Formula is no stranger to adding upscale features to their product line, and this 270 SS has the right ingredients to make your days on the water a class act. She’s got a lot of thoughtful touches and a few clever innovations thrown in, and if you decide to get the urge to just stay out, then she can accommodate overnights just as easily. Our features walkthrough was from a first look at the latest version of this sporty weekender from the New York Boat Show, and if she’s this good looking on the hard, just wait till you see her in the water.
- 10-year structural warranty
- Imron graphic A, B, and C with cockpit accent striping
- 6 custom Formula logo-cast cleats
- 316 L stainless steel transom grab rails with tow eye
- Extended integrated swim platform with concealed swim ladder
- Clarion and Kenwood stereos in cockpit and Clarion stereo in cabin
- Twin dual-position helm and passenger bucket seating
- Removable cockpit table
- In-floor ski and wakeboard storage
- UltraLeather U-shaped forward dinette lounge/double berth in cabin
|Length Overall||27' 0'' / 8.23 m|
2.62 m w/ tower
Currently no test numbers
1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG ECT Bravo Three
1 x 320-hp MerCruiser 377 MAG ECT Bravo Three
1 x 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT Bravo Three X
1 x 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG High Output ECT Bravo Three X
3 Volvo Penta V8 Duoprop engine options
By Capt. Steve
The Formula 270 SS was designed to create a boat that primarily spends her time as a day cruiser, with accommodations for occasional overnighting. She is designed for entertaining and fast trips across the water in a boat that has the style and elegance few can match.
While a lot of what make up the Formula 270 SS layout may not jump out as being different, there are some features that differentiate her from others in class.
These are items that we look at, nod our heads, and say "it's a Formula.” Some of those elements are--
Burlwood Dash Panel.
No plastic fantastic here! This helm has real wood accents on the panel and wood inserts in the premium steering wheel.
Ultraleather Upholstery in the Cabin.
Now we’ve seen Ultraleather below decks in other boats, but rarely in one that could be referred to as being in the cuddy-cabin class. Boats in this class are usually resigned to thick vinyl, usually in blue and gray. Ultra-leather gives a much softer and more comfortable feel to any seat, and certainly to these.
Cherry Wood Grains.
Another area on most other boats in class where stick-on veneers and a composite tables are the norm.
Quilted Padded Surface under the Backrests.
In the cuddy where we would expect to see a carpeted area under the backrests of the seating, here we have much more with soft to the touch quilted and padded area. Why would Formula do this? Because when sleeping in this berth it’s much more comfortable to roll over against a padded surface than a rough carpeted one. And it looks better, too.
Wood Cabin Deck.
Light Cherry or Ash wood grain decking is standard in the cabin deck.
Choice of graphics is pained with Imron as is the cockpit accent striping.
Formula Gel Coat Work.
All gel coat finishes are not the same. Formula compounds, buffs and waxes its gel coat to give it a high gloss finish. Few other companies put in the man-hours necessary to create this glossy look.
John Adams has been styling and designing Formula boats for as long as I can remember. The boat's lines are classic and elegant and John has a knack for staying ahead of trends and keeping Formula's looking different. He is the exclusive designer for Formula. In case one hasn't noticed, most powerboat builders don't mention the name of their designer. The reason is that the in-house ones tend to come and go, and the commissioned ones can do work for anyone.
While it's not uncommon for a boat and motor to have a one year manufacturer’s warranty, once that one year expires Formula guard takes over for an additional 4 years giving a full 5 years of protection. Formula is one of a handful of companies that have 5-year service contracts as standard equipment.
Let Us Spray
If one sits on the waterfront and watch boats go by they can literally pick a Formula out of the crowd even from a distance. It's easy to do just by looking at the shine. These boats glimmer in the sun because they're polished to perfection.
The graphics standout because they're not decals, they are painted on with Imron, a high-end expensive polyurethane paint that is difficult to apply. Formula buffs it to a high state of gloss. Typically, Imron paint lasts for 10 years before it starts to dull.
Go for the Hull Color.
Owners can even go one better than just Imron graphics. For $3,155 Formula will cover the topsides with Imron, and frankly in my opinion anything but white is a step in the right direction. But Formula doesn't just stop at the painting. Once the boat comes out of the spray booth, a team descends on the boat, buffing and polishing it for hours on end.
During my last tour of the Formula factory I stood in front of an Imron painted and polished hull and could see every detail of my face in its mirror-like finish. When I stepped away from the boat a woman smeared still another dose of compound across the hull and went at it with the power buffer.. yet again… and again.. and….
Starting at the swim platform is a recessed reboarding ladder to the starboard side with a clear sight line to the helm. Low maintenance vinyl decking is offered as an option ($2,760) in teak grain vinyl. An optional ski tow pylon ($945) inserts into a socket and the centerline of the swim platform. To the port side is a large trunk storage locker for lines and fenders and to starboard is the entry to the cockpit.
Classy Aft Seating.
The 270 SS has a double wide aft facing rumble seat that makes a great place to relax while beached or at anchor. If the boater is not comfortable lounging, then it easily converts into a flat sun pad. Formula is quick to point out that this seat should not be used while the 270 SS is underway, and they are correct to do so.
A Lighted Entrance.
Before stepping up to the cockpit walkthrough there are two blue courtesy lights that will allow one to enter the boat on a dark night and see that there is indeed a step there. These courtesy lights are repeated in the cockpit, and I know what one will think. How do we turn the lights on if we’re not on the boat? It's done with the optional handheld remote control ($520). In addition, I would opt for the attractive transom gate ($290). It has an acrylic face that allows the boater to see through while it is in the closed position leaving the ability to back into a slip with clear sightlines.
The first thing I noticed as I stepped into the cockpit was the custom pattern carpet ($745). It has a look of wood decking and comes across as very classy looking, especially when compared to the usual plane single color snap-in carpeting that we see elsewhere.
The cockpit is designed as a comfortable gathering area while keeping the occupants secure when underway. The L-shaped seating makes an al fresco dining area when the cockpit table is put into place.
Many standards to this Formula.
The cockpit table by the way is a standard feature on the 270 SS. An automatic fire suppression system comes standard for the engine room, as does a required fire extinguisher for the cockpit. That's pretty much an ongoing theme with Formula.
Options to Consider.
Since everyone uses a boat differently, Formula has kept a lot of expensive items off the standards list. One that stands out is a demand water system connected to a 13 gallon (49.2 L) water tank plumbed to the cockpit wet bar and transom shower. While one may not be inclined to drink the water from a tank filled with the dockside hose, it is surprisingly convenient to be able to clean the plastic dishes and shower off after swimming in salt water.
We also suggest that the boater consider putting a factory-installed Bimini on the boat, trim tabs, a digital throttle and shift system, and a VHF radio. If boating in saltwater and do not haul the boat after every use then we would get either Volvo Penta's OceanX anti-corrosion lower unit system or Mercury's SeaCore system, depending on the brand engine that's selected. We would also spring for the polished stainless steel windshield frame -- it makes all the difference in the look of the boat.
Engine Choices under the Sun Pad.
The 270 that I saw had a standard motorized hatch lift that raised the aft part of the L-shaped seating and the entire aft facing rumble seat. Unfortunately, the hatch also extends to the cockpit walkthrough so with the hatch in the open position entry and egress is blocked. I found the installation to be roomy allowing access to all sides of the engine and even providing room for storage to the sides.
There’s no real standard engine for the 270 SS per se, but the least expensive choice is the 300-hp Volvo Penta V8-300C with Duoprop outdrive ($141,060). Choices will then increase in both horsepower and outdrives topping off at the MerCruiser 8.2 MAG high output ECT with a B3X drive ($161,570).
Some performance options are available such as Bennett trim tabs ($1,060), and a salt water protection system or freshwater flush installed by the manufacturer ($3,265).
Time for Watersports.
In addition to the optional ski tow pylon, a removable ski/wakeboard tower is available as an option. It's made of an anodized frame and includes swivel mounted ski and wake board racks. The all-around light is mounted on top of a tow point that is 7'10" (2.4 m) above the deck. One can also add halogen tower lights, quick release speakers, and a 3-lens rearview mirror for the helm.
View from the Helm.
When sitting in the helm seat I noticed that my line of sight had me looking directly at the windshield frame. However, Formula's are known to ride roughly 5 -degrees bow high so this shouldn't be a problem. Of course when idling, the boater is more likely to sit on top of the flip up bolster eliminating the issue entirely. Obviously this is an issue to check on any boat that is bought.
The Livorsi gauges are domed with chrome bezels. A digital depth sounder is on the standard list and SmartCraft gauges are to the outsides. The rocker switches are illuminated and waterproof. The premium steering wheel is on a standard tilt mount and looks outstanding with its Burl wood inlay. Optional features include the VHF radio ($1,410), Mercury's DTS control system and a Garmin 547 chartplotter ($1,795).
If one wants to save a few dollars, then have a local electronics dealer install the VHF radio and chartplotter, however the advantage of having it installed by the factory is the fit-and-finish of the installation and the fact that the builder will stand behind the equipment and its installation.
Like the skipper, the companion gets an equally comfortable bucket seat with flip up bolster. For safety a fire extinguisher is mounted in the port side bulwarks. The seat swivels around 180-degrees to provide a comfortable spot for watching the end of the towline for joining in on the conversation in the cockpit.
There's Easy Access to the Bow.
Molded steps give access to the walkthrough windshield. The foredeck has a center nonskid strip flanked by two polished Bomar hatches. Fully forward is a concealed fiberglass anchor locker with this stainless steel beach reboarding ladder.
Taking a Look at the Cabin.
Down below, the main focus is on the Ultraleather U-shaped forward dinette lounge that easily converts to a double berth by lowering the finished cherry or ash wood table and adding filler cushions. The 270 SS comes with custom pillows and draperies. There's a stitched vinyl divider for privacy.
The concealed head is to starboard and offers no privacy, so be sure to close the companionway hatch when in use. The standard head features a Porta-Potti. Options include a manual porcelain head with a 13 gallon (49.2 L) holding tank and dockside pump out ($1,600), and the same set up with a Y-valve with dockside pump out ($2,795). But since it's a Formula, and owners of these boats rarely do things halfway, more popular options will probably include a VacuFlush toilet with dockside pump out ($3,865) or a Y-valve with dockside pump out ($5,020).
With a price tag starting at $141,060, the Formula 270 Sun Sport is certainly more expensive than others in class. As we always say, Formulas are not for everyone. But the 270 is made for the discerning buyer who appreciates the quality, styling, attention to detail, and the exclusivity of owning premium item like a Formula.