The Formula 370 Super Sport is designed to be an exhilarating coastal sport boat and overnighter, and when she’s equipped with a pair of 483-hp Ilmor 7.4-liter MV8 engines matched to Ilmor One Drive® sterndrives. The boatbuilder and engine manufacturer each have their own racing heritage, so the excitement is enhanced when Formula’s FAS3TECH hull meets the reliable performance of hand-built engines and robustly engineered propulsion systems. And a versatile layout with a high level of fit-and-finish is ready to welcome family and friends to share the thrills.
- 10-year structural warranty
- Ilmor One Touch® joystick control system
- Ilmor MERLIN Digital Dashboard CAN-based instrumentation panel
- Extended swim platform with concealed swim ladder and pull-up cleats
- Curved UltraLeather sofa seating with dual-height, wood dining table, and filler cushions
- Aft cabin stateroom with Sensus memory foam queen mattress
- Raymarine Axiom Pro 12 GPS navigation system with color touchscreen display
- Tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel
- 4 polished Bomar cabin venting hatches with screens
- Dual-height cockpit tables with filler cushions
|Length Overall||38' 6" / 11.73 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||9.0 sec.|
|0 to 30||17.5 sec.|
|Props||Mercury Bravo III 24|
|Load||4 persons, 3/4 load, 1/9 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||77 deg., 65 humid.; wind: 6-12; seas: 1-2|
2 x 483-hp Ilmor 7.4-liter
2 x 480-hp Ilmor MV8 7.4L OPS One Drive
Contents of Report
Overview. If the Formula 370 Super Sport is designed to combine luxury and performance in a premium build, then the optional Ilmor 483-hp MV8 engines matched to One Drive sterndrive systems are a smart choice. This propulsion system, from its hand-built engines to its robust sterndrives, are built by a company that owes its genesis to motorsports, and so the powerplant’s combined performance and durability complement this Formula’s sporty exterior and feature-laden interior.
FAS3TECH Hull. This is the performance hull that the company’s “go-fast” boats use. Twin steps draw air under the hull, reducing surface friction and increasing performance. Many boats have one step, but few have two. Everything from speed to fuel economy is enhanced.
Strong Warranty. Formula stands behind its products with a 10-year structural warranty and a 5-year transferable "Formula Guard" protection plan. This plan includes engine and outdrives for five years.
Choice of Graphics. Most builders have a “one-and-done” policy regarding graphic choices. Not so with Formula. There are three different choices so that the 370 Super Sport can be dialed in to the specific look that owners are striving for.
Axalta ChromaPremier Paint. Formula uses this high-quality paint that has a bright luster, then covers it with Axalta clear coat for durability and longevity of high gloss. (See below). The test boat had a Latte colored hull which blends harmoniously with her interior colors.
Polished to Perfection. Formulas are always easy to spot on the water: They gleam in the sun, and even older boats hold up over time. When we toured the Decatur, Indiana plant, we watched a boat being finished out. No less than four workers were at the hull with orbital buffers bringing out the perfect shine. When one of them stepped back to admire her work, we joined in and looked at the mirror-like shine. We saw no flaws or imperfections in the reflection. And then he splattered the area with more compound and went right back to buffing it even more.
Excellent Tooling. Formula knows that much of its premium reputation is because of the exceptional cosmetic nature of its hulls. Look at any Formula hull at a boat show and notice the play of light across the surface. Their hulls do not reflect light in waves much less as a washboard. The reason is because the plugs were board sanded for hundreds of hours. Then the molds have been maintained and polished to uphold the fairness of the plugs.
Prestige. In our opinion, there are no boats built like Formulas in the U.S. in class and that gives owners of the 370 Super Sport bragging rights (although most Formula owners have too much class to brag). And that is what Formulas are all about, class and performance on the water.
Price. Not surprisingly, price is another distinguishing feature of the 370 Super Sport. It simply comes with the territory.
Ilmor Propulsion System
If a boater is going to consider a boat with as storied a racing heritage as the Formula marque carries, the Ilmor One Drive fits right in with that thinking, for a number of reasons. For one, the Ilmor One Drive is designed for durability under duress, with more horsepower than the recreational-duty engines that top out around 430-hp but not quite reaching for the rarefied, high-performance engines in the 520-plus horsepower range.
Built to Be Different
Ilmor hand-builds this V-8 based on a GM 454 block, and uses Ilmor’s own forged steel crankshaft, rods, and pistons. This construction lies at the core of these engines’ durability, holding up their end of the deal with good low-end torque and substantial power. Multiple closed cooling systems use glycol-based coolant and heat exchangers to take heat away from components such as the exhaust manifolds and steering system, keeping everything operating within temperature tolerances for optimum performance and durability.
These closed cooling systems reduce corrosion in the engine, and Ilmor has engineered simplicity into replacing some raw-water-cooled parts. For example, the lower pipe of the exhaust system, which is well-designed for optimal drainage, can be swapped out thanks to a two-part construction that leaves the exhaust manifold in place.
Ilmor makes the more common maintenance tasks easier, too. The engines have a recommended oil-service interval of 75 hours with a 150-hour interval for the sterndrive unit. All service points are located on the top of the engine for easy access, and the oil filter is prominently placed within its courtesy tray.
- • An aluminum intake that’s tuned to deliver the air smoothly and quietly.
- • Hoses that are rubber-molded in their needed configuration rather than bent to fit those shapes.
- • Integrated heat exchangers placed to fit closely around the block.
The One Drive is a sterndrive unit that looks a little larger than most, but for all the right reasons. For one thing, the lower unit was initially engineered to be coupled with diesel engines. That makes sense for this V-8 because the more robust gears and shafts it has, as well as the lubrication system, helps ensure it operates even under extreme loads. And the unit’s overall size means it serves as a better rudder.
One Drive Features
- • The entire housing is bigger because it contains the hydraulic transmission within the upper unit, which makes the boat run quieter.
- • An electro-magnetic actuated clutch that’s quick and smooth, eliminating the clunk of cone clutches used by other sterndrive systems.
- • Larger water pickup and exhaust output for improved water flow and reduced engine backpressure.
- • Because Ilmor and Formula Boats are partners, Ilmor can carry Formula’s paint job right through to the upper unit of the One Drive.
- • The Ilmor One Touch joystick system is designed to simplify the use of the One Drive propulsion system in close-quarters maneuvering around the dock.
- • The Ilmor MERLIN Digital Dashboard is a touchscreen on the helm that allows the user to access information about the engine system and even download data that may help service professionals, schedule maintenance, and head off problems.
The engine compartment is accessed from a switch at the helm that lifts the aft seats with a powered ram. Under the hatch we had a pair of 483-hp Ilmor MV8 7.4L engines. Forward of the engines we find flip-down steps that allow easy access for daily checks and light maintenance, yet still offer access beneath. For more involved maintenance, the lift arm can be easily undone by removing a pin and the hatch can be opened fully.
Standard features in the engine room include a fume detector, courtesy lighting, an automatic fire suppression system, and two bilge pumps with a high-water alarm. The engine mounts are through-bolted. This is an important detail for a boat like the 370 Super Sport which is designed to be slammed and banged around offshore in square ones.
Concealed Anchor Windlass
This is now a standard feature. It includes 150’ (45.72 m) of all-chain rode, a chain counter at the helm, a polished stainless steel anchor on a through-the-stem anchor roller, and a hand held remote.
The standard on the 370 Super Sport is a radar arch but our test boat was fitted with an optional hardtop, a $16k upgrade, and it looked amazing. It was fitted with courtesy lights and blue LED pin lights.
7.3 kW Generator
This is a Kohler Low-CO generator with sound shield.
Chemically Bonded Hull-to-Deck Joint
Formula chemically bonds the hull and deck components together and then through-bolts them for added strength. It’s in this manner that the two are joined so as to become one solid component that cannot be separated from pounding seas, years of rack storage, hard beaching… The fiberglass itself will fail first. It’s that strong.
Formula Cast Cleats
The 12 cleats on the 370 Super Sport have the Formula logo cast into them. Not a big deal but indicative of the lengths this company will go to ensure that its boats are finished to perfection.
Waterproof Stereo Components
While the stereo itself is not protected, and therefore remains concealed, the remote at the helm is, as are the four- 6 ½” (16.5 cm) marine-grade speakers. Naturally, an MP3 port and 12V supply for the player are included and the stereo is Bluetooth enabled.
Center Foredeck Non-Skid
This aids in safely transitioning to the bow deck. The non-skid also angles off to the cleat areas.
All Weather Cockpit Seating
These are made to withstand the elements. It starts with seat bases fabricated from StarLite XL synthetic marine panels. Top it off with DriFast foam that allows water to flow right through to the drain holes underneath. Then upholster it with marine-grade vinyl covered with PreFixx stain inhibitor and stitch it together with Tenera UV resistant thread and, voilà, a seat that can last.
Redesigned Cockpit Seating
The styling has been redesigned to improve the looks and comfort. A recessed “alcove” under the seatbacks allows for a way to add drink holders to the middle of the seats without sacrificing the number of available seats. LED rope lighting across the top is completely hidden from view, and its presence is not noticeable until the lights are activated. The resulting look is stunning.
Dual-Height Cockpit Tables
Filler cushions turn the U-shaped seating into a sun pad, or a bed for that matter.
All the counters are now Corian and the color scheme is carried to the mounts for the drink holders.
Molded Wet Bar
While we’ve seen standard wet bars before, this one is done up with upscale features that we typically see in option listings. It has the usual integrated sink and here the Corian counter theme continues. A dual voltage pull-out refrigerator with stainless steel front and beverage racks, a 17 ½ quart (16.6 L) Igloo carry-on cooler and an in-counter trash receptacle are all included.
New Wood Finish
A new finish color is offered called Bourbon Cherry and it was included on our test boat. It’s combined with the Deep Cherry veneer of the cabinets.
Additional Stemware Holders
Formula knows that this isn’t a live-aboard boat but more of an entertainment platform that also accommodates weekend overnights. More of the cabinet space has been changed over to dedicated stemware racks, and in one cabinet, the top of the door is glass inlayed and the tops of the rack project blue LED lights downward onto the stems for a cool look at night.
Again, based on customer feedback, this theme of putting Corian everywhere continues at the galley. A single basin stainless sink has high-end Moen fixtures.
The Formula 370 Super Sport has a LOA of 38’6” (11.73 m), a beam of 10’9” (3.28 m), and a draft of 36” (91.4 cm). With an empty weight of 15,100 lbs. (6,849 kg), 75% fuel, and four people on board, we had an estimated test weight of 16,911 lbs. (7,671 kg).
With a pair of 483-hp Ilmor MV8 7.4L engines turning Mercury Bravo III 24” props, we reached a top speed of 53.7 mph at 5364 rpm. At that speed we were burning 75.5 gph for a range of 140 miles. It should be noted that this is one of the fastest speeds we have recorded in class (exceeded only by .4 mph by another Formula 370).
Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 31.9 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 32.7 gph, producing a range of 191 miles and an endurance of six hours while still retaining a 10% reserve of fuel.
Best Cruise, Part 2
For those who don't want to go that fast, and sometimes conditions won't permit it, it is good to know that by easing off the throttle to 3000 rpm, the 370 Super Sport will go 21.9 mph with a fuel consumption of 28.8 gph and a range of 149 miles. We had a time to plane of 9 seconds. We reached 20 mph in 10.5 seconds, 30 mph in 17.5 seconds.
Being that this boat is built on the hull of a FAS3TECH, it’s little surprise that she handles outstandingly well. In fact, there’s virtually nothing in her handling characteristics that one would find untoward or out of line with not only the FAS3TECH line but the entire Formula line.
She accelerates cleanly with minimal bowrise and no wandering of her heading. Once on plane, add just 3 to 4 shots of up trim on the drives and she’s in her 5-degree high optimum running angle. However, because of her length and weight, that running angle feels much more like dead level. She has a stately roll into the turns, meaning nice and slow with no jerky motions and no tendency towards chine walking in the turns or at top speed.
She also has a solid feel that can’t be denied. She cuts through wakes with little fanfare thanks to her weight, and spray is kept to a minimum. She just feels like a larger boat and that is something that most find comfortable and reassuring.
The 370 Super Sport continues to raise the bar on finish, ease of upkeep, and versatility. One of the ways this boat manages this task is by using Corian throughout. Countertops and surfaces are durable and easy to care for. The upholstery is also upscale, with three-tone color scheme and detailing that set it apart from other builds in class.
As we step aboard our test boat, there is optional teak-grain vinyl decking ($3,820) across the platform that adds a distinctive touch as well as functioning as non-skid. The double-wide aft-facing chaise lounge has been upgraded to convert to a sun pad electrically now, but the standard table in the cockpit will need to be removed for it to go all the way down. Previous versions were lowered manually.
A nod to the design team for putting the switch to actuate the seatback right in the armrest. Too many times we’ve seen the switch located in a remote area for reasons unknown to the rest of the world. Here it makes much more sense. To lower the seatback fully, the cockpit table must be removed, but a pair of stainless drink holders help keep track of beverages as well as sunglasses, cell phones, lip balm and sunscreen, or anything else the crew wants to keep handy. And it is here that we see the start of the Corian theme that will be carried throughout the boat.
The vinyl is marine-grade but now there are three tones along with a dark piping across the seat that, on our test boat, were all a soft tone that kept the bright sun from reflecting back into the eyes.
The cockpit is entered from the port side and U-shaped seating is to port opposite a wet bar console. The seats are stylish and functional, and include small “alcoves” in the bottom of the seatbacks where there are grab handles and drink holders without impeding on the usable space of the seat itself.
The use of multiple foam densities in the cushions can easily be felt in the separations that are present throughout. Formula obviously tried to take a cue from German automobiles which have relatively firm seating for support, without forgetting that Americans like seats to be comfortable to sit in for a long time. Multiple densities of foam in different sections helps to achieve a special "Formula feel." A pedestal table is fabricated from Corian, and of course both sections lower and accommodate filler cushions to form a sun pad.
LEDs have opened up color-lighting options to boats these days, having started on megayachts many years ago. But Formula has a different take on this lighting theme. These lights can be seen in strategic places throughout the cockpit, including in the overhead, seatbacks, headrests, and of course, the usual lighting at the deck level.
Across from the U-shaped settee is a wet bar fabricated from… guess what… Corian. A sink is plumbed to the 43-gallon (163 L) pressure water system. In the center is a trash receptacle and forward is an insulated, self-draining cooler. With the covers all closed a huge amount of counter space makes food prep a cinch.
Below are two doors, aft is storage for a small removable cooler and this space also serves as the location for the house battery switches and circuit breakers. Forward is a cockpit refrigerator and here’s a spot where we’d like to see the acrylic door removed. The refrigerator has its own door and opening one door to get to another seems a bit counterproductive.
Also, missing from the equation is a grill. One is available on the options list -- a transom-mounted stainless propane grill with infrared technology, stainless shelf, and carrying case ($1,360).
The 370 Super Sport comes standard with an arch that will accommodate the array of antennas, from radar to GPS to stereo, and everything in between. It served its purpose and looks great on the boat, but there is a better option. Our test boat was fitted with the optional hardtop ($18,915), and it not only looks much better than the arch alone, but it’s also more functional. It includes polished stainless speaker grilles, LED courtesy lights and blue pin lights underneath, and there’s a racing stripe right down the top side of it. Frankly, it really made the difference on our hot, sunny test day.
Just ahead, and across from the helm, is a doublewide chaise that can be used either facing forward, aft, or to simply face the good-looking captain. All boats are tradeoffs and this seat is one such case. While it would be better to have a forward facing seat, this side facing seat allows for much more room in the cabin below. It can also be easily seen how the theme of upgraded seats continues here.
The good looks continue at the helm. The dark tone serves well to knock down the glare of the panel. Formula went with the Ilmor MERLIN Digital Dashboard display to the starboard of the twin analog tachometers and centerline speedometer. To port is a standard Raymarine Axiom Pro 12 touchscreen multifunction display.
To the right of the helm dash are the Ilmor One Touch joystick control and Bennett trim tab controls with indicators. The One Touch joystick offers 360-degree rotational capability as well as independent steering and shifting. The system can also crab the boat sideways and diagonally, and is compatible with an autopilot. The level of controllability never ceases to amaze with this system and anyone having concerns about moving up to this level of boat should not be concerned when this system is fitted.
As we make our way below, we enter a spacious cabin, trimmed in rich woods, and finished to perfection. The cabin is climate-controlled with a standard reverse-cycle 16,000-BTU air conditioning/heating system and kept clean with an installed, standard central vacuum system.
Getting in the Mood
The galley is to port, and by now we have come to expect the Corian countertops. The usual cast of appliances is present here. Plenty of storage is above and below. Forward is a unique feature. A cabinet is glassed in at the top, and this section is used to house the stemware. Blue lights shine down on the glasses, adding a romantic touch at night. Beneath the stemware is a small compartment with a 110V outlet so it can be used to house a coffeemaker. The refrigerator is mounted just to the other side of the stairs.
Dinette for Cozy Gatherings
Forward is the dinette and a classy place to be it is. The seats are butter soft Ultraleather both top and bottom, and in between is UltraSuede, making a nice offset that is quite pleasing to look at. Four opening hatches are overhead, two opening portlights are to either side, and flush-mounted speakers are flanking a mirrored bulkhead forward. Of course, the pedestal tables will lower to form a berth.
The mid cabin is under the cockpit deck and features a queen sized berth lying next to a mirrored bulkhead. We measured 2’ (.6 m) of overhead clearance. There’s space for a flatscreen TV, full-width storage, phone jack, and 120V outlets.
More Standard Equipment
In addition to the standard equipment mentioned all through this report, there are a few other items that are standard that often are options on other boats in this size range, and jump out at us as worth mentioning. They are--
- • Trim Tabs. The 370 Super Sport is fitted with traditional hydraulic Bennett trim tabs with switches and indicators at the helm. We think it is noteworthy that Formula does not use the newer electrical trim tabs that are becoming popular with most builders.
- • Electronic Entertainment Systems. Here, Formula leaves little to be desired. Below there is a Clarion AM/FM/10-disc CD stereo, iPod docking station, and an iPod/MP3 player port with two 6-1/2" speakers. On deck there is a remote, four 6-1/2" 150W speakers (two in the radar arch and two facing the swim platform below the transom pad) with separate tweeters and a 200w subwoofer. Amplification is 600w. There is also a standard 26" (.66 m) LCD HDTV/DVD combo player below.
- • Remote-Control Courtesy Lights. Want to impress your guests at night when walking down the dock to the 370? The swim platform has blue/white courtesy lights that can be turned on with a remote control fob.
- • Bimini Top with Side Curtains. This is an important standard feature that turns the Formula 370 Super Sport into a three-season boat and can allay the fears of friends who might melt in a passing rain shower. The standard arch comes with the ability to be fitted with a Bimini top, isinglass front, side, and extended aft enclosure. The system has easy to mount zipper connectors and Sunbrella acrylic fabric with a vinyl under coating.
Formula’s 370 Super Sport as tested had a base price of $668,160 with the twin 483-hp Ilmor MV8 7.4L engines matched to Ilmor One Drive sterndrives.
Our test boat was also fitted with the sport hardtop with a SureShade extendable awning, the Ilmor One Touch joystick with MERLIN Digital Dashboard display, an ICOM IC-M VHF radio, an upgrade to a Raymarine Axiom Pro 12 touchscreen chartplotter, and the teak vinyl decking on the swim platform. Our test boat had the Ocean Blue Metallic color with clear coat.
A half-million dollars (or more) might seem like a lot of money for a 37' (11.27 m) boat, and it is. For certain boat owners, there are few other boats to seriously consider. For them, Formula has it all -- cachet, performance, styling, features, and tremendous pride of ownership. In this case, we are reminded of the old saying that, "No one ever has buyer's remorse when buying quality." To that we would add that Formula boats never seem to go out of style -- even old ones are usually still head-turners. The robust Ilmor propulsion system fits right in with this thought process. And for people who want to hold on to a boat for 10 years, there is something to be said for buying a boat that is well-built and will probably have the highest resale value in its size range and type.