The Formula 40 Performance Cruiser was designed with three goals in mind. First, to serve as an entertainment platform for its owner and guests both on deck and below. Second, to provide cruising comfort with convertible accommodations for owner and five additional guests. In this regard, the “Performance Cruiser” name is apt. Finally, to be a high-speed weekender, able to go from mainland to destination for beach party or overnighter without worrying about a small craft advisory; the 40 Performance Cruiser can handle most conditions short of a named storm.
Formula’s 40 Performance Cruiser makes for an ideal “Performance Cruiser” due to a number of factors -- how well she’s designed and laid out, accommodating either guests for a party lasting into the night or going on overnight excursions. As a luxury boat, the Formula 40 is on the premium range, showing in the attention spent ensuring a luxury level of comfort living up to its pedigree. Many options are available at purchase to upgrade even those comforts that come standard, from grilling on the transom to the hydraulic swim platform that can create a private “beach” on the stern.
The Volvo Penta Twin IPS Standard. Formula made the Volvo Penta Twin IPS standard on the 40 Performance Cruiser with no other propulsion/power options offered. This speaks to the harmony of design and drive system -- the hull is so well matched that the efficiency of the yacht changes very little from 2500 rpm on up to her top speed. This allows for more attention in handling to prevailing conditions and less concern over nautical miles per gallon and efficiencies.
The Joystick Control. Likewise a standard on the 40 Performance Cruiser, the joystick control is not just a precise tool for a seasoned “cruiser” navigator -- it is a bridge for those new to operating a boat of the 40 Performance Cruiser’s size and unsure of their ability to master it. The joystick is intuitive and easy to learn, making docking and any similarly tight situation much simpler.
Overall Fit-and-Finish. Attention to detail is key to the Formula 40 Performance CruiserPerformance Cruiser The storage is both ample and well designed with molded fiberglass finish. The finish on the decking throughout the cabin is wood grain. The cabin seating is “Ultraleather” and extremely soft.
The cleats are cast in the Formula logo, and no matter what color-design scheme you choose at purchase, all graphics are applied with specially-formulate paint over Ashland Maxguard gelcoat, then covered with a clear coat. The end result is a mirror-like finish.
The Formula 40 Performance Cruiser has a LOA of 42’7” (12.98 m), a beam of 12’8” (3.86 m), and a draft of 44” (104 cm). With an empty weight of 22,150 lbs. (10,047 kg), 3/4 fuel, and three people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 24,108 lbs. (10,935 kg).
With twin 370-hp IPS500 pod drive engines powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 35.5 knots at 3500 rpm. At that speed, we were burning 41 gph, giving us a range of 194.9 nm. Her best economy was found to be at 3000 rpm and 28.3 knots. That speed brought the fuel burn down to 27.5 gph for a 231.9 nm range. See the “Test Results” table for complete details.
Of course, as is characteristic with IPS driven boats, this one has a close range of performance throughout her speed range once she’s up on plane. Her nautical miles per gallon readings are consistent from 2500 rpm and 19.6 kts on up to 32 kts, and then only drop 1/10 NMPG when pushed to the maximum speed.
This means that if cruising, there’s really no need to worry about the speed setting for fuel savings as the boat gets the same economy per mile regardless. Just set the speed according to how she handles prevailing conditions. If seas are calm, let her run. If the winds pick up, pull her back so she rides along with the frequency of the waves best. If guests are onboard for a cocktail party, idle along without spilling the drinks.
As for how she handles those conditions, well, sadly we were saddled with a fairly flat calm test day, so we can’t report on specifics. But generally speaking, we’ve tested our fair share of Formula boats, from “go-fast” to runabouts to cruisers, and we haven’t come across one that’s not able to perform well when the going gets rough.
Upon advancing the throttles, the bow only comes up marginally, and we had no loss of visibility beyond the bow from the seated position, and certainly won’t from a position on top of the flip-up bolster. In turns, she rolls 16-degrees while keeping the ride comfortable. Allowed to continue with the turn, she’ll come around 360-degrees in 40 seconds at cruise speed while bleeding off roughly a 1/2 knot in speed, but otherwise, she’ll maintain her pace well.
Of course, one thing to be aware of is the hardtop coming down into the line of sight when turning to port. This is the case with every hardtop and not limited to the 40 Performance Cruiser. However, Formula not only added opening hatches to the hardtop, it positioned them so that the operator can see through them during the turn allowing a steady sightline throughout. Of course, this is a non-issue when turning to starboard.
While we didn’t have seas to contend with, we did play with the wake of the camera boat, and the 40 Performance Cruiser slices cleanly through the waves with no pounding or jarring effect, and the spray was kept low enough to not come back into the windshield. Presumably, with a strong with it certainly wind, but not during our heavy-handed operational tests.
Clearly the 40 Performance Cruiser is a features-heavy boat, and this is likely one area where those in the market will be doing comparisons across different models. She is a single stateroom, single head boat ideal as a weekender with the versatility to sleep up to six with seating areas in the salon convertible to berths if needed.
On deck continues the guest accommodation theme with U-shaped seating, refreshment center, bow sun pads, and a hydraulic swim platform that can act as a lounging area or PWC launching spot.
Helm. The seating at the helm has two positions -- a well-supported seating position, as well as an adjustable position for leaning back while standing. Much of the helm is ergonomically designed with monitoring gauges and on-board systems easy and intuitive. The helm seat is wide enough for two passengers in addition to the captain.
Joystick and Dashboard. The star of the helm is the to the starboard side of the layout, where the IPS joystick and digital engine controls lay. The joystick makes for effortless docking maneuvers and really opens up the 40 Performance Cruiser for many consumers who may rule themselves out of being able to operate it.
The fly by wire throttle controls are just behind, and both these and the joystick offer a range of options. Chiefly the Dynamic Positioning System ($27,145) that holds the vessel position and heading at the touch of a button. The engine is controlled via single lever, engine sync, throttle only, and cruise assist.
Formula offers an array of GPS systems from Raymarine as options at purchase, as well as a thermal night vision camera ($21,240).
Engine Room. The engine room can be accessed either by day hatch on the cockpit deck or by lifting the electrically actuated hatch for full access. The day hatch leads to a ladder between the two engines.
Since the 40 Performance Cruiser comes with but the one power option -- the twin 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS 500 engines and pods -- the engine room is more spacious, making it easier for entry and working around. An 8.5 kW/120V diesel generator with sound shield and battery comes standard on the 40 Performance Cruiser as well.
Cockpit. The center of gravity in the cockpit is surely the U-shaped lounge. The Ultraleather seating wraps around an open space that can be filled with one or both of the removable cocktail tables. These tables can then be lowered to convert to a sun pad -- essentially expanding the U-shaped lounge out across the tops of the tables with cushions. Both the cushions and removable cocktail tables have dedicated storage in the aft storage bunker, accessed via the swim platform.
To port is the wet bar/refreshment center. It has Corian countertop standard with molded fiberglass sink and ample storage below and the option to add a combination refrigerator/icemaker as well as a pedestal TV/ DVD combo ($2,380). Just forward the wet bar is an additional seating lounge that can accommodate up to three guests.
Both the port side lounge and U-shaped lounge have generous fiberglass-lined storage areas.
Helm Deck/Bow. The helm deck is a step up from the cockpit deck with the overhead clearance moving from 7’10” to 6’11” as you step up. Ventilation can be had via the side curtain vents, overhead hatches, and center windshield walkthrough. However, there is an additional option for a 16,000 BTU cockpit air conditioner as well ($8,490).
10” wide decks run up each side of the boat to the bow with grab rails to guide you, but the primary access point is via the helm deck through the center walkthrough windshield. The steps up are molded-in.
The grab rails come up 24” each side on the bow sunning area, which features two sun pads that can be adjusted to multiple chaise lounge positions. The sun pads are made of DriFast foam, keeping them in use without having to let them dry out.
Fully forward is a flush mounted hatch concealing an electric windlass with 200’ chain, remote control, and freshwater anchor washdown system. Just ahead is a standard remote spotlight.
Aft Swim Platform. The 40 Performance Cruiser can be optionally equipped with a swim platform personal watercraft lift system that is designed to move on a hydraulic ram cylinder attached to the transom. This lift system can be operated by two remote controls -- one in the cockpit and another just near the lift itself. The lift is capable of holding a personal watercraft or dinghy.
The platform itself is fiberglass and has a concealed stainless steel ladder and pull-up cleats. Prominent is the molded fiberglass storage trunk with pneumatic lifts, which has storage for four large fenders and dedicated space for the removable cockpit lounge tables and sun pads. There is also a hot and cold shower, as well as waterproof stereo controls and the option for a mountable stainless steel propane grill. With all these features and its size, it forms a sort of “teak beach” lounging area.
Lower Deck Features
The lower deck is accessed through a sliding one-piece curved acrylic door in the cockpit area. The cabin is spacious -- it has 6’9” of headroom, a full galley and stateroom with dining space and head.
Accommodations. The cabin can sleep six people -- two in the stateroom, two in the aft lounge area, and two in the main salon. Much like the removable cocktail tables and surrounding seating converting to one king-sized sunpad, the main dining area in the salon and aft lounge have removable tables that can lower to expand the seating into berths with additional cushions. These can also be divided via thin privacy curtains.
The main cabin has a 32” HDTV with Blu-ray and DVD capability and a Wi-Fi connection (that can display all the helm controls if needed) and dockside access cord for cable hookup. For music, it features a Clarion AM/FM/CD stereo with iPod hookup, Bluetooth, four 6.5” speakers and an 8” subwoofer. Formula offers a complimentary six-month Sirius Satellite subscription as well, all controlled via a hub in the main salon or in the forward stateroom.
Galley. The galley is to port on entry, and has Corian countertops, a stainless steel sink, refrigerator just below the counter and a concealed range just off the sink. The microwave, coffeemaker, and in-counter trash receptacle come standard and are surrounded by high-gloss deep cherry formula cabinetry (which is offered, like all the wood finishes in the Formula 40 Performance Cruiser, in Bourbon Cherry, Ash, or Wenge) -- the lower of which are lit when opened. The galley works off a demand water system with 57-gallon capacity that can hook up to a freshwater or city water source.
Dining. The dining area is upholstered in Ultraleather just like the rest of her seating, and comes with the high-glass wood table that is removable/convertible to a berth as mentioned. Additionally, two removable pedestal stools with Ultraleather upholstery sit on the other side of the table.
The Stateroom. The stateroom has a centerline, queen-sized memory foam mattress bed comfortably accommodating two with drawer storage below. Two hanging lockers for storage with automatic lights sit port and starboard, as well as a 19” HDTV with DVD player. Two portlights on either side and an overhead hatch provide ample sunlight as well. The stateroom also has privacy doors.
Head. There is but one head to share among all the passengers, but it does have a walk-in shower that has a curved, hinged acrylic door and molded-in fiberglass seat with Corian top.
The molded vanity has Corian counter and a single basin stainless steel sink. Cabinetry matches the lower galley cabinets and is available like all the wood finishes, in Bourbon Cherry, Ash, or Wenge.
The VacuFlush head feeds into a 55-gallon holding tank that includes dockside pump-out. There is an exhaust fan in the head, and Formula includes custom woven towels.
The Formula 40 Performance Cruiser comes with plenty of luxury as standard, but part of that luxury is the room to make choices. The engine decision has been made for you as part of the design, but between wood finish color, deck materials, amenities, and décor, much of the design is left to the consumer’s tastes. The purchase phase of the Formula 40, however, is part of the fun -- the space afforded to get things exactly how you want is included in the experience.
The base boat comes with an MSRP of $820,000. Obviously, add-ons are a vital part of the purchasing experience here, so expect some to be essential for you if you’re in the market, which will raise the purchase price.
Formula has a solid reputation for building quality boats with a premium level of fit-and-finish, and the Formula 40 PC does not disappoint. What you see is what you get. And what you don’t see has been done right. Formula is a world-class builder and its boats are at the tip of the pyramid.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Formula 40 Performance Cruiser (2017-) is 40.9 mph (65.8 kph), burning 41.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 155.18 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Formula 40 Performance Cruiser (2017-) is 32.6 mph (52.5 kph), and the boat gets 1.2 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.51 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 267 miles (429.69 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500.
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!
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