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Formula 290 Sun Sport (2014-)
(w/ Currently no test numbers)

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How Formula Makes its Hulls & Decks

Captain Steve goes to the Formula Factory to see how their hulls and decks are made.
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Brief Summary

Formula is probably the closest brand built in America that captures the essence of a luxury sports car on the water – and the 290 Sun Sport has lots of parallels with the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and the 599 GTB Ferrari – but is far less expensive! And like those vaunted sports cars, there will not be many of this 290 built, because it takes the Formula factory about three weeks to turn one out.

Key Features

  • 10-year structural warranty
  • Imron graphic A, B or C with cockpit accent striping
  • 6 custom Formula logo-cast pull-up cleats
  • 316 L stainless steel transom grab rail and ski tow eye
  • Dash panels with brushed graphite finish and wood burl accents
  • U-shaped aft lounge seating with storage and 24-quart cooler
  • Molded wet bar with sink, countertop, cooler, and trash container
  • Optional transom-mounted stainless propane grill
  • UltraLeather U-shaped forward dinette lounge/double berth with table and filler cushion
  • Cabin includes entertainment center with hanging locker, drink holders and countertop
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 29' 0''
    8.84 m
    Beam 9' 0''
    2.90 m
    Dry Weight 8,950 lbs.
    4,060 kg
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft 40''
    1.02 m
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 22-deg.
    Max Headroom Open
    Bridge Clearance 8' 2''
    2.49 m w/ arch
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 110 gal.
    416 L
    Water Capacity 21 gal.
    79 L
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

    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.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power N/A
    Tested Power Currently no test numbers
    Opt. Power 1 x 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT Bravo Three X
    1 x 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG High Output ECT Bravo Three X
    2 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG ECT Bravo Three
    2 x 320-hp MerCruiser 377 MAG ECT Bravo Three
    3 twin Volvo Penta V8 Duoprop engine options

    Captain's Report

    For the last several years Formula has been creating their new models for the 21st century and this year Formula targeted its efforts on the 290. Every inch of this boat has been redesigned and retooled from the keel up. The 290 Sun Sport replaces the old 280.

    Formula 290 Sun Sport

    The Formula 290 Sun Sport has a 22-degree deadrise and lines that would make Pininfarina proud.

    Formula 290 Sun Sport Floor

    This is not a bowrider – what one is 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 23-degree deadrise, slightly deeper than the old model, and just two-degrees away from the 24-degrees that is found 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 one 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 that might have in a 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 one's honey talking to the captain 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 refrigerator for the cockpit and the Captain’s Call thru-transom exhauster diverter.

    As Shiny as a Formula

    If one has 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 that is seen on a Formula are not in the gel coat – they are in the Imron paint. Not 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 the boater – 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 one sees a Formula, look along the hull and let the light play over it, and one will 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.

    The Price

    The MSRP of the 290 with a single Volvo Penta V8-380 C engine is $187,270. 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, the boater might be looking at about $200k MSRP.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    GPS/Chart Optional
    VHF Radio Optional


    Air Cond./Heat Optional
    Battery Charger/Converter Optional
    CD Stereo Standard
    Head: Fixed Standard
    Trim Tabs Standard
    TV/DVD Optional
    Windlass Optional


    Microwave Optional
    Refrigerator Optional

    Exterior Features

    Carpet: Cockpit Optional
    Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
    Swim Ladder Standard
    Swim Platform Standard
    Transom Shower Standard
    Wet bar Standard


    Bimini Top Optional
    Cockpit Cover Standard


    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!


    Pricing Range: $187,270.00

    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.