Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofFormula’s 330 CBR follows the success of the company’s 350 CBR launched two years ago. CBR stands for Crossover Bowrider and the concept is to provide a dayboat that can also accommodate casual overnights. She keeps the bowrider concept and adds the Formula-esque treatments of upscale fit-and-finish and creative uses of space. The use of space, of course, also translates to the cabin that features a comfortable settee that converts into a berth. There’s even a private head and galley area.
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.
The mission of the 330 Crossover Bowrider is straightforward. She was designed to provide a roomy bowrider with the ability to entertain large numbers of guests while alternately being able to provide her owners with the option for taking off to distant locations for weekend getaways. Her cabin is minimalist in size but it’s still remarkably large given the 33’ (10.1 m) platform. And of course it’s all done while keeping the upscale level of fit-and-finish that the brand was built on.
The Formula 330 Crossover Bowrider has a LOA of 33’0’’ (10.06 m), a beam of 10’3” (3.12 m) and a draft of 35" (89 cm). With an empty weight of 12,250 lbs. (5,556.50 kg), half fuel and two people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 13,373 lbs.With the MerCruiser 8.2L MAG V8 big blocks putting out a combined 760-hp we reached a top speed at 4750 rpm of 54 mph. At that speed we were burning 65 gph for a range of 113 miles. Best economy cruise was measured to be at 3000 rpm and 29.6 mph. That speed also lowered the fuel burn to 23.4 gph that produced a range of 172 statute miles.
This is a boat that likes a lot of throttle so don’t be shy about using it. For example, when accelerating, the bow comes up approximately 11-degrees which, from the seated position caused a momentary loss of visibility to the horizon ahead. Adding plenty of throttle at the onset minimizes this bow rise and brings the 330 Crossover Bowrider on plane quicker.
It’s at this point that the boat will develop an oscillating effect of the bow coming down but the thrust pushing it back up. Back off on the throttle, let the bow settle, and then go ahead and advance the throttle again as desired.
In turns she drops her “shoulder”
and bleeds off speed. Here again is another opportunity to advance the throttles and maintain the speed. When the turn is completed, straighten out and ease back on the throttles again. Using that technique allows the 330 CBR to remain quite solid in the turns with the feel of a heavier boat showing no signs of chine walk. At cruise speed we find that she came around in roughly three boat lengths.
When crossing wakes
, she feels more like a car driving over a speed bump but shows no pounding and the bow throws water quite effectively, but in high winds this will naturally be blown back to the windshield.
Docking is certainly the least of the concerns
with the optional Axius joystick ($23,865). It allowed for precision docking that would not be possible otherwise and makes the 330 Crossover Bowrider accessible to those that find themselves challenged when facing difficult docking situations. With small pulses of the joystick, the boat maneuvers with exacting detail making the skill level of the owner a non-issue when considering a purchase.
The helm layout is efficient and un-cluttered. The molded fiberglass dash is offered in either Charcoal or Mocha with Liquid Black panels. 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 ($5,360). 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.
Controlling the 330 Crossover Bowrider
is done via optional dual chromed Livorsi levers ($1785). Formula utilizes these control levers on its high-end speedboats and while we find no trouble utilizing separate controls for shift and throttle some may argue that they’d rather see the controls combined. It does seem to counter adding a device such as the optional Axius Joystick ($23,865) to simplify the docking process.
Looking at the features of the 330 CBR leaves a conundrum as to where to start. Certainly there are three distinctive areas to relax and gather, with the stern understandably accommodating the least amount of people. That said, let’s begin with what is probably the most versatile, the bow.
Certainly Formula had no intention of just creating a simple bow area to sit in and call it a day. This bow has multiple configurations, able to change to meet the current setting and use. The area is accessed via an offset walkthrough that allows for the entry to the cabin next to the helm, and this also creates two forward facing seats to starboard and a single to port. It begins in its basic configuration.
In the basic layout of the bow area we have wraparound seating with full bolsters adding to the comfort. Storage remains under all seats and the layout can only be described as roomy. This makes for an expansive social area, as it is equally comfortable sitting in the loungers as it is sitting when facing one another. In addition to the usual forward-facing lounge seats, there is also a third forward-facing seat that is configured in the more typical chair style with the feet intended to be on the deck.
Some people prefer the configuration of the third seat’s chair-like posture and as such, the removal of a cushion from the starboard lounge seat makes for a pair of side-by-side chairs. Certainly one of these seats can still accommodate putting up the feet in a more “ottoman” style by utilizing the forward seat. Additionally, this configuration allows more people to be gathered at the bow area as the starboard occupants legs aren’t taking up a whole other seat.The addition of a pair of standard pedestal tables turns the area into an al fresco dining area.
Sun Pad Configuration
Finally we can pull out the filler cushions. It took just a moment to figure out the placement of the cushions but once inserted the full bow area became an enclosed playpen for sun worshipers that also includes four-across seating in the chaise lounge fashion. All cushions stored easily in the massive compartment to the port side of the walkthrough and all are included with the 330 Crossover Bowrider as standard equipment.
With the bow being fully enclosed by cushions it makes getting out of the area a bit of a challenge when it’s time to get an iced beverage, but not to worry. Formula included a separate, built-in, cooler fully forward under the bow cushion. Of course there’s still the matter of getting out to deal with the output of these liquids but that’s true regardless of where one is located about the boat.
The walkthrough between the bow and the cockpit area is slightly offset to port to accommodate the entry to the cabin. The port console is still free to access storage however, and in the case of the 330 Crossover Bowrider the storage is so large that there are two doors to access it.
Further aft, to the portside of the helm is a double-wide lounge seat that can be used either forward facing, aft facing, or certainly while facing the captain at the helm and enjoying his/her enchanting and/or non-ending sea stories while underway. It’s important to note that while sitting in the forward-facing position, a clear sightline beyond the bow can be enjoyed. This is a characteristic usually lacking in seating at this position on many boats.
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. There’s storage under the seats and all have the same Corian counters with drink holders under the bolsters that we’ve seen elsewhere on the boat.
The Seating is Also Convertible.
Flipping the helm seatback forward creates the forward seats and the aft seats can also convert to aft facing seats when the 330 CBR isn’t underway. As a safety feature, these backrests lock into position once adjusted and must be lifted to move. This means that the cockpit can accommodate more people when the boat isn’t underway.
Being a boat that is focused on entertaining, Formula was quick to acknowledge that a refreshment center would be 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 ($2080).
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 and they can be utilized so either individually or collectively. It’s important to note that these seats should only be utilized at times when the 330 CBR isn’t underway. But for relaxing while watching the kids swim off the stern, or even better, watching the sunset, they’re ideal.
The full beam swim platform comes out 31” (78.7 cm) and it also makes a great place to have a snack, as there’s a side mount for the grill. Vinyl non-skid decking is offered as an option ($3,460). Also to the port bulwarks are the plugs for the optional shore power connections ($4,290).
The cabin is accessed from a dash-integrated door adjacent to the helm. This provides for a centerline access creating more space down below. Wood flooring can be had in either Light Cherry or Baltic Birch. The entry is highlighted with solid wood steps with non-skid treads and full standing headroom at 5’11” (1.8 m) off the deck that is enjoyed upon entering.
Once inside, snug is clearly the operative word but really, 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. A flatscreen TV is against the aft bulkhead. A convection microwave is just to the port side making short work of creating the morning cup of coffee and filling the cabin with the morning wake-up aroma.
No boat of this caliber would be complete without a head and here it’s located just to the starboard side of the entry stairs where it can still take in the benefit of the standing headroom of the overhead. A molded head compartment includes a standard VacuFlush head unit, a 26-gallon (98.4 L) holding tank with dockside pumpout, a molded vanity, custom molded sink with contemporary swivel faucet, Corian countertop and a separate pullout sprayer for the shower.
To Serve and Protect
Exposure to the elements is really a non-concern on the 330 Crossover Bowrider. All vinyl is weather resistant with a PreFixx coating that resists staining. Tenara element-resistant thread will resist degradation from years of exposure to the suns onslaught. DriFast foam in the seating is as good as it comes. And finally, StarLite XL synthetic marine panel construction removes any concern over seat bases rotting out from years of exposure to moisture. All in all, these seats are going to be around for the long haul.Of course, it would be a unique Formula customer indeed that didn’t also take the added precaution of covering the boat, and as such, multiple protective covers are offered as optional extras. (We recommend them.)If the 330 Crossover Bowrider is destined to be (gasp!) stored outdoors then we’d give serious consideration to adding the All-weather bow tonneau and cockpit covers in color-coordinated non-fading Sunbrella fabric that includes SeaMark vinyl undercoating ($1,985). If she’ll be stored inside, as in a rack room perhaps, then a lighter duty set of covers that does not include the SeaMark undercoating is also offered ($1,495).And if the intention is to stay aboard even during periods of inclement weather, then protection that doesn’t remain flush with the caprails will be required. Formula provides options for a Bimini top and aft canopy ($1,920) as well as front, side and aft curtains ($2,700), all with the SeaMark vinyl treatment.
All About Choices
Certainly one of the hallmarks of purchasing a boat through Formula Boats is the myriad of choices that allow a buyer to dial into a specific boat that suits the tastes and personality. With the 330 Crossover Bowrider the choices begin with the exterior.
Standard graphics come in a wide variety of choices and all are against white topsides.
Adding color to the topsides in addition to the standard graphics comes at a $3,860 upcharge. Three different versions are available and up to 11 different color choices.
Laying out the interior colors of the 330 Crossover Bowrider can be daunting. There are those among us, including the majority of the BoatTEST.com staff, that really have no eye for these types of decisions. However, at the risk of sounding sexist, there are more than enough wives that certainly have a better handle on the concept, and since the wives control half the checkbook this presents a perfect opportunity to allow for the purchase to be a joint affair.All material colors are included in the standard pricing and 11 choices of colors will have to be sorted through for the base vinyl, main accents, accent piping and upper piping of the seats. Cushions are offered in White, Morning Sand or Moondust for the exterior. The interior can come in Chamois, Saddle or Whey Ultraleather. Pillows and draperies are offered in Graphite, Latte, Midnight Blue or Morning Sand. Doors are either Cherry or Wenge. Corian counters can be had in Burled Beach, Delta Sand, Earth, Lava Rock (as seen on our test boat), Silverite, Sonora or Tumbleweed.While all this may be a critical decision for some, to us it’s “whatever you choose is fine dear!”
The 330 Crossover Bowrider has a base price of $291,600 when powered by the twin Volvo Penta V8-300C engines turning a Duoprop outdrive. Pricing maxes out at $340,930 with the V8-430CE engines. Our test boat had the twin 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2L MAG engines that carried a base price of $317,300.
Options to Consider
Now we come to the nuts and bolts of decision time. Several options are worth considering and we include some of our key choices here and all of these choices are priced with a 20% discount reflecting Formula promotional pricing.It starts with the helm that we’d add the SmartCraft VesselView engine monitor ($5,140) and of course the joystick sterndrive docking system ($19,095). We operate in saltwater so we’d add the SeaCore protection system ($5,330) and the freshwater flush ($810). All of our trips are away from the homeport and with a boat like this we’ll show her off far and wide. Add the Raymarine e97 to the panel ($4,290). Summer nights get hot so we’d add the shore power system ($3,435).The cabin entertainment package with the 24" (61 cm) TV and DVD player ($2,635) is a must have. Mornings can be equally cold in the northing latitudes so we’d add the cockpit heater ($1150). A water heater will enhance the showering experience both down below and on deck ($2040).
No sense spending a hot muggy night tossing and turning when we can add air conditioning ($4,425). A lot of nights will be spent at anchor and we’ll need the added power of the 5kw generator ($11,745). We can’t imagine being on this boat in a remote anchorage without the transom mounted propane grill ($1,130).
A Few More Thoughts.
And power management is critical so add the 20-Amp battery charger ($805). A water toy inflator will come in handy ($215). What a shame if we purchased this boat and didn’t include the electric windlass ($4,810). We’d add a remote spotlight ($690), LED docking lights ($660), the radar arch (6,485), the vinyl decking for the swim platform ($2,770), underwater lights ($2,480), and the blue LED cockpit lighting system ($2,100).
This brings the total to our 330 Crossover Bowrider to a MSRP of $317,300, and with promotional pricing (tell them BoatTEST.com sent you) she can be had for $253,840.
The formula 330 Crossover Bowrider isn’t cheap but neither is a Mercedes Benz. If a price point boat is what drives the purchase decision, best look elsewhere. This is a premium level boat that commands a higher price. Even still, we think that after giving close scrutiny to the build quality and fit-and-finish of the end product, that this boat represents a fair value for the price. It also comes standard with bragging rights for owning a Formula.
Test Result Highlights
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Pricing Range: $291,600.00
Price as Tested: $424,160.00 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.
Test Results - Change Measurement Unit
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.