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Formula 310 Bowrider (w/ Ilmor 380-hp MV8 6.0L) (2018-)

Brief Summary

The Formula 310 Bowrider offers a wide range of power options all the way up to twin 430-hp V8s.

Key Features

  • Ilmor 380-hp MV8 6.0L engines matched to One Drive® sterndrives
  • Ilmor One Touch® joystick control with MERLIN Digital Dashboard
  • Clarion AM/FM/CD stereo with iPod, Bluetooth and 6 speakers
  • Cockpit/swim platform with remote-controlled blue/white LED courtesy lights
  • Raymarine multifunction display
  • Modular bow seating/sun pad system with armrests and removable seat sections
  • Under-cushion bow storage with molded-in insulated cooler
  • 2 color-coordinated dual-height cockpit tables with Corian top, filler cushion and drink holders
  • Aft-facing sun lounge with dual-position backrests and trunk storage
  • Color-coordinated molded wet bar with sink, picnic-ware storage and 30-quart Igloo cooler


Length Overall 31' 0'' / 9.45 m
Beam 9' 6"
2.90 m
Dry Weight 9,875 lbs.
4,479 kg
Draft 37"
.94 m
Deadrise/Transom 22-deg.
Max Headroom Open
Bridge Clearance 8' 8''
2.64 m (w/ arch)
Weight Capacity N/A
Person Capacity N/A
Fuel Capacity 130 gal.
492 L
Water Capacity 29 gal.
110 L


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Engine Options

Tested Engine Currently no test numbers
Std. Power 2 x 380-hp Ilmor MV8 6.0L with One Drive sterndrives
Opt. Power Two Ilmor twin engines from 380-hp to 430-hp
Four MerCruiser twin engines from 300-hp to 430-hp
Four Volvo Penta twin engines from 300-hp to 430-hp

Captain's Report

The Formula 310 Bowrider has a LOA of 31’0’’ (9.45 m), a beam of 9’6’’ (2.90 m), and a draft of 37’’ (.94 m).

Formula 310 Bowrider running

The Formula 310 Bowrider has versatile seating in a solid, beamy platform.

Mission Statement

The Formula 310 Bowrider is a premium quality day boat designed for large lakes or coastal waters. Her focus is to provide owners with high-capacity seating (12+), luxurious amenities, and exciting performance. She is designed and built to go nearly any speed that her engines can drive her and the boat will be able to take more punishment than her driver. The 310 Bowrider is intended to appeal to boaters who want to go truly first class in terms of amenities and overall build quality.

Formula 310 Bowrider deck plan

The Formula 310 Bowrider.

Features Inspection

The boat offers four distinct entertainment zones and its interior gives it good seating flexibility and a sophisticated look. The cockpit has the latest upholstery treatments and materials. Formula implemented this with premium vinyl upholstery, using self-draining DryFast foams that are fitted on StarLite XL synthetic marine substructures.

Formula 310 Bowrider Bow Seating

The refined bow seating offers different combinations of layout and features from some of the best materials on the market.

Formula 310 Bowrider starboard bow

The starboard bow that is shown here has seats facing each other with cup holders, grabrails, and a speaker.


The bow seating area takes full advantage of the boat’s 9’6” (2.90 m) beam with plush wrap-around upholstery. Two loungers flank the port and starboard sides and come equipped with sturdy, fold-down armrests. On either side, the lounge center-section cushions with rigid backing, can be removed to convert each end of each lounge to seats that face each other, fore and aft, with the occupants’ feet on the sole. Additional filler cushions stow neatly in the helm console, and these convert the bow into a spacious sun pad for at least three adults. The full-length low profile bowrail is stainless steel and provides added security. Thickly padded coaming panels enhance comfort, regardless of the chosen seating configuration. A starboard locker door on the side of the helm console swings open to do double duty as the airdam for the bow area, though we noticed the DC electrical panel located in that locker, so that compartment should probably be enclosed while underway.

Formula 310 Bowrider bow

The portside bow seating area has the seat filler in place, making for additional seats or a lounge where passengers can stretch their legs.

Formula 310 Bowrider

Or go full sun pad in the bow, with a hi-lo table with filler cushion and even a slide-in backrest for the pass-through.

Formula 310 Bowrider Helm

The revised helm sports a dash of polished black acrylic with Ilmor gauges. The Raymarine touchscreen GPS chartplotter with depthsounder is standard equipment. The helm of the 310 Bowrider is a real command center, with a grab handle for the passenger. Ilmor’s analog fuel gauge and speedometer are at the top on the port side, with the tachometers with LCD display beneath. The Raymarine touchscreen multifunction display is positioned under the centerline compass. On the starboard side of the top panel is the Ilmor MERLIN Digital Dashboard control, with the One Drive trim indicators above, along with the Lewmar windlass chain counter. Down the starboard side are the One Touch joystick, the Bennett trim tab controls with LED indicator, and the Ilmor binnacle. On the port side of the adjustable steering wheel are electrical rocker switches, a built-in remote for the Clarion stereo and ICOM IC-M324 VHF radio. There’s a breaker panel positioned in the footwell of the helm that will hopefully see only occasional use, since it only trips when a circuit overloads, but we wouldn’t mind seeing it moved for easier access.

Formula 310 Bowrider ilmor gauges

The helm of the 310 Bowrider has Ilmor gauges, a Raymarine MFD, and joystick, trim tab and throttle and shift controls that fall easily to hand.

Cockpit seating is comprised of a port side bench seat with forward- and aft-facing seatbacks for reclining. To starboard is a dual helm seat for the captain and companion, both seats have dual-position backrests that convert to -- and lock into -- an aft-facing position quickly. Situated just behind the helm seat is an expansive U-shaped settee designed for conversation and dining with the removable dinette table, and the helm seatbacks make the helm seat part of this arrangement. The transom seating is integrated with the cockpit settee via dual position backrests for sitting, lounging or tanning on the sun pad aft.

Formula 310 Bowrider helm seats

Helm and companion seats flip up independently to become bolsters for those who prefer to drive standing up. The seatbacks fold forward independently as well.

Formula 310 Bowrider Seat Backs

The new dual-action seat backs on the boat give greater flexibility and use and were a product of owner feedback.

Formula 310 Bowrider helm seat backs

Helm seat backs fold forward — and lock in place — to let this two-person seat join the cockpit party at anchor.

Formula 310 Bowrider Transom Trunk

Below the sun pad’s aft cushion is a transom trunk with ample room for fender lines and inflatables. A 12-volt power outlet is located inside for easy inflation of toys.

Formula 310 Bowrider stowage

Additional stowage is beneath the huge sun pad aft.

Entertaining Amenities

The Head/Changing Room

The 310 Bowrider is equipped with a spacious head compartment (thanks in part to the boat’s 9’6" (2.90 m beam) located in the port side console and comes standard with a VacuFlush toilet and 36-gallon (136 L) holding tank. A small vanity cabinet with sink can be used as a private shower, and has the option of being upgraded with a handy water heater.

Formula 310 Bowrider helm console

Opposite the helm console is the head compartment, with VacuFlush head sink, mirror, storage, and an opening port.

A Cockpit Wet Bar

The 310 Bowrider’s mini bar is designed to blend in aesthetically to the clean look of the cockpit. It is situated to the port side, and provides a cabinet with a removable 30-quart cooler (28 L) or can be ordered with a drawer style, 120/12-volt refrigerator. On top of the cabinet are a sink and a storage bin with a plumbed drain (so it can be used to hold ice). Both the sink and bin are concealed under bifold Corian countertops. When the counter is in place, there is enough space to make lunch.

Storage Galore

The 310 Bowrider can take on plenty of passengers for a fun day on the water, but it also has room for their gear. Everywhere we looked there were large lockers to open, from hatches in the deck to beneath most seating areas. Seat cushions generally fold forward, revealing double-hinged lids that let the lid stay open without a ram and so you can load the locker with both hands. One in-deck locker was designed to take water-skis and wakeboards, located in the sole between the helm and head-compartment consoles, and we noticed it can hold much more than that.

Formula 310 Bowrider locker

This in-deck locker located amidships can stow water-skis and most anything boaters can imagine.

Formula 310 Bowrider console

This console in the cockpit conceals amenities beneath its bifold Corian countertop.

Formula 310 Bowrider sink

A bin that’s plumbed to drain (at left) is accompanied by a sink with folding faucet.

Formula 310 Bowrider Engines

Formula’s offshore racing heritage is evident in the high-quality engine-room rigging.

Formula 310 Bowrider engines

The Ilmor 380-hp MV8 6.0L engines fit right in with Formula’s racing heritage and are nicely self-contained with glycol-based cooling systems.


Formula offers no fewer than 10 different power package options for the 310 Bowrider. Twin engine power from Ilmor, Volvo Penta or MerCruiser ensures excellent performance and the ability to tow virtually any skier or wakeboarder easily. Several small-block engine choices provide power from 300-hp to 380-hp, while big block power ranges from 380-hp to 430-hp.


The Formula 310 Bowrider has a LOA of 31’0’’ (9.45 m), a beam of 9’6’’ (2.90 m), and a draft of 37’’ (.94 m). The smooth-shifting 380-hp Ilmor MV8 6.0L engines are tucked in the engine space beneath the transom lounge and sun pad.

Formula 310 Bowrider

The lighted space on the Formula 310 BR makes it easy to check on the Ilmor MV8 6.0L and other equipment.

Because the Formula 310 Bowrider we tested was not propped for optimal performance on our test day, we were unable to get performance numbers on our test that would serve as a real-world indication of the boat’s performance. We asked Formula and Ilmor if they had tested the boat. They sent along the results of their test of the Formula 310 SS with 380-hp Ilmor MV8 6.0L with One Drive, and told us that boat has the same hull and propulsion package as the 310 Bowrider we initially tried to test, as well as close to the same weight. Here’s what the numbers indicated.

The Formula 310 SS has a LOA of 31’0” (9.45 m) and a beam of 9’6” (2.90 m) and these measurements are the same as the 310 Bowrider. With an empty weight of 10,250 lbs. (4,649.3 kg), 75 gallon (283.4 L) of fuel, and two people on board, Formula and Ilmor told us their 310 SS had an estimated test weight of 11,328 lbs. (5,138.3 kg).

Speed and Efficiency

With the twin 380-hp Ilmor MV8 6.0L with One Drive powering the 310 SS test boat, Formula and Ilmor reached a top speed of 56.05 mph at 5500 rpm. Best economic cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 32.90 mph. It was at that speed that the 21.8 gph fuel burn translated into 1.51 mpg and a range of 162.6 miles (261.7 km).

The Formula 310 SS accelerated from zero to 20 mph in 6 seconds and zero to 30 in 9.3 seconds.

The Engine Space

The transom settee raises up on a single electric ram to offer wide-open access to the engine space. There’s a convenient light built into the overhead that simplifies predawn engine checks.

Formula 310 Bowrider twin engines

The Formula 310 Bowrider has a pair of 380-hp Ilmor MV8 6.0L engines beneath the cockpit lounge.

Ilmor marinizes GM Marine's 6.0L with the highest quality components, and with the same dedication and detail as they do for their IndyCar, NASCAR and ARCA clients. The engines are built for marine use, and they are situated in the mechanical space for easy access to service points. Dipsticks, filters and overflow tank caps are all right up front on each engine. Cooling is key on any engine and the integrated overflow tank on its glycol-based cooling system is easily accessible.

Formula 310 Bowrider easy access

The MV8 has easy access to service points including: cooling system overflow tank (red arrow), oil fill and dipstick (yellow arrow), and oil filter with convenient built-in drip tray (green arrow).

The Ilmor One Drive uses a standard electronic throttle and shift that allows easy shifting in and out of gear. Then it adds in the fully integrated One Touch joystick system to control the propulsion system for slow-speed maneuvering. The hydraulic transmission is encapsulated within the sterndrive, which means quieter operation. Because it’s designed for diesel engines, the stern drive has gears and shafts that are more robust to handle the low- and midrange torque produced by the Ilmor MV8. Large water intakes, large exhaust port, and contrarotating props are just some of the features.

Formula 310 Bowrider cowling

The cowling of the One Drive lower unit is larger than other sterndrives because it contains the hydraulic transmission, which Ilmor says makes the boat quieter.

The electromagnetically actuated hydraulic clutch means the One Drive is much smoother than the cone clutches found on other systems, with less clunk shifting in and out of gear, so the joysticks frequent direction changes are less noticeable.

Formula 310 Bowrider

The Ilmor One Drive sterndrive is a robust lower unit modified from a design used with diesels.

The Ilmor MERLIN Digital Dashboard is a touchscreen display that shows engine status through a series of screens that help the user understand how the engines are being employed with the One Touch joystick system through graphics including red arrows showing the vectors of force the engines put on the boat.

Formula 310 Bowrider

Ilmor’s MERLIN digital dashboard has a graphical representation of the boat that helps the user understand just how the sterndrives are working in conjunction with the One Touch joystick.


The 310 Bowrider exhibited excellent handling, tracking very well at both low and high speeds without needing adjustment from the helmsman to hold course. The Formula 310 Bowrider tracked well in breezy conditions with a little chop, and with the Ilmor One Drive sterndrive system, she was responsive to the wheel and turned on a tight radius at speed — under two boat lengths — without feeling like she’s going to slip or lose her grip. She handled well as we ran her through the wake of our camera boat, her sharp entry cutting through the waves and her 22-degree deep-V hull ensuring a soft landing. Even with five people aboard, the 380-hp Ilmor MV8 engines linked to the One Drive sterndrive system makes the Formula 310 Bowrider quick off the line.

Formula 310 Bowrider joystick

The user can get a good feel for the joystick by watching the effect of its proportional control of sterndrive thrust.

Formula 310 Bowrider sharp bow

This angle shows the 310 Bowrider’s sharp bow, which cuts through rough water and chop, while keeping folks in the front seats dry.

Standard Equipment

  • • Clarion AM/FM/CD stereo with iPod/USB docking station, waterproof dash-mounted stereo control, two smartphone dash pockets, iPod/MP3 port, Bluetooth and six 6 1/2’’ speakers with 400W stereo amplification and polished stainless grilles
  • • Livorsi gauges and chromed shifts/throttles with in-handle outdrive trim switch
  • • Three dual USB charging ports – two in the aft cockpit and one in the bow
  • • Cockpit/swim platform includes blue/white LED courtesy lights with remote control

Formula 310 Bowrider led lights

Blue/white LED lights illuminate the entertaining areas.

  • • Weather-resistant cockpit seating with PreFixx coating and Tenara element-resistant thread
  • • Modular bow seating/sun pad system with armrests and removable seat bottoms
  • • Under cushion bow storage with molded-in insulated cooler
  • • Dual position helm and companion seats with convertible backrests
  • • Port lounge with integrated dive tank storage and trash container
  • • Starboard gear storage locker
  • • Dedicated starboard storage locker for bow filler cushions
  • • Forward in-floor wakeboard/ski storage with automatic bilge pump
  • • U-shaped aft lounge seating with storage
  • • Two color-coordinated dual-height cockpit tables with a Corian top, filler cushion, and 2 polished drink holders each
  • • Aft-facing sun lounge with dual-position backrests and trunk storage with fenders
  • • Color-coordinated molded wet bar with integrated sink and picnic ware storage
  • • Disconnect switches for aux and start batteries
  • • Stainless transom gate

Options to Consider

Formula prides itself on providing many options so that buyers can build a boat with what they feel is a personal touch. One item on our short list would be the electric windlass and stainless steel plow anchor, coupled with a chain anchor rode. This system is cleanly integrated beneath the bow’s anchor hatch and makes day boating more pleasurable. We would not mind seeing a larger access hole to the chain locker, since we may want to use two hands to untangle the chain.

Electric Windlass

Available as an option is a Lewmar electric windlass that includes 75’ (23 m) of chain, a stainless steel anchor as well as a remote.

Formula 310 Bowrider windlass

The windlass is a terrific addition to a boat like this, making anchoring in a secluded cove that much simpler. Best of all it tucks out of sight, and out of the elements, when not in use.

Watersports Swim Platform

The other “must have” would be the extended watersports swim platform that comes equipped with drink holders and a boarding ladder, or a concealed swim seat and step. And, of course, we would opt for a hull color. This option is only about 2% of the price of the boat yet makes her look like a million dollars. Formula uses a special paint that it buffs to a high gloss that is unlike virtually any other boat on the market.

Formula 310 Bowrider grab rails

With multiple grabrails and cup holders, the swim platform of the 310 Bowrider shows this boat takes watersports seriously.


The Formula 310 Bowrider is spacious and easy to move about, from the windshield pass-through to the bow, to the transom walkway to the swim platform. She uses inventive seating solutions throughout the layout, particularly in the bow area and the cockpit. The boat’s handling is impressive, as is her performance. The ride is solid and very quiet, even at cruising speed the boat’s occupants can easily share a conversation without shouting.

Most important to realize is that this boat is a big boat and had a tested weight of 11,220 lbs. (5,089 kg). That, along with her 9’6" (2.90 m) beam, gives her real authority in big bodies of water. And as all of those people know who closely follow Formula, the 310 Bowrider, just like all of the other Formulas, cross the Gulf Stream for their annual publicity shoot on the flats in the islands.