Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice? - 04/20/2018
Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
Decisions, decisions: The Formula 330 CBR, left, and 350 CBR each have many features to recommend them.

When a boat search gets narrowed down to two models, it may seem like the process is nearing its end. But when one needs to decide from two competing models in the same stable – and that stable is Formula Boats – the decision, while it can be fun, may present some paralyzing questions. See if we can help answer some of the questions here.

Comparing Formula’s Crossover Bowriders

The Formula 330 CBR and 350 CBR may create a soul-searching challenge for some buyers, since the two models may force them to get down to the details of what their needs really are, and which boat will suit them better.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
The Formula 350 CBR offered spirited handling on our test.

What’s a Crossover Bowrider?

While an indecisive boat buyer may be well versed in this category of boat, it’s important to define what a crossover bowrider is, which is a bowrider design with an open bow seating area, but that also offers a head compartment and a galley, and also has a cabin, which allows privacy and the ability to overnight aboard.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
The Formula 330 CBR is quick off the mark, reaching planing speed in 4.3 seconds, accelerated to 20 in 6.2 seconds, and reached 30 mph in 9.3 seconds.

Even More Choices

Formula’s Crossover Bowrider (CBR) designs offer a range of customizable features, as part of the FormulaFlex program, choosing the hull colors and graphics, as well as interior choices including gelcoat finishes, upholstery and more to make the boat a statement of the owner’s individuality. Even more, the FormulaFlex MyWay lets buyers upgrade with even more color choices.

Between these two boats, only the prospective owner will be able to decide which one makes the most sense, and it comes down to features.

Formula 330 CBR

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
Formula 330 CBR

Specifications

  • Length Overall: 33' 0'' (10.06 m)
  • Beam: 10' 3'' (3.12 m)
  • Dry Weight: 12,250 lbs. (5,556.50 kg)
  • Draft: 35'' (0.89 m)
  • Deadrise/Transom: 21 deg.
  • Fuel Capacity: 151 gal. (571.6 L)
  • Water Capacity: 25 gal. (94.6 L)
Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
Plenty of open space in both the bow and cockpit areas means that the 330 Crossover Bowrider is well suited for entertaining large crowds.

Bow Seating

The Formula 330 CBR is a bowrider and so we first must look at the bow area, which offers versatile seating thanks to numerous removable cushion sections, tables, and filler cushions that offer wraparound seating with bolsters serving as backrests, forward-facing seating allowing feet on deck, lounge-style seating, and full sun pad treatment, with a filler backrest cushion even blocking off the entry passageway offset to port. Recesses beneath the coaming bolsters allow for grabrails and drink holders to be within reach of much of this seating.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
The bow area of the 330 CBR transforms into a full sun pad with filler cushions.

Cockpit

The cockpit is not only the center of the boat but also the central gathering area. Two L-shaped settees make for opposing conversational seating areas and both will accommodate the standard triangular pedestal table. Flipping the helm seatback forward creates the forward seats and the aft seats can also convert to aft-facing seats – so the cockpit can accommodate more people – when the 330 CBR isn’t underway. The refreshment center is a staple of the layout. Here it is placed to port and includes a molded sink with swivel faucet, picnicware storage, a Corian countertop and underneath is an optional cockpit refrigerator. A starboard side walkthrough allows access to the aft seating and the swim platform. The aft sun pad can be made into chaise lounges by flipping the aft seatbacks. These seats should only be utilized at times when the 330 CBR isn’t underway.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
Opposing L-shaped lounges make the most of the cockpit space on the 330 CBR.

Cabin

The cabin is accessed from a dash-integrated door adjacent to the helm. This provides for a centerline access creating more space down below. The entry is highlighted with solid wood steps with non-skid treads and full standing headroom at 5’11” (1.80).

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
The cabin on the 330 CBR has seating that converts to a berth.

Once inside, this cabin is mostly designed for sleeping, not gathering, and that makes the space well suited to its task. A seat is just behind the sleeping area and it gets filled in with a cushion that stores inside a cutout just forward, under the bow.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
The Formula 330 CBR has a good-looking helm with controls that fall easily to hand.

Helm

The helm layout is efficient and uncluttered. A Ritchie compass is flanked by twin outdrive trim gauges. To port are a pair of analog tachometers with a speedometer just above. In the center, Formula normally installs a standard Garmin 547 plotter that, on our test boat, was replaced with an optional Raymarine e97 Hybrid Touch plotter. To the right, a fuel gauge lies next to a chain counter. Just below is a 7” (17.7 cm) VesselView display showing the systems status with selectable displays.

Formula 350 CBR

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
Formula 350 CBR

Specifications

  • Length Overall: 35' 0'' (10.67 m)
  • Beam: 10' 9'' (3.28 m)
  • Dry Weight: 13,470 lbs. (6,109 kg)
  • Draft: 39'' (.99 m)
  • Deadrise/Transom: 21 deg.
  • Fuel Capacity: 172 gal. (651 L)
  • Water Capacity: 29 gal. (100 L)

Bow Seating

The bow seating area on the Formula 350 CBR is anything but an afterthought, thanks to a 7’8” (2.33 m) width on the aft end and 4’5” (1.35 m) at the bow. Huge storage boxes are underneath the seats, including a forward one with dedicated space for an Igloo cooler and a trash receptacle. As on the 330 CBR, filler cushions and tables make this space flexible for dining, socializing, or sunning, including the fully enclosed treatment that adds a filler backrest cushion to block off the entry passageway.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
There’s a lot of space in the bow seating area of the 350 CBR.

Cockpit

The cockpit features Formula’s contoured seating. No less than 24 drink holders are scattered throughout the bow and cockpit and storage is under most seats and in the deck. To port is a molded cockpit wet bar with an integrated sink, Corian countertop, trash receptacle, and a 17.5 quart (16.6 L) carry-on cooler. A dual-voltage cockpit refrigerator is also standard.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
Wraparound seating welcomes numerous guests to the cockpit of the 350 CBR.
Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
The galley and seating in the cabin of the 350 CBR are complemented by a berth aft.

Cabin

The cabin is accessed from a centerline entryway next to the helm. Three solid wood floating steps lead to a woodgrain finish deck and a full 5'10" (1.8 m) of headroom. The cabin will be finished in high-gloss cherry or ash with cherry or Baltic Birch woodgrain finish decking throughout.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
This accommodations plan shows where the amidships berth is located.

Several features of the cabin indicate that it's designed to primarily accommodate two people. Immediately to starboard is a double-wide lounge. Directly across is a chest of drawers, storage cabinets, and an HD TV/DVD combo. Directly ahead of the stairs is a centerline-mounted mini galley with microwave, concealed sink and pullout stainless steel refrigerator. Just to starboard is a private head with a molded vanity, Corian countertop, sink, shower, and standard VacuFlush head. Thanks to the unique use of space, the aft end of the cabin is taken up by a full-size double berth with memory-foam mattress, meaning there is no need to convert a lounge to a berth.

Which Formula Crossover Bowrider is the Right Choice
The helm of the Formula 350 CBR is laid out with a combination of analog gauges and digital screens all within lines of sight.

Helm

To the port side of the helm is a double-wide lounge allowing one person to face forward or aft with his or her feet up, or two people to relax and have a conversation with the captain at the helm. The helm features double-wide seating allowing a second set of eyes to be facing forward. The dash has been completely redesigned from the SS series and includes Livorsi gauges against a liquid black dash with metallic accents. The steering wheel will be a new design and the entire panel will be accented by an upholstered dash eyebrow.

Conclusion

Only the buyer can decide which boat will be best for his or her kind of boating. If overnighting on board is going to be a regular occurrence, it makes sense to give serious consideration to the Formula 350 CBR. If the overnights will be occasional, and the cabin will go mostly unused, then perhaps the 330 CBR would be a wise choice. But other factors will almost definitely enter into the equation. Since Formula builds a premium boat, buyers who have come this far in their decision process will be well served regardless of which Formula Crossover Bowrider they choose.

Review the full captain’s report of the Formula 350 CBR here.

Review the full captain’s report of the Formula 330 CBR here.


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