Capt. Steve's Report...
Access via the Swim Platform
When stepping aboard the 40 PC via the swim platform; our test boat had the optional hydraulic lift platform that doubles as a PWC lift. It measured 11’ (3.35 m) x 3.5’ (1.06 m). A three-step boarding ladder is in a center mounted deck hatch. Reinforcements for PWC supports and tie downs were already mounted on the platform. Two steps up to the lower cockpit deck there's a U-shaped seating plan that keeps everyone facing each other for conversation. Two pedestal bases allow for either a table, or supports for sun pad filler cushions. A center mounted hatch allows access to the IPS500s for daily engine checks.
To port lies a wet bar. Below and aft is a compartment that houses a wastebasket, the ship's electrical main, and the battery switches, as well as a dedicated storage spot for a fire extinguisher. To the right of that compartment is a refrigerator/icemaker. Up above is a covered sink, and an optional cockpit LCD TV. Two more steps up to the bridge deck, to port is a bench seat that allows one to either sit and face the captain or recline to face aft and watch as the wake fades to the horizon.
At the helm a wide bench seat allows for another set of eyes looking forward; there are individual flip-up bolsters and a storage compartment between the two seats. At the panel, two multi-function gauges lie to port, just above the Volvo Smart Command Vessel View screen. A Raymarine e127 display lies front and center. Off to starboard, two Raymarine displays give speed/depth/heading and autopilot functionality. There is a Lewmar chain counter outboard of the panel. We like chain counters and any boat with chain anchoring at night should have one, in our opinion.
Below the panel there is a row of rocker switches, tilt wheel, VHF, and ignitions. Mounted low to the starboard bulkhead are the circuit breakers, a speaker for the VHF and the controls for the Volvo EVC (electronic vessel control). The engine controls themselves are mounted on a 45-degree angle. I’d like to see them mounted on the horizontal. When one's hand moves forward on the controls, their fingers fall right on the electronic trim controls, although I never found them necessary to use. The 40 PC gets it right all by itself with a little help from the EVC. Forward of the engine controls is the IPS joystick.
Getting to the Bow
The walkthrough windshield is one of the most comfortable accesses to a bow area I’ve seen. Handholds are everywhere and the steps are easily negotiated. I’m not a fan of the windshield latches. They need to be inter-connected so that when turning the upper, the lower one turns as well. Currently, the lower one is nearly impossible to get to. I’ve seen them connected together on other Formulas so they can do it here. The supports for the standard hardtop double as handholds for the walkthrough and are strong and beefy.
Once on the foredeck, one can’t help but notice how solid it is. Jump up and down and there is no feeling of flexing and no give under one's feet. This can really be appreciated by someone who tests a lot of boats and notices when the decks give and creak underfoot. Two sun pads lie to either side of the centerline and they double as chaise lounges quite easily. The bowrails measure 21” (53.3 cm) all the way around. I like how the supports lean forward a bit, adding a lot to the looks.
Fully forward, a pair of 10” (25.4 cm) custom Formula cleats lie to either side of the windlass hatch. Something else that wouldn't be found elsewhere… 3 of these cleats lie to either side before we even reach the midships area.
The head compartment was roomy and well laid out. There was a separate shower stall. I love the shower seat, it’s held in place by a large piano hinge.
True to Formula form, the main salon is drop dead gorgeous. The deck is cherry wood grain that is a pleasant offset from the dark stained cherry cabinetry. Our test boat had the Ralph Lauren interior that I’m not a fan of simply because there is an “RL” monogram on all of the seats. Unless those happen to be one's initials, the effect is lost on me. [We know where Capt. Steve is coming from, but some people like the identification. The RL package is an option.--Ed.] The Ultraleather however is incredibly soft -- and well it should be since it is more expensive to buy than the real thing. (In fact no material comes closer to duplicating the aesthetics and all-temperature comfort of fine European calfskin. When it comes to durability and abrasion resistance Ultraleather performs on a par with leather's legendary toughness.) A nice feature is the pedestal bases at the salon table for stools. When in place, they take up little room, and when removed, the salon is open for entertaining and freely moving about. The settee is C-shaped, which is not only comfortable, but also adds to the spaciousness of the salon.
One of my main complaints about cabins in this class of boat has been addressed in the Formula 40 PC… curtains on the portlights. On most boats they never close properly, or open all the way for that matter. All portlights, with the exception of the shower, have blinds that close off light completely, and open into recessed areas out of sight. And not only are there large portlights, but two overhead hatches, so the salon is bathed in natural light. Another nice touch in the 40 PC salon… sconces on the forward bulkhead. These give great indirect lighting. They’re also on dimmers, the switch conveniently located at the companionway. The ship's electrical panel lies in the aft starboard area of the salon. As the door is opened a micro switch activates an LED light to the cabinet.
I love mid-cabins, especially when they’re in “day” mode. They make outstanding sitting areas, and this one in particular is no exception. It’s separated from the main salon by a small step and allows occupants to be in on the main conversation of the salon. Mid cabins make a wonderful asset to a cocktail party that encompasses both the cockpit and lower deck. The Ultraleather is continued here and naturally, the area converts easily to a sleeping berth. The central vac outlet, a standard feature on the 40 PC, is at floor level mounted on the seat riser.
The two tones of woodwork are very easy on the eyes. The lower and upper-side cabinets are dark, and the upper-center cabinets are a lighter tone that more matches the deck. Counters are matching dark Corian. (Corian is the counter material of choice in this type of boat because it is much more durable than granite, which is likely to crack from any pounding.) Together the look of richness and elegance is evident. A Formula staple, the appliance dock is off to the aft end of the galley. A two burner electric stove is correctly hidden under a flush-mounted cover that is not only hinged, but it is wired to a micro-switch that shuts off the stove when closed. The switch activates when the lid closes past roughly the 70-degree point of travel. A single basin stainless sink has a high curved faucet, refrigerator/freezer and a Krupps coffee maker to round out the features. As in all Formula boats, the drawers are all dovetailed and we love pointing that out since virtually no other boat builder does it.
The master stateroom lies forward and I love that there is a double high-gloss privacy door rather than a curtain or a single door. The berth is fitted with memory foam and there are four storage drawers below. Hanging lockers to either side are cedar lined and the unit to port features two drawers and an owner's safe. All the drawers in the stateroom, and select drawers in other areas of the yacht, are self-closing. (This is a small detail, but it is the kind of thing that sets Formula apart from the pack -- and, of course, makes the boat more costly.) Just push them in part way, and they retract the rest of the way by themselves. The master also features individual reading lights and a 19” (48.3 cm) LCD TV. Natural light enters from two portlights and an overhead hatch.
Obviously, since this is an IPS powered boat, close-quarters handling is a non-issue and we’ve done our share of videos on this. Suffice it to say that if there is any hesitation about whether one could handle this boat or not, they should check out the video. Underway the 40 PC handles like a much heavier boat. She has a rock solid feel and nothing the captain does will have guests tossed about the boat. The steering is fingertip gentle and the boat responds with just a bit of a lag time that give her that heavy feel, which translates to comfortable. To be clear, if she is handled like a sportboat, some of that comfort level would be lost. This is just right. Bow rise when doing hole-shots is minimal and I never lost forward visibility. Hard turns were non-events and very gentle. At speed, we were turning circles in roughly 3 ½ boat lengths. When crossing wakes, there was no pounding whatsoever, and the 40 PC would just push through the waves effortlessly. Comfortable is just the right word to describe her handling, and couple this with the extreme maneuverability at the dock and Formula has an absolute winner on its hands.
It’s hard not to get excited about any Formula boat. The fit and finish, gloss of the Imron paint, no rattling of parts, grab rails where they need to be, solid feel, good handling… the list of plusses just goes on and on. None of these items is missing in the 40 PC and one will find no reason for buyer’s remorse when a check is written out for their own -- with the reasonable exception of discovering that one suddenly has a lot of friends. Of course the boater pays for all that luxury and TLC that goes into the build. Formulas are premium boats just as Mercedes are premium cars. With the brand also comes the prestige of owning one of the classiest boats around. If one likes the finer things in life, and a 40' to 42' express cruiser is on their wish list, then one will be hard pressed to find a better built boat than this one.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Formula 40 PC (2014-) is 42.0 mph (67.6 kph), burning 41.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 155.18 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Formula 40 PC (2014-) is 24.1 mph (38.8 kph), and the boat gets 1.13 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.48 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 255 miles (410.38 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500- Diesel.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!