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Formula 31 Performance Cruiser (2017-)

2 x 375-hp MerCruiser Sea Core 496 MAG

Brief Summary

The Formula 31 Performance Cruiser is set up to accommodate entertaining, weekend cruising, and longer excursions. She also delivers sporty performance thanks to the twin 375-hp MerCruiser option, which delivered a top speed of 46.8 mph. Formula is the only brand in class to paint its hulls, creating the trademark gleaming finish. She has a long list of extras, including a radar arch and electric windlass.

Key Features

  • Port and aft U-shaped lounge seating with fiberglass-lined storage, 2 color-coordinated dual-height cockpit tables w/Corian tops and sun pad inserts
  • Color-coordinated molded wet bar with integrated sink, Corian countertop, trash container, and 316L stainless safety rail
  • Bimini top, front and side curtains with easy-mount zippers and extended aft enclosure
  • 24'' LCD HDTV/DVD combo player with dockside access cord
  • VHF radio with antenna
  • Built-in WalVac sweeper system with easy access wall plate
  • 12,000 BTU reverse cycle air conditioner with digital climate control

Test Results

650 4.2 3.6 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 68
1000 6.1 5.3 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 71
1500 8.4 7.3 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 73
2000 10 8.7 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 76
2500 14.2 12.3 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 79
3000 23.9 20.8 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 80
3500 32.4 28.2 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 81
4000 39 33.9 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 82
4500 44.1 38.3 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 86
4900 46.8 40.7 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 88


Length Overall 33' 1'' / 10.08 m
Beam 11' 0''
3.35 m
Dry Weight 14,100 lbs.
6,396 kg
Draft 34''
.86 m
Deadrise/Transom 18-deg.
Max Headroom 6' 4''
1.93 m
Bridge Clearance 10' 4''
3.15 m
Fuel Capacity 166 gal.
628 L
Water Capacity 50 gal.
189 L


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 5.0 sec.
0 to 30 8.8 sec.
Ratio N/A
Props N/A
Load N/A
Climate Temp: 61 deg., humidity: 42%, wind: calm, seas: calm

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x 375-hp MerCruiser Sea Core 496 MAG
Std. Power Not Available
Opt. Power 2 x 320-hp MerCruiser 377 MAG ECT Bravo III
2 x 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT Bravo III X
2 x 320-hp Volvo Penta V8-320C Duoprop
2 x 380-hp Volvo Penta V8-380C Duoprop

Captain's Report

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser running
The 31 Performance Cruiser has a LOA of 33’1” (10 m), a beam of 11’ (3.35 m), and a draft of 34” (.86 m), with a luxury design and many amenities.


With the 31 Performance Cruiser, Formula’s mission is to combine handling and speed in a boat with comfort features that will satisfy experienced boaters. Formula is looking to accommodate day boat entertaining, weekend cruising, and longer excursions with the 31 Performance Cruiser, much like all the models on their “Performance Cruiser” line. A long list of standards and a host of options means Formula is catering to the boat owner that wants no stone unturned in convenience, luxury, and performance.

The 2017 31 Performance Cruiser has a new stern design and cockpit which makes the whole stern section of the boat watersport-oriented and adds import versatility to the boat.

Distinguishing Features

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser idle

The 31 Performance Cruiser’s hull paint and graphics create a mirror-like finish under a shield of gelcoat. Note the aft-facing chaise seating.

High-Quality Hull Finish. Formula is the only brand in class to paint its hulls, and between the optional painted graphics and mirror-like finish, the Formula boat always stands out against her peers in this regard.

Exclusive John Adams Design. The Formula 31, like all on their “PC” line, is a boat whose design is central to its potential appeal. John Adams has worked with Formula for 30 years, and whatever the ultimate takeaway from this particular model, his work has helped build the Formula brand into a leader in design and luxury.

MyWay Details. Formula is a boutique builder and allows each of its owner to “personalize” their boat in terms of upholstery colors and design, some accessories, hull finish, and other details at the standard price.

New Stern and Cockpit Design. The new 31 Performance Cruiser has improved on a good thing by extending the swim platform and making the cockpit seating more versatile.

Warranty. Formula has one of the best warranties in the business. Check its website for details.

Resale Value. Formulas are well-known for holding their resale value better than virtually any other in class.

Major Features

Deck, Hull, and Mechanical

Electric Windlass. This is a standard feature and Formula includes 200’ of chain, a chain counter at the helm, polished stainless anchor and a handheld remote control. All boats in class should have all of this equipment, but few include it all as standard.

Bennett Trim Tabs. These are hydraulic and not electric as most builders are currently installing. The system includes LED indicators.

Remote Control Searchlight. Typically an item on an “options” list, this searchlight comes standard. Of great use for nighttime navigation, making it standard is a way for Formula to communicate to the consumer that the boat is well-equipped and expected to perform well at night.

Radar Arch with Mast Light. A forward-swept design, it has grab rails for accessing the decks up to the bow, a mast light, and drapes the optional canvas cover down for use in inclement weather or when storing the boat.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser storage

Storage was a priority in the 31 Performance Cruiser’s design. One of many examples of under-seat storage, seen here.

Extensive Storage. From the rear trunk storage on through to the cabin and cockpit under-seat storage, Formula designed space to stow items both vital to her operation, entertainment, and guest accommodation.

316 Stainless Steel Hardware and Rails. Stainless steel certainly is not unique to Formula or their performance cruisers, but the grade of SS used often varies a great deal. The 316 grade is the most expensive and is used in marine applications because of its high corrosion resistance. Formula’s specifying the grade is a small example of their overall attention to top-quality materials.


Formula 31 Performance Cruiser cockpit

This view best shows the new large swim platform that turns this area into a sun deck, swim platform and a launching spot for all sorts of watersports. The platform extends far beyond the props.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser u seating

With the tables removed and stowed, this opens up a large area for entertaining.

U-shaped Aft Lounge

A design constant of Formula’s performance cruiser line is the cockpit lounge that converts to a larger sunpad with DriFast foam via the removable center table. This is the central above deck gathering area on these vessels, and the versatility and ease of conversion are part of Formula’s approach to the space.

Three-Way Back Rest. By making the seat back for the U-shaped settee reversible, it also becomes the backrest for the chaise seating facing aft. In the down position it becomes a sun pad.

Wet Bar. Another familiar feature on the Formula Performance Cruiser line, the wetbar to port is a simpler design on the 31 Performance Cruiser, with a Corian countertop and choice of refrigerator or icemaker just below.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser cockpit seating

Here we see the cockpit seating in sun pad mode.

Weather-resistant Cockpit Seating. The cockpit has a PreFixx coating, Tenara element-resistant thread on the upholstery, DriFast foam in the seating (and bow sun pads) & StarLite XL synthetic marine panel construction, all of which set up the 31 Performance Cruiser to handle a wealth of weather conditions without ruining the experience.


Formula 31 Performance Cruiser wash down

The extended swim platform on the 31 Performance Cruiser is large and can double as a lounging area itself. It has pull up cleats and a stainless steel swim ladder that is concealed under the middle of the platform. The platform has a hot/ cold shower system.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser deck

This image shows where the swim platform, on the previous design, use to end.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser sun pad

With the seatback tilted forward the sun pad becomes an aft-facing sun lounge.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser access

A storage space, under the swim platform, fits four fenders and has dedicated space for the cockpit cocktail table(s) and sun pad cushions, there is still room to spare even when all this is in stow. The sun pad has pneumatic lifts for easy open and shut without slamming or damaging. Note the clever dedicated holders for the fender.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser stern seating

With the seatback tilted aft, the cockpit forms a U-shape for conversation, cocktail parties or just hanging out.

Stern Platform Options. The swim platform decks can be outfitted with a woodgrain vinyl in aged, slate, or natural teak ($3,265) that can then be extended to the cockpit as well ($12,140). Another options is a transom-mounted propane grill ($1,530), which speaks to the space the platform provides. Finally, the platform can be extended ($8,480) and outfitted with a concealed swim seat that has a boarding step ($10,980).


Formula 31 Performance Cruiser sun pad

The cockpit seating area, converted via the lowered tables to a king sized sun pad.

Versatile Entertaining Space. Moving through the transom door from the swim platform, there is a U-shaped seating area with DriFast foam pads and storage underneath. There is space for mounting dual tables that can lower and convert the space to a sun pad for lounging.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser wet bar

The portside wetbar, in the cockpit. Just below the countertop here is the refrigerator. Note the sink under liftable countertop latch, which adds counterspace when not in use.

To port is the refreshment center, which has Corian countertops, stainless steel cup holders, and an optional refrigerator ($2,040) just under the counter. This refrigerator can be swapped out for an ice-maker as well ($2,635).

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser sink

The wet bar has hot and cold running water for the sink.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser drawers

Pull-out drawers in the refrigerator are much more useful on a boat than shelves. This space can also handle an ice maker.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser switches and breakers

Switches and breakers are house in this handy spot for a trash container.


Formula 31 Performance Cruiser helm

The helm seating, with the bolster flipped up. When the companion’s side seat’s bolster is flipped up, it offers a convenient left arm-rest. Note the joystick control on the helm.

Helm Seating. The 31 PC has a double wide captain’s-and-companion seat that offers flip-up bolsters. To port is a curved lounge seating that can seat two comfortably and allows for guests to interact with the captain in relaxing fashion.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser seat

The portside lounge in the helm seating area. Note the steps up to the bow.

Helm Dash and Layout. The 31 PC has a molded fiberglass dash that comes in Gray or Morning Sand. It has a high gloss woodgrain finish that comes in dark or charcoal in the dash panels.

The dash has a Ritchie compass, Garmin 547 GPS color chartplotter, digital depth sound, Livorsi illuminated instrumentation, auxiliary 12V outlet, tilt steering wheel in leather-wrapped stainless steel all standard. There are many upgrade options -- the GPS has Raymarine upgrades in five different iterations (ranging from $2,220 - $15,340).

Most notably are the Volvo EVC (Electronic Vessel Control) System with engine display ($12,665) and the Volvo joystick ($20,960) upgrades. The EVC integrates the boat’s engine controls into a single display. The joystick aids in maneuvering the vessel during docking and through any tight spots one might encounter, bridging the gap an owner new to operating a 33’ boat may experience.


Formula 31 Performance Cruiser bow

Access up to the bow comes via molded-in steps and through the windshield. The passengers on the bow are reclining on the bow sun pads.

Sunning on the Bow. Access to the bow comes through the helm, with a companionway leading through the windshield latch. Additionally, decks on each side accompanied by stainless steel grab rails will lead you there.
The bow has two DriFast foam sun pads for lounging, and each can be propped up like a chaise lounge or lay back flat.

Electric Windlass. As mentioned, the 31 PC’s electric windlass comes concealed and accessed via a hatch in the bow. It has a polished, stainless steel anchor, 200’ of chain, and a chain counter on the helm. It also has a freshwater anchor washdown system.

Below Decks

A Wealth of Space. Arguably the chief design element here is the space afforded in the cabin below deck. We measured 6’4” of headroom below, and one of the boat’s pleasures is encountering this much room to move around in a 33’ boat.

Full Head Standard. The cabin can accommodate four to five for sleeping, and with a goal of weekend getaways in mind with design, a full head was necessary. The 31 PC has a full shower as well, with a hinged acrylic door.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser cabin

The view of the cabin from the access stairs, looking forward toward the stateroom berth. Note the removable table installed at the dining area and galley to port.

Cabin Space. The cabin in the 31 PC, accessed via an acrylic door in the helm and down three molded-in stairs, has 6’4” of headroom and can sleep five in comfort. It has a standard head and full galley, with an efficient use of space that keeps things from feeling excessively cramped.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser cabin

View of the cabin from the stateroom facing aft. Note the rear lounge space just behind the stairs.

Dining Area to Starboard. With every seating space in the cabin upholstered in Ultraleather, the 31 PC cabin has a comfortable, luxurious feel to it. This of course includes the main dining space, which comes in the form of a curved couch in front of dual removable mounted tables.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser cabin berth

The main salon converted to a berth via the adjustable tables. Note the rear lounge area’s been converted to a berth as well.

Much like in the cockpit, these tables lower and convert to berth by adding their dedicated cushions on top.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser lounge

The after lounge area, with removable table installed. Note the lowered headroom space.

Rear Lounge Space. Also to starboard but aft of the dining area, just behind the stairs, is another lounge space with a smaller cocktail table mountable in the footwell. The headroom here is lower, and it is sectioned off a bit from the main salon, though not cut off from the space entirely. A privacy curtain can be installed.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser lounge

The aft lounge area converted to a berth, with the two convertible cushions added.

This area can sleep two more as well with the same conversion process; lower the table and add the dedicated cushion, and the space is a double-bed sized berth.


Formula 31 Performance Cruiser galley

The full galley, from the starboard dining area. Note the standard microwave and refrigerator, as well as the mirror and stainless steel finishes. Multiple cabinets as well.

Full Galley Standard. The galley on the 31 PC, with the high-gloss deep cherry finish on the cabinets, comes standard with refrigerator, microwave, and range. Counter-space is not scarce either, thanks to some creative design elements that hide the range under a lift-able Corian latch, and leave the standard coffeemaker its own cabinet space.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser stove

The stainless steel sink, with concealable range with Corian latch lifted up. The range will automatically shut off when the latch is lowered.

The stainless steel sink is molded-in to the countertop, and a trash receptacle is also built-in to the countertop, making cleaning just a bit easier.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser coffee

The stemware and coffee maker storage. Note the glass-door display for the stemware; this has an LED light up display as well.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser refrigerator

Closer look at both the refrigerator and the wood finish on the cabinets in the galley.

The cabinetry has adequate storage, including a stemware storage center that has LED lights and a glass-front display. The galley itself comes with tempered stemware and tumblers standard. Finally, the galley comes with a fire extinguisher as well.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser berth

Closer look at the stateroom berth. The décor is available in a range of style options at purchase.

Forward Stateroom. The stateroom on the 31 PC is smaller than others in the performance cruiser line; instead of a privacy pocket door, it is a curtain. Instead of two steps up to the berth, it is one. Instead of a queen sized bed, it is a double. There aren’t any closets in the 31 PC, but there is still four-drawer storage just under the berth.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser head

The 31 PC’s full head, with VacuFlush, full shower, and exhaust fan. The vanity has Corian countertops, the cabinet wood finish will match those in the cabin/ galley.

Full Head Standard. The 31 PC’s head has a VacuFlush system with a 40-gallon holding tank that comes with dockside pumpout—necessary if travelling for extended periods of time. It has a vanity with stainless steel sink, Corian countertops, and wood cabinets that will match the design scheme selected for the cabin.

The head has an exhaust fan and a full shower with hinged acrylic door.

Air Conditioning/Heating. The below decks area can be cooled with the optional 12,000 BTU reverse-cycle air conditioning system. A 1500 watt heater can be added as well.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser stereo

The stereo hookup/ mounting hub. Note the iPod/ iPhone hookup, with convenient display holster.

Cabin Electronics Amenities. The cabin comes standard with a 24” LCD HDTV/DVD combo player with dockside access cord, as well as a Clarion AM/FM/CD stereo with iPod/USB docking station, Bluetooth and two 6” x 9” speakers. The 31 PC is also outfitted with Sirius Satellite radio, which requires subscription. Additionally, the aft lounge space in the aft cabin can be outfitted with another 24” HDTV, with DVD and Blu-ray capabilities.


The 31 PC offers five different engine options when purchasing.

  • • MerCruiser Twin 6.2L 350 ECT Bravo Three

  • • Volvo Penta Twin V8-350C 5.3L Duoprop

  • • MerCruiser Twin 8.2 MAG ECT 380 Bravo Three X

  • • Volvo Penta Twin V8-380C 6.0L Duoprop

  • • Ilmor Twin MV8 6.0L OPS 380 One Drive


Formula 31 Performance Cruiser running

We found the 31 Performance Cruiser to ride as if on top of a bubble where weight distribution affected the tilt of the boat, which had to be corrected with trim tabs.


We weren’t able to find any seas to speak of, but running through varying wake sizes showed a tendency to pound a bit, not unlike any other boat, but as I say, this isn’t “any other boat.” When at cruising speed, the boat tends to produce a bow oscillation effect that won’t go away until the boater takes action with the trim tabs -- touch of “bow up” will cure it, and it will do so without adding a negative effect on visibility due to bowrise.

Rides on a Bubble. We also found the 31 PC to behave as if she were riding atop a bubble and minor changes in weight distribution (i.e. a heavy cameraman and gear moving from one side to the other) resulted in a noticeable tilt to one side or the other, that again, had to be corrected with the trim tabs, which truth be told, is why they’re called trim tabs. This trim-sensitive characteristic is typical in a hull of this size and weight. She has an 18-degree semi-deep-V hull, which is a good compromise for this size boat. A deeper V would make her even more weight sensitive than she is. Going with a flatter deadrise would only increase pounding.

Turns were crisp and tight with no uncomfortable digging in that causes everything to go flying. A simple roll was all that accompanied the turn and there’s no need to hang on for dear life in even the hardest turn. Slowing in seas or when approaching a wake is in order or there will be a pounding that can get uncomfortable, but in no way seemed beyond the structural integrity of the boat.

Now slowing down quickly is another thing. If one chops the throttles back and immediately come off plane, the stern will squat. One has pretty much stopped the forward momentum of the boat, but remember they have no control whatsoever over the stern wake which is following. That following wave will wash right over the swim platform and into the aft cockpit deck. That’s one reason why one will want to keep the transom door closed, and slow down more gradually, giving the boat time to trim itself to ride over the stern wave when it comes rolling forward. Again, this is a normal characteristic.

The Test

In our tests runs, the 31 Performance Cruiser hit 46.8 mph powered by twin 375-hp MerCruiser with a Bravo III drive. Best cruise came in at 32.4 mph.

Options to Consider

The Performance Cruiser line has a great deal of high-quality specifics coming standard, but as anyone in the market will note, they also have a host of options for fine-tuning their experience with the boat. Here are some options that rose above the rest:

  • • Polished stainless LED bow docking lights ($900)

  • • Three blue LED underwater lights ($3,355)

  • • Bow thruster ($8,980)

  • • Transom-mounted stainless propane grill with infrared technology, stainless shelf and carrying case ($1,530)

  • • Ilmor joystick control

  • • Volvo EVC System with 7” engine display ($12,665)

  • • JL Audio blue LED lighted chrome-finished cockpit speakers with two additional 6.5” speakers and 200W cockpit subwoofer ($1,920)

  • • Cockpit 120V/12V pullout refrigerator with stainless front ($2,040)

  • • 120V cockpit ice maker ($2,635)

  • • Cockpit heater ($1,520)

  • • Krups 5-speed blender ($275)

  • • Aft cabin 24” LED/LCD HDTV/DVD combo player ($1,545)

  • • 12,000 BTU reverse cycle air conditioner with digital climate control ($7,180)

  • • 1500W/120V cabin heater ($785)

  • • Built-in WalVac sweeper system ($1,080)

  • • Electronic security safe ($600)

  • • Volvo OceanX saltwater protection system ($4,770)

  • • 7.5 KW/120V Kohler® low-CO emissions gas generator with battery ($16,825)


The base price on the boat (depending on power option) comes in no higher than $376,000. However, consider that many of the options will be either must-haves, or choices between two prices, which will bring the price up.

Formula 31 Performance Cruiser idle

The Formula 31 PC reached 46.7 mph during our tests with twin 375-hp MerCruisers. The new stern treatment greatly enhances the functionality of the boat.


The Formula 31 PC’s mission is largely accomplished here—the boat meets its own luxury standards, can handle entertaining, weekenders, and longer excursions and watersports -- and does so with power and reliability.

Because Formula 31 PC is at the very top of the quality and price pyramid, she is a boat for a select few. For those who know quality, appreciate it and can afford it, the 31 PC is hard to beat. Because she has a race-proven hull and is ruggedly constructed, she is not just a pretty face plush seating. She can bound across the Gulf Stream without peer in class. In fact, many of the pictures seen on this page were taken in Bimini, and boat went there on her own bottom.