Formula’s 40 PC makes an ideal Performance Cruiser for a number of reasons, mostly having to do with how well she’s laid out to accommodate either entertaining guests till the wee hours or spending time away from the dock on overnight jaunts. Her level of luxury is on the premium range, and a large amount of attention was spent on ensuring a comfort level that matches her pedigree. Numerous options allow for grilling on the transom or utilizing the hydraulic swim platform for creating a private beach or launching a PWC.
- Stainless hardware and 316L welded rails
- Cockpit/swim platform blue/white LED courtesy lights with remote control
- Aft U-shaped lounge seating with storagea and 2 dual-height cockpit tables
- Molded wet bar with integrated sink, Corian countertop and pullout refrigerator
- Bimini top and front/side curtains with easy-mount zippers
- Light Cherry or Baltic Birch woodgrain-finish flooring throughout cabin
- Curved Ultraleather sofa seating with dual-height, high-gloss dining table
- Built-in WalVac sweeper system with easy access wall plate
|Length Overall||42' 7'' / 12.98 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||6.2 sec.|
|0 to 30||15.4 sec.|
|Load||3 persons, 3/4 fuel, 1/2 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||82 deg., 78 humid.; wind: 0-0 mph; seas: calm|
2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500
2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500 diesel with joystick
The Formula 40 PC was designed to serve as an entertainment platform both on deck and below for a gang of people as mission #1. Mission #2 is to prove cruising comfort for her owners with convertible accommodations for four other people. She’s able to perform well, hence the PC nomenclature for Performance Cruiser. Mission #3 is to be a high-speed weekender, able to go from mainland to island or distant shore for a picnic or overnighter – and not have to worry about the weather. The 40 PC can handle most conditions short of a named storm.
Formula made IPS pod drives standard on the 40 PC and no other propulsion/power options are offered. That’s because the hull is so well matched to the drive system that the efficiency of the yacht changes very little from 2500 rpms on up to her top speed. So now we have a boat that allows us to operate with less of a concern about how many nautical miles per gallon the boat is achieving and instead operate with more of a regard to the prevailing conditions and comfort level of the onboard guests.
In other words, say the plan calls for traveling to a distant destination? Go ahead and advance the throttles to wherever is comfortable. Going for a cocktail cruise with a boatload of guests? Slow down the boat and the mood will follow.
Of Course, There’s the Docking Factor.
When transitioning up to a boat of this size range there’s always the understandable apprehension of whether a new owner, or more to the point a new “cruiser” owner, can handle her at the dock. With joystick functionality this is no longer a concern. The cost is also a positive factor both from an operational aspect as well as the initial installation.
Premium Hull Treatments.
There are no decals on the topsides of the 40 PC. All graphics are applied with specially-formulated paint over Ashland Maxguard gelcoat that is then covered with a clear coat. After that it’s compounded and buffed for hours on end to achieve its mirror-like level of finish.
New, 2015 Model Year Changes
Overall the design and layout of the 40 PC remains the same with Formula correctly taking a “don’t fix it if it’s not broke” approach. But cosmetically, there are some changes that separate this model year from previous versions. Here is a list of those changes…
Hull Paint Changes
- Standard A and B and Flagship A and B have all new designs
- Garnet Metallic (available warm or cool) replaces Tropical Red Metallic
- Moonlight Silver Metallic replaces Silver Diamond Pearl
- Pewter Metallic replaces Charcoal Metallic (used in accent striping)
- Deep Red Replaces Bright Red (used in accent striping)
- Espresso, Mocha, Cappuccino, Phantom Black, Graphite & Black Cherry (All Metallics) and Dark Red (not metallic) are added as accent stripes
- Flagship Designer Imron Graphics removed
- Midnight Blue Metallic with Deep Red added. Black Onyx Metallic with Deep Red added
- Flagship Vision added as an option
- Garnet replaces Tropical Red
- Bright Red changes to Deep Red in name only (same material)
- Base Vinyl, Main Accent and Accent Piping called out separately
- Tropical Red changes to Garnet in name only (same material)
Other Cockpit Changes
- Gelcoat on wet bar tops and cockpit tables to match dash color
- New dash panel colors: High gloss dark wood-grain and high gloss charcoal wood-grain (both straight-grain) replace existing burl offerings
- Two cockpit USB charging ports standard
- Bluetooth for stereo standard
Standard and Option Changes
- All-weather cockpit covers optional
- Light-duty cockpit covers optional
- Stereo upgrade option to include JL Audio lighted cockpit speakers (27 PC and 31 PC)
- JL Audio lighted cockpit speakers standard
- Underwater lights option adds one additional light
The Formula 40 PC has a LOA of 42’7” (12.98 m), a beam of 12’8” (3.86 m) and a draft of 44” (104 cm). With an empty weight of 22,150 lbs. (10,047 kg), ¾ fuel and three people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 24,108 lbs. (10,935 kg).
With twin 370-hp IPS500 pod drive engines
powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 35.5 knots at 3500 rpm. At that speed we were burning 41 gph, giving us a range of 194.9 nm. Her best economy was a close race but was found to be at 3000 rpm and 28.3 knots. That speed brought the fuel burn down to 27.5 gph for a 231.9 nm range. See the “Test Results” page for complete details.
Of course, as is characteristic with IPS driven boats
, this one has a close range of performance throughout her speed range once she’s up on plane. Her nautical miles per gallon readings are consistent from 2500 rpm and 19.6 kts on up to 32 kts, and then only drop 1/10 NMPG when pushed to the maximum speed.
This means that if cruising, there’s really no need to worry about the speed setting for fuel savings as the boat gets the same economy per mile regardless. Just set the speed according to how she handles prevailing conditions. If seas are calm, let her run. If the winds pick up, pull her back so that she rides along with the frequency of the waves best. If guests are onboard for a cocktail party, idle along without spilling the drinks.
As for how she handles those conditions… well, sadly we were saddled with a fairly flat calm test day so we can’t report on specifics. But generally speaking, we’ve tested our fair share of Formula boats, from “go-fast” to runabouts to cruisers, and we haven’t come across one that’s not able to perform well when the going gets rough.
Upon advancing the throttles the bow only comes up marginally and we had no loss of visibility beyond the bow from the seated position, and certainly won’t from a position on top of the flip-up bolster. In turns, she rolls 16-degrees while keeping the ride comfortable. Allowed to continue with the turn, she’ll come around 360-degrees in 40 seconds at cruise speed while bleeding off roughly a ½ knot in speed, but otherwise she’ll maintain her pace well.
Of course, one thing to be aware of
is the hardtop coming down into the line of sight when turning to port. This is the case with every hardtop, and not limited to the 40 PC. However, Formula not only added opening hatches to the hardtop, it positioned them so that the operator can see through them during the turn allowing a steady sightline throughout. Of course this is a non-issue when turning to starboard.
While we didn’t have seas to contend with, we did play with the wake of the camera boat and the 40 PC slices cleanly through the waves with no pounding or jarring effect, and the spray was kept low enough to not come back into the windshield. Presumably, with a strong with it certainly wind, but not during our heavy-handed operational tests.
Formula has a knack for creating professional helms for the recreational boater and does it quite well. Analog gauges provide critical information at a glance while the Volvo Penta EVC display provides a digital readout of selectable information through customizable screens. Raymarine 12” (30.5 cm) hybrid-touch displays are offered and our test boat was equipped with a version that had the GPS chartplotter along with an HD radar and separate autopilot ($25,600).
Of course the highlight of the helm is over to the right side where we have both the IPS joystick and the digital engine controls. The joystick provides the effortless docking abilities that make the 40 PC so accessible to a larger number of operators that may be lacking in confidence around the dock.
The digital engine controls are just behind and both these controls and the joystick offer a host of options. For the joystick, there’s the Dynamic Positioning System ($26,160) that holds the vessel position and heading at the touch of a button. For the engine controls there’s a single lever, engine sync, throttle only and cruise assist.
The engine room can be accessed either by a day hatch in the cockpit deck or by lifting the electrically actuated hatch for full access. The day hatch leads to a ladder between the two engines.
There are no power choices for the 40 PC. All are equipped with the same pair of 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500 engines and pods. This makes sense as the performance package works so well. It saves money both from an operational standpoint and from an installation perspective as well. It also provides for a more roomy engine room so one doesn’t have to be the size of a gnome to work around these engines.
The 7.6 kW generator is included as standard equipment. A reasonable arrangement as the lower deck heat and air conditioning are also standard.
So let’s take a look at the features that the 40 PC brings to the table. Overall, she’s a single stateroom, single head boat. This makes her ideal as a weekender for a cruising couple, but on those days when friends are along for the ride, she can convert to sleep six with the aft sitting area and salon settee converted to additional berths.
On deck she can further accommodate our six guests, and more if needed. A U-shaped settee wraps around a pair of pedestal tables with a refreshment center just across. Dual sun pads at the bow allow for sunning. A hydraulic swim platform can be an attached beach or a launching spot for a PWC.
Main Deck Features
The main gathering area will surely be at the C-shaped settee in the cockpit. It surrounds a pair of pedestal tables that can be configured to provide more, or less, space as desired. The entire area reaps the benefit of the extended overhead, but if the crowd consists of a contingent of sun worshipers, then it’s an easy matter to turn the stern to the light, lower the tables with short pedestals, add filler cushions and voila… a sun pad is created.
Across to the port side is a refreshment center that includes a sink, an option for a pedestal TV ($2,225) and a cockpit refrigerator that can be swapped out for an icemaker ($540).
The helm deck is one step up from the cockpit deck, and the overhead clearance from the extended hardtop goes from 7’10” (2.4 m) to 6’11” (2.1 m) during that transition. There’s the usual triple wide seat over to the port side that can also accommodate a single person lounging while facing forward or aft. Ventilation can be had from opening the side curtain vents, the overhead hatches and the center windshield walkthrough. For a more tech-based handle on the climate control there’s an option for cockpit air conditioning ($7,610).
The bow can be accessed by either utilizing the 10” (25.4 cm) wide side decks with ample grab rails, or by going through the center windshield walkthrough with its molded steps. The opening windshield is held closed with two latches that we’d like to see interconnected, as the lower one is rather hard to reach.
Once on deck, there’s a pair of sun pads that can be brought up to multiple chaise lounge positions. They measure 6’8” (2.0 m) and are protected by the side rails coming up to 24" (61 cm).
Fully forward there’s a flush mounted hatch concealing a Lewmar windlass with a through the stem anchor roller. Just ahead is a standard remote spotlight.
The swim platform will be the primary boarding area when tied to a floating dock. From a fixed pier, steps to the port side of the cockpit will be utilized. Behind these steps is another set of steps to the platform and two choices in platforms are offered, fixed or hydraulic ($33,555). With the latter, it’s easy to carry and launch a PWC, plus a huge number of owners of this type of platform love to put deck chairs on them and submerge them to form a “teak beach”. The remote control for the actuator is in the trunk storage compartment just ahead.
Lower Deck Features
The lower deck is accessed through a center mounted sliding and locking cabin door. Solid wood steps have non-skid strips and a courtesy light allows for entry after dark. We’re greeted with a lot of open space for a 40-something boat and a lot of that has to do with the 6’3” (1.9 m) headroom. The salon is to starboard, galley to port. A private owners cabin is forward, an open aft cabin is under the cockpit deck towards the rear. The flooring is available in either Light Cherry or Baltic Birch throughout. Cabinetry is Bourbon Cherry, Ash or Wenge.
Natural light pours in from opening portlights to both sides as well as dual hatches overhead. Open them all up for allowing cool air to waft through. Of course on days when it gets excessively hot or cold, the standard 18,000 BTU reverse-cycle heat/air conditioning will take care of climate control.
The salon is to port and the focal point is a C-shaped settee wrapping around a pedestal table. The settee itself is Ultraleather with suede lumbar accent and the comfort level is outstanding. Storage is under the seats as expected, and we think Formula did a good job of space management with this seat.
While it won’t hold our six guests in and of itself, it can be added to with the inclusion of a pair of pedestal seats brought out of storage. In that manner, all can be seated for dining, should that occasion ever occur, and at the same time the area allows room for moving about more comfortably when not dining as the seats can be removed just as easily.
Convertible for Sleeping.
Naturally when it comes time to convert to a sleeping area, shorter pedestals can be brought out from dedicated storage, along with table pads, to create a berth. Privacy will be an issue so occupants should conduct themselves accordingly. As a gathering area, the enjoyment is enhanced by the standard 32” (81 cm) flatscreen TV mounted to the forward bulkhead that includes a Blu-Ray DVD player and Wi-Fi connectivity so all the displays at the helm can be repeated here.
The galley to starboard was finished in a combination of Ash for the upper doors and Wenge for the lower. Across the top we start with a beautiful glass-enclosed cabinet for stemware with blue LED down-lighting. The lower part of this cabinet is used as a coffee garage and Formula includes a Krups coffee maker as standard to plug into the 110V outlet in the back of the cabinet.
There’s plenty of storage for a full compliment of dinnerware etc… for our six guests in the many cabinets that line the top of the galley. To the forward end is the microwave/convection oven, where it doesn’t take up valuable working space at the counter.
Below is lots of available counter space for food prep. A single basin stainless sink features a corner mounted contemporary swivel faucet. A trash receptacle is flush-mounted making it easy to simply sweep debris and trash right into it from across the counter. Forward is a flush hatch with a two-burner stove recessed just beneath and a micro-switch cuts off power to the stove when the lid is in the closed position. Below the counters are more storage and a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer measuring 5.5 cu. ft. and 1.8 cu. ft. in capacity.
The owner’s get a private stateroom that can be closed off behind two solid doors. Inside, the queen sized island berth offers comfort of a memory foam mattress. Two opening portlights are to either side that, in conjunction with the overhead hatch, provide ample light and ventilation. Of course all can be closed off with shades.
A 19” (48.3 cm) TV is mounted to the aft bulkhead. A cedar-lined hanging locker is to starboard and a shelved cabinet with two drawers below is to port, both behind mirrored doors. Additional storage, ideal for reading material, is to either side of the head of the berth. We’d also like to see the addition of individual reading lights on gooseneck mounts.
Aft of the main salon there’s a comfortable sitting area that’s separate from the salon. This makes a great place to relax and stretch out with a good book, and of course it easily converts to yet another sleeping area for two people. Privacy is via a thin curtain so be wary that while occupants may not be seen, they certainly can be heard.
Whether there are two people onboard or six, everyone shares the same head and in this case it includes a walk-in shower. This is a molded head compartment with a molded vanity. A Corian counter has a single basin stainless sink. Cabinetry is Bourbon Cherry matching the lower galley cabinets. Ash or Wenge is also offered.
The VacuFlush head feeds into a 55-gallon (208.2 L) holding tank that includes a dockside pump-out fitting. The separate shower stall is fitted with a curved acrylic door, a hinged Corian seat, exhaust fan and Formula even throws in custom woven towels.
Build Me One…
Ordering a 40 PC involves a number of decisions, but the most difficult to make – the engine and propulsion system – has already been made. That leaves the matter of amenities and décor. Most boaters we know leave the décor up to the family expert and share the decision about amenities – it becomes part of the fun of building a boat like this.
The base boat
comes with an MSRP of $758,150. Formula caters to the high-end buyer and as such, it’s a rare one indeed that will not add on to the base boat. Nicely equipped, with all of the items we’d select for our boat (because money is no object for us), the 40 PC tops out at $916,630. However, with incentives (tell them BoatTEST.com sent you) 20% can now be deducted from that total lowering the decked out 40 PC to $733,345 – and if few amenities are added, the price will be much less.
Formula has a solid reputation for building quality boats with a premium level of fit-and-finish and it does not disappoint, and certainly won’t with the 40 PC. What you see is what you get. And what you don’t see has been done right.