Contents of Report
Formula’s 37 Performance Cruiser was designed to be an inviting platform for day boating and entertaining and still offer luxurious overnight accommodations for four-to-six people in a boat that lives up to the Formula name in terms of opulence and performance.
Like all Formula yachts, she can be run hard in rough conditions and still provide a stable ride.
Standard 7.5 kW/120V Gas Generator or 8.5 kW/120V Diesel Generator. It’s rare enough that a boat in this size range comes standard with a generator, but to offer gas or diesel to match the boat’s power means each can pull from the same fuel tank.
18,000 BTU Reverse-cycle Air Conditioner. As with the generator, it’s not common to find AC on the standard-equipment list on a boat in this size range. Owners can opt for another 16,000 BTU unit for the cockpit.
Power Windlass with a Chain Counter. Are you seeing the pattern here? Formula is run by the Porters, a family of boaters whose members know what they would want for equipment on a boat. A windlass with 200’ (60.96 m) of chain makes it easier to use the 37 Performance Cruiser.
Painted-on Graphics. Formula has long had a reputation for its shimmering hullsides and decks and the reason is the polyurethane Imron paint that the graphics are applied in over the Ashland Maxguard LE gelcoat. The basecoat is Axalta ChromaPremier and the whole graphic is finished in a clear coat applied in a multi-stage process. Formula also uses a multi-stage buffing process that takes longer than the painting to bring out the luster.
Choice of Power. It’s rare to find a boat offered with a choice of propulsion systems. The 37 Performance Cruiser is available in pod or sterndrive power and, as mentioned above, with diesel or gas engines.
The Personal Touch. Formula introduced its Formula Flex program a little less than 10 years and it’s been a tremendous success because it lets buyers interchange graphic colors, upholstery tones and textures, and cabin fabrics and surfaces. It also provides for custom location for electronic equipment. The FormulaFlex My Way program lets an owner upgrade the 37 Performance Cruiser’s graphics and opens up more possibilities for the cabin, cockpit, and electronics.
One of the words in the boat’s name is Cruiser so let’s start by heading below via the centrally positioned sliding hatch adjacent to the helm. Solid wood steps are mounted on a stainless-steel frame and headroom is 6’7” (2.01 m).
The Head. Immediately to port at the bottom of the cabin stairs, the private wet head has a VacuFlush toilet, sink with pull-up shower, and storage. The head has a 55 gallon (208 L) holding tank with deck pump-out fitting. A macerator is optional. The hot and cold shower is fed from a 57-gallon (216 L) water tank, and there is a standard120V water heater as well as a heat exchanger for hot water.
The head module is a one-piece molding that is easy to keep clean and won’t allow water to find its way into the bilge. There’s also an air conditioning duct that will keep the area cool and rid it quickly of steam, which helps keep mildew down to a minimum.
The Galley. Formula keeps all of the plumbing on the port side of the boat by locating the galley just ahead of the head. Owners can choose among the same wood finishes for the head cabinet for the galley storage. The drawers are all finished with dovetail joints and open on smooth rollers.
The 37 Performance Cruiser comes standard with a 120V/12V stainless refrigerator, a polished stainless sink, microwave oven, an under-counter wastebasket, a concealed two-burner stove with a safety switch for the heat shield. Stemware and tumblers are housed in a blue LED-lit locker and a beverage center includes a Keurig coffeemaker.
The Salon. To starboard, there’s seating for at least four on a contoured Ultraleather lounge around a two-position table that lowers and fills the area with filler cushions to create a third berth. The table is available in a choice of wood to match the rest of the cabinets and doors. Outboard, an OceanAir Skysol pleated blind system closes easily for privacy.
For entertainment, there’s a 32” (81.28 cm) LED/LCD HDTV with an auxiliary HDMI port and a Blu-Ray disc player with Wi-Fi. There’s also a Clarion stereo with iPod/USB docking, Bluetooth and four 6 ½” (16.5 cm) speakers and a subscription-ready Sirius satellite radio. To keep phones charged, the salon has one of three dual-USB plugs in the belowdecks area.
Forward, the private owner’s cabin has a locking door available in the same wood finishes as the cabinetry, a centerline berth with memory foam mattress, pillow shams, storage, and reading lights. There are two cedar-lined hanging lockers with refrigerator-door style lights and a 24” (60.96 cm) LED/LCD HDTV with Blu-Ray disc player and WiFi.
The aft cabin is a versatile area that can also be used for hanging out. It has an Ultraleather lounge that wraps around a two-level table. The table drops down and fills in with cushions to create a double berth. The aft cabin has a single cedar-lined hanging locker with an automatic light and a 24” (60.96 cm) LED/LCD TV is an available option.
Heading back out into the open air, the 37 Performance Cruiser’s helm area is protected under the hardtop while the cockpit has more of an open-air feel. To port, two people can sit facing inboard on the lounge or one can stretch out looking aft.
Immediately aft is the cockpit wet bar with a sink, Corian countertop, a recessed stainless steel sink, a 120V/12V drawer-style refrigerator with a stainless steel front and a wastebasket in the under-sink cabinet.
To starboard, the cockpit lounge wraps around with seating in a shape that comes up just short of a full horseshoe. A table can be set up for al fresco snacking or post-cruise cocktails. The lounge has storage beneath hinged bottom cushions and all of the compartments are finished in gelcoated fiberglass with a rubber mat in the bottom.
To make the most of the 37 Performance Cruiser’s versatility, the boat comes with a camper enclosure that encloses the cockpit and provides a fourth potential sleeping area. The boat comes standard with a Bimini top, front and side curtains with easy-mount zippers, and aft enclosures in Sunbrella fabric with Seamark vinyl undercoating.
Following the current trend in the marine industry, the 37 Performance Cruiser’s helm is pretty much devoid of conventional analog-style instruments. To port are the fuel gauges and all the way to starboard are trim indicators for the drives. Below the fuel gauges is the Mercury VesselView screen and in the middle of the vertical dash panel is the Raymarine Axiom Pro 12 S chartplotter.
To starboard is the depthsounder below the drive-trim gauges. The accessory switches, stereo control, horn button, and VHF radio are to port of the tilt steering wheel. To starboard, the Digital Throttle and Shift controls are comfortably positioned with the buttons and indicators for the Bennett trim tabs in a natural reach just ahead.
Formula includes joystick piloting standard and the control is forward of the trim tab buttons. The two-person helm seat has individual foldup bolsters and there’s an angled footrest forward. There’s also a 12-volt charging port and dual USB plug-ins.
The Foredeck. As we’ve seen on many Formula boats, stairs adjacent to the helm lead to the walkthrough windshield and on the 37 Performance Cruiser’s foredeck are two sun pads with adjustable backrests. Like all of the lounges in the cockpit, the vinyl upholstery is finished in a Pre-Fixx coating and have a DriFast foam core. Forward, the boat comes standard with the aforementioned power windlass.
The Stern. At the other end of the 37 Performance Cruiser, our test model had the Extended Water Sport swim platform with four drinkholders and an under-mount swim seat and boarding step. We also got to experience the enhanced versatility of the optional aft-facing sunlounge with multi-position backrests and trunk storage that opens on pneumatic lifts.
If an owner wants to order this lounge, he must also get the swim platform upgrade. A gate closes off the port-side passageway to the cockpit and utility plug-ins and the shorepower cord are to the lower right on the transom.
The Boat. We’ve tested the 37 Performance Cruiser with a few different engine packages. For this go-round, we ran her with twin 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO ECT Bravo Three duo-prop sterndrives. With two people, full fuel, half a load of freshwater and no gear, our test boat weighed an estimated 19,915 lbs. (9,033 kg). She measures 38’5” (11.71 m) with a 12’ (3.66 m) beam and a draft of 2’10’” (.86 m). The boat rides on a V bottom design with a deadrise measurement of 18-degrees at the transom.
The Numbers. In calm sea conditions, we ran a top speed of 46.5 mph at 4850 rpm. Best cruise came at 3500 rpm where the boat ran 30.0 mph and burned 39 gph, which translated into .7 mpg and a range of 147 statute miles with 10% of the boat’s 212-gallon (803 L) fuel capacity in reserve. In acceleration tests, the boat planed in 5.4 seconds and ran to 20 mph in 10.0 seconds and to 30 mph in 19.0 seconds.
On the water, the 37 Performance Cruiser carves smoothly through turns and feels more nimble than one might expect from a boat that tips the scales at more than 19,000 lbs. (8,618 kg). She leans into the maneuvers at a comfortable angle and drivers should feel free to apply throttle during a turn to maintain boat speed. Around the docks, the Mercury Joystick Piloting system makes it easy for any captain to look like a pro.
Formula offers two MerCruiser gas sterndrive packages, the 380-hp 8.2 MAG ECT Bravo III and 430-hp 8.2 MAG HO ECT Bravo III. Buyers can also select diesel sterndrives from Volvo Penta in either 370- or 400-hp DuoProps or Volvo’s IPS 450 diesel with joystick.
Which Engines to Select? Those in search of maximum speed will want the highest-rated MerCruiser package that we tested. For maximum range, buyers would likely check out the 370-hp Volvo Penta diesel sterndrives or the IPS. All of the tests that we have done on this model have been powered by 430-hp MerCruiser sterndrives so the numbers from those evaluations will be nearly identical.
Engines and Systems. With the push of a button at the helm, the padded engine hatch raises to provide access to the twin MerCruiser big block V-8s and the whole compartment. Ahead of the motors, foldup hatches provide access to the starting batteries and the raw-water intake for the generator. There is a 60-amp battery charger and parallel switch.
Proven Methods. Formula calls on decades of building boats that withstand offshore punishment to construct the 350 Sun Sport. It features a resin-encapsulated cross-framed stringer and bulkhead system that’s bonded to the hull with biaxial laminates just like the techniques used in the company’s FASTech line.
The stringers are foam-filled for vibration dampening and additional structural reinforcement is used throughout the hull bottom and at the gunwales. The hull and deck are bonded with Plexus adhesive and the hullsides are strengthened with Corecell foam.
Because Formula’s history is in offshore racing, the most brutal test for any boat, its hulls are uniformly strong and can take far more punishment than their drivers.
Formula was one of the first builders to have a stem to stern 5-year warranty policy. It is a transferrable protection plan, in addition to a 10-year structure limited warranty.
Options to Consider
• Paint and painted graphics
• Transom-mounted propane grill
• Cockpit air conditioning
• Saltwater corrosion prevention system
• Extended swim platform with seat
• Underwater lighting
• Chartplotter with radar
• LED/LCD TV in cockpit
• Electronic security safe
MSRP starts at $675,620 with twin MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO ECT Bravo Three sterndrives.
The Formula 37 Performance Cruiser is aptly named, a cruiser with more of a performance edge than most in class. Given the company’s go-fast history, it’s no surprise that the 37 Performance Cruiser has a speed edge on other express cruisers.
With two full private cabins and the convertible lounge in the dinette, she sleeps six. Put up the camper curtain and additional passengers can sleep in the cockpit. The ability to sleep eight in a boat of this size is no small feat.
Because the company is family owned, there is strong continuity of management (now with the third generation working in the plant) approach. The Porter family gets to know most of its clients to some degree and they work hard to maintain the Formula legacy.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Formula 37 Performance Cruiser (2019-) is 46.5 mph (74.8 kph), burning 73.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 278.2 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Formula 37 Performance Cruiser (2019-) is 30.0 mph (48.3 kph), and the boat gets 0.8 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.34 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 147 miles (236.57 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO ECT B3.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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