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Formula 310 Bowrider Outboard (2021-)

w/ 2x 350-hp Merc Verado JPO L6



Brief Summary

Formula designed the 310 Bowrider to provide enough amenities to encourage friends and family to spend all day on the water enjoying their favorite activities - swimming, diving, tow sports or simply socializing.

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
630 4 3.5 1.5 2.7 2.3 312 271.3 54.2
1000 6 5.2 2.7 2.3 2 265 230.4 63.1
1500 7.5 6.5 4 1.9 1.6 218 189.5 67.6
2000 8.8 7.6 6.8 1.3 1.1 152 131.9 73.4
2500 11.1 9.7 11.5 1 0.8 113 98.6 75.7
3000 14.9 12.9 16.2 0.9 0.8 107 93.3 80.4
3500 19.2 16.7 20.5 0.9 0.8 110 95.5 82.1
4000 22.2 19.3 23.2 1 0.8 112 97.1 83.3
4500 28.7 25 26.1 1.1 0.9 125 108.7 85.1
5000 39.6 34.4 33.1 1.2 1 140 121.7 86.3
5500 43.7 38 41.9 1 0.9 122 106.1 86.2
6000 49 42.6 61.8 0.8 0.7 93 80.6 86.1

Specifications

Length Overall 31' ( 9.45 m)
34'10" (10.6 m) w/ extended swim platform
Beam 9'6"
2.9 m
Dry Weight 10,750 lbs.
4,876 kg
Tested Weight 11,901 lbs.
5,398 kg
Draft 37"
.94 m
Deadrise/Transom 22°
Bridge Clearance 6' (1.83 m)
8'8" (2.64 m) w/ arch
Fuel Capacity 130 gal.
494 L
Water Capacity 29 gal.
110 L
Total Weight 11,901 lbs.
5,398 kg

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 4.7 sec.
0 to 30 10.2 sec.
Props 18p rev 4
Load 3 persons, 70% fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 68 deg., 89 humid., wind: 5-10 mph, seas: <1

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2x 350-hp Merc Verado JPO L6

Captain's Report

Formula 310 Bowrider: Now with Outboard Power and Available Hardtop

By Capt. Steve Larivee

Formula’s latest edition of the 310 Bowrider cuts a striking figure with her color-matched outboard power and new hardtop. 

Mission

“We don’t build for the masses, but we do build for you” is Formula’s creed. These boats have extensive options from the choice of engine manufacturers to the color and texture of the upholstery.  

Formula designed the 310 Bowrider to provide enough amenities to encourage friends and family to spend all day on the water enjoying their favorite activities - swimming, diving, tow sports or simply socializing.

Distinguishing Features

  • Race boat heritage
  • Customizable
  • 5-year Sea Tow Membership

Major Features

  • Outboard Power
  • Available custom-designed hardtop
  • Helm Command
  • Wet Bar
  • Stainless-steel hardware throughout
  • Improved Storage
  • Transom Lounge

Overview

The 310 Bowrider has a deep-V hull and sharp entry that cuts through wakes and chop easily.

Formula was founded in 1962 by Don Aronow. As most boating enthusiasts know, Formula has its own racing pedigree dating back to the Deep-V 233 hull and success in the national offshore racing circuit. The current 310 Bowrider has a 22-degree deadrise on an evolution of the deep-V, Formula’s FAS³TECH hull.

The Numbers

The Formula 310 Bowrider has a LOA of 34’ 10” (10.62 m), a beam of 9’6” (2.9 m), and a draft of 37” (93.98 cm). With an empty weight of 10,750 lbs. (4,876 kg), including the twin 350s, 70 percent (91-gal/344.5 L) fuel and three people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 11,901 lbs. (5,398 kg).

With the twin 350-hp Mercury Verados turning 18P Rev4 props and wound up to 6000 RPM, our speed topped out at 49 MPH.  Best cruise came in at 5000 RPM and 39.6 MPH.  At that speed, the 33.1 GPH fuel burn translated into 1.2 mpg and a range of 140 statute miles, all while still holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat’s 130-gallon (492 L) total fuel capacity.  We had a 4.7-second average time to plane and she’ll stay on plane right on down to 17.5 MPH.  We passed through 20 MPH in 6.4 seconds and through 30 in 10.2 seconds.

Handling 

With relatively calm seas, we were left with crossing wakes to show how she shoulders waves aside and keeps spray well away from the windshield and cockpit. We found no adverse effects, such as hull slap or pounding, and the ride remained dry throughout. 

The 310 Bowrider exhibits an average 19-degree roll into turns.

Formulas are well known for being sea-kindly, so we didn’t expect any surprises. The 310 Bowrider quickly settled into her 5-degree bow-high attitude and we felt no need to mess with the outboard trim, letting the auto trim system handle that task on its own. Trim tabs were another story though.  Left on its own, the 310 will porpoise above 25-30 MPH.  A couple of LED indicator lights registering down trim keeps the bow in control and the ride improved dramatically.  Turns are solid with no ventilation of the propellers and zero chine walk.

In performance turns, the 310 shows no sign of prop ventilation or chine walk. 

Features Inspection

The Engines

The 310 Bowrider is available with a number of power options: Mercury Bravo III sterndrives, Volvo Penta Duoprops and now even Mercury Verado Outboards from 350-hp on up to the 400 Racing, all with Joystick Piloting.  BoatTEST has tested this boat with a number of engine configurations. Look for our tests in our archives to compare performance with these 350-hp Merc Verados.

Outboard power breathes new life into the 310 BR.  Choose from 350, 400 or 400 Racing engines from Mercury. 

It goes without saying that Formulas are well known for being customizable.  The choices of trim and colors are seemingly endless.  The “Formula My Way” program allows for many different hull colors, and the engine cowls can even be painted to match.  Our test boat has such customization, and the combination is stunning.  

The Swim Platform

Outboard powered boats have risen dramatically in popularity in the past decade.  In this application, the engines are mounted to an Armstrong bracket, which leaves a cleaner and unfettered stern for entertainment areas and a larger swim platform. 

The aft sun pad includes flip seatbacks to convert to cockpit seating.
Under the sun pad is plenty of storage

Integrated into the front of the swim platform is a 44” (111.76 cm) x 64” (162.56 cm) aft-facing sun lounge. Reversible individual two-position seatbacks provide chaise-style backrests. Beverage holders and charge ports are to the sides.  Underneath is cavernous storage that even includes a 12-V charge port for plugging in a water toy inflator.  

We’re seeing the elevated level of fit-and-finish with the two-tone upholstery, contrast bead welting, and differing textures.

The Cockpit

We enter the cockpit through a 15” (38.10 cm) wide walkway to port.  The cockpit is a continuous molded deck and liner with non-skid decking being the standard.  Choose from either snap-in matting or wood-grained vinyl decking.  Seating starts with a J-shaped settee to starboard. We can increase the capacity by flipping the helm and aft seatbacks accordingly.  Like all seats on this boat, there are beverage holders, grab rails, USB charge ports and speakers recessed into the bulwarks alongside.  Storage is underneath all seats.

J-shaped seating is to starboard in the cockpit.  Notice the pedestal bases in the deck.  
Both the helm and aft seats have flip seatbacks for easy conversion to forward or aft facing. 

Pedestal bases are in the deck with plugs covering up the sockets.  Remove the sockets and insert the pedestals for adding two cockpit tables.  These tables are not just afterthoughts either.  They must weigh 30 lbs. (13.61 kg) each.  They’re solid fiberglass with Corian insets that include stainless beverage holders. Use shorter pedestals to lower the tables, add filler cushions and the entire seating area becomes one ginormous sun pad.  

Because this boat no longer has an engine in, what would be, the engine compartment, it’s now a huge storage space.  For a full set of cockpit covers and all the filler cushions this boat accommodates, this space is ideal.  You could probably even add beach chairs and unruly kids here as well. 
Choose from this snap-in matting, wood-grained vinyl decking or the standard non-skid decking. 
Twin pedestal tables with beverage holders can easily be added to the cockpit to create a dining area.
We can use shorter pedestals and filler cushions to create a cockpit lounge.

Wet Bar

There’s a color-matched molded wet bar to port. Under a bi-fold hatch is a sink plumbed to the 29-gallon (110-L) water tank recessed into the Corian countertop. Alongside is a self-draining prep area. Four beverage holders are across the back. Below is a stainless grab rail, and in lieu of the standard 17.5-quart (16.56-L) cooler, our test boat had an optional cockpit refrigerator.

The wet bar has hinged covers that stay attached even when open.
On the aft side of the wet bar, there’s a cabinet that holds the boat’s main battery switches, the switches to power the helm ignitions, breakers, fire suppression pull, and a fire extinguisher.  It even includes remote battery posts for jump starts and connecting water toy inflators.  

Forward of the wet bar, there’s an inward facing bench seat measuring 64” (162.56 cm). It's configured to accommodate forward, aft, or side facing occupants. Additional storage is underneath.  

The port lounge includes storage underneath, accessed from articulating hinges. 

Head

The port console is the head compartment.  The door opens in hinges to starboard, so it swings in towards the bow walkthrough.  There’s a bumper on the helm console to prevent the door from damaging the gel, but we’d rather see that replaced with a magnetic catch to hold the door open.  Currently, it closes on its own so mind fingers.  

Inside, the space includes a porcelain VacuFlush head unit plumbed to a 36-gallon (136.27-L) holding tank fitted with a dockside pump-out. There’s a molded vanity with a stainless-steel sink, Corian countertop, mirrored cabinet storage, and below is a color-coordinated wood-grained vinyl flooring. 

The 310 BR head compartment is well-ventilated with an electric fan, an opening hull-side port, and a vent with screen to the inboard side.
The storage space above the sink has a gas strut to hold the hatch open. The electric exhaust fan has a stainless cover and is located in the corner near the port.  An electrical receptacle is on the bulkhead along with a light switch.  A CO detector is on the bulkhead above the plug.

The Helm

Naturally, the helm console is to starboard.  Highlights include a 12” (30.48 cm) and a 7” (17.78 cm) screen, and both interface with the engine displays.  To the right is the joystick, trim tabs and DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) controls.  Further back, and to the operator’s right, is a convenient padded cellphone holder.  Helm seats are double wide and include individual flip bolsters. 

The helm panel includes dual displays integrated with the engine readouts and the stereo.  Notice the inductive charging mat for cellphones.  A remote for the 12” (30.48 cm) display is to the right of the wheel.  Further right is the joystick. 

  

The top of the console is soft-touch vinyl. 
The helm seats include individual flip bolsters.  Notice the sub-woofer underneath. 

Hardtop

Above all this is the new hardtop, and it is not an afterthought just thrown in. This is a custom-designed unit specifically built for the 310.  It includes several modular contour lines and the underside got a significant treatment from the in-house upholstery shop.  Speakers are backlit, LED lighting is three-color, and there’s even a manually-retractable sunroof.  At the trailing edge is an optional SureSHADE awning that extends all the way to the aft section of the swim platform.  

The hardtop is a beautiful addition to the updated 310 BR.

  

Underneath, the hardtop has upholstered panels, back lit speakers, three color LED lights and an opening sunroof. 

 

An extendable awning is available to shade the aft sun pad.

Bow 

The cockpit matting in the passageway next to the helm console conceals in-deck ski and board storage. The 22” (55.88 cm) wide walkthrough to the bow includes double door access to the compartmentalized storage in the helm console. Another breaker panel and the stereo head unit is located inside.

At the walkthrough, there are double doors leading to the storage under the helm console. 
Inside the helm console are additional breaker panels, the stereo head unit and a storage cubby. Notice the fire extinguisher below.

As with the entire 310 Bowrider, the bow seating has many configurations, from loungers, to single seats, to a filler cushion that creates a forward sun pad. The aft seatbacks include flip down armrests, not flip up that need to be latched and unlatched from a finger-pinching release. As expected, storage is under all seats with the aft starboard seat even concealing a built-in, self-draining and insulated cooler.   Stainless-steel handrails run along the tops of the caprails on the bow to both sides, elevated 3 ½” (8.89 cm). Integrated into the railing are pull-up caps that expose sockets to accommodate stainless-steel stanchions that will support an optional bow canopy.  

Notice how we can remove a cushion and convert from a lounge to chair-style seating.  
Always with Formula, the bulwarks include grab handles, speakers, beverage holders, USB ports and courtesy lighting.
The same pedestal table that fits the cockpit can be used in the bow. The filler panel and cushion is self-supporting and convert the area to a large sun pad.

Ground Tackle

Located between two 9” (22.86 cm) bow cleats is the hatch to the anchor locker.  It opens with a lift and lock latch and is supported with a gas strut. The compartment includes an optional electric windlass handling the all-chain rode leading through a chain stopper and forward to the through-the-stem anchor roller. Rode access is next to the windlass and it is just large enough to reach a hand through. The control switches are just ahead. 

The anchor locker includes an optional windlass. Switches are just ahead and to the right.

Construction 

Formula boats are built in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Decatur, Indiana. The plant is almost 600,000 sq. ft. in size, and it contains eight paint spray booths and seven pools for in-water testing.
A Formula worker applies Ashland premium gelcoat to a female mold prior to lamination.

These fiberglass boats are constructed using a combination of resin techniques, including hand-laid, infusion, compression, and Resin Transfer Molding or RTM in both female and 2-part molds.  

This 310 Bowrider's hull is seen with technicians laminating in the cross frame floating stringer and bulkhead system.

The internal stiffeners are custom-engineered matrixes. In the case of the 310 Bowrider, the matrix is a resin-encapsulated suspended cross frame floating stringer and bulkhead system secured to the hull with biaxial laminate for optimal load distribution.

Interiors are modularly built, floor-tested, and installed with L-bracket attachments to the hull.
An extensive quality control checklist ensures everything is operational before any Formula leaves the factory.

Painted boats go through a 32-step process to provide each boat a custom color scheme. Each is sealed with multiple coats of Imron polyurethane clearcoat for a lasting shine.  

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) continually acknowledges Formula with customer satisfaction awards for their excellence.
A painted mirror-like finish is a Formula hallmark.

Observations

Formulas are well known for their fit-and-finish, especially with the gleaming paint job. This 310 Bowrider is loaded with upscale features that rival anything in class. With the versatile seating, she appeals to a wider audience, whether cruising, coving, or just entertaining dockside. In our opinion, adding outboard power and the optional hardtop makes a great boat even better.