with
little or no infrastructure, and only a couple are actually manufactured with the
depth of engineering, quality control, fit and finish, and aftermarket support that
a buyer of such a boat would expect. Of those, Formula heads the list in our opinion.
The 353 has a cozy berth for two in the bow forward of the wrap around seating
you see here, which can also be made into bunks.
The 353, while a serious performer, is no stripped-down go-fast fiberglass shell
papered over with a vinyl interior. That is not how Formula builds boats. This boat
was built for high performance, but the lucky owner will not lack for cabin and
cockpit amenities, from the galley to the entertainment center to the fully-enclosed
The 353 is available with Formula’s Platinum series premium graphics, as well as
Gold and standard Silver series as well, so factory graphics are available in a
wide variety of styles to match an individual’s taste and pocketbook.
Speaking of the customer’s pocketbook, the 353 FAS3Tech is also available in a “Sport”
configuration which means it has a few less standard amenities, and some options
are not available, but it is lower priced. We think this boat will appeal to someone
who is looking to get into the Formula line, or the customer who has moved beyond
the 292 FAS3Tech, but is not quite ready or able to make the leap to a fully equipped
Our Test Numbers
We tested the 353 powered with twin 470-hp 500 EFI MerCruisers and got a top speed
of 74.4 mph at 5300 rpms. Now, if you think that is slow, let us remind you that
back in the late 1970s, just after Don Aronow retired from active offshore racing,
and men like Doc Magoon were winning the Offshore World Championships, the top speed
of the boats then was about 74 mph in the races. And these great race drivers thought
that was plenty fast! Our best cruise speed recorded was 53.2 mph, getting 1.1 mpg,
which is not bad considering there are 940 horses in the stern.
To see the complete test, click here…
The 353 Fas3Tech is a crowd pleaser wherever it goes and it is just as versatile
as one’s imagination.
With summer just a few days away there is not much time to jump into one of these
sleek, head-turning speedsters with the bloodlines that started it all.
To find out what is available and how much they cost, contact
the factory at…