For a company that hasn’t built a center-console since the 1980s, Formula will impress anglers with its 387 Center Console Fish (CCF). Its thoughtful design and clever innovations set it apart from the cookie-cutter boats that abound in the center-console genre.
Stepping aboard the 387 CCF at the dock in Miami was easy thanks to the long swim platformettes bracketing both sides of its 2-foot-7-inch-long outboard engine bracket. Another entry point is the portside dive door. The fishing cockpit has 51 square feet of space, and a cockpit gunwale height of 30 inches adds to angler safety and comfort. Toe rails offer extra security when fighting or gaffing fish. Its credentials as a serious fishing machine are quickly revealed with features like twin 40-gallon livewells set into the transom that have both white and red lights (the latter to protect night vision), along with pressurized lids to reduce sloshing, and recirculating pumps mounted in a sea chest to prevent air from entering.
The 387 CCF offers standard 18-foot outriggers, twin in-floor 90-gallon fish boxes (cold plates optional), and an option for four 12-volt DC outlets ($2,265) for electric deep-drop and kite reels. Our test boat had the optional rod-holder package ($4,345) that boosts the number by 12 for a total of 32 holders. The bait rigging station abaft of the helm seats is a marvel of multiuse design. When it’s time to fish and cut bait, the lid on the portside sink can be removed, flipped and inserted into a center slot where it doesn’t slide around. Four tackle-storage drawers keep gear at the ready, and the center one can accommodate five Plano tackle boxes. When it’s time to troll or cruise home, a footrest quickly slides out at the push of a button, and flipping its lid reveals a thickly insulated cooler. A seat bottom pulls out manually and rides atop raised metal rails to prevent marring the Corian countertop. The resulting mezzanine bench seat is a perfect perch 38 inches above the deck to monitor the trolling spread. The 387’s hardtop is the largest in its class, featuring extra-wide sides that throw more shade to those standing in the 24-inch walkways. An artfully concealed, 6-foot-wide SureShade ($15,800) extends aft from the hardtop with one push of a button to bathe the aft cockpit in shade.
At the helm, the skipper drives from the center of three seats and has tremendous visibility thanks to the tall, compound-curved windshield that opens electrically to provide additional airflow and visibility.
Not many center-consoles can boast a cabin with 6 feet, 4 inches of headroom that sleeps two comfortably, as well as a yacht-style head and shower compartment. There’s even a standard 33-inch TV with a built-in Blu-ray player. For light-duty galley work, there’s a microwave and an Isotherm refrigerator. Those taking a break from the heat will appreciate the 8,000 Btu air conditioner powered by an 8.5 kW Fischer Panda Mini 9 diesel generator. Both come standard. For an extra $15,700, owners can add an 18,000 Btu cockpit air conditioner.
For less fishy folk, Formula also offers the 387 Center Console Sport (CCS) model, which maximizes its entertainment quotient with a host of standard creature comforts, like U-seating with recliner seatbacks in the bow, an electronically actuated bow table, and a livewell-less transom. But knowing many owners fall somewhere in between hardcore angler and social butterfly, Formula wisely blends features into both versions, letting the customer build the boat however they choose to achieve their perfect mix. Both models sport a decadently comfortable giant chaise-style lounge for two in front of the center console, which has a cooler beneath.
Our test boat had a trio of Mercury Racing 450R outboards, which gave the 387 CCF plenty of push and a top speed of 61 mph. But that supercharged power comes at a premium price $145,150 higher than the standard package with triple 300 hp Mercury Verado engines. The sweet spot in performance and value converges with the triple Verado 5.7L V-10 400 outboard package, which is only 150 hp less than our test boat but saves $107,910.
At the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Formula floated its 387 CCS version with twin Mercury V-12 600 hp outboards, which listed for $37,030 less than our test boat’s setup. But some anglers might have a problem with the V-12’s height, which could pose an extra hurdle when reeling in a trophy catch.
On the ride back to Haulover Inlet, the seas kicked up in a confused 3- to 4-foot mess, but the double-vented Fas3Tec hull, which features 23 degrees of deadrise at the stern, handled the slop well. Low-speed maneuvering is easy thanks to the standard Mercury Joystick for Outboards that interfaces with a bow thruster for more precise control.
Those shopping for a premium center-console in this class who prefer Yamaha power should check Everglades’ 395cc ($1.1 million with triple Yamaha 425 Helm Master EX white outboards with autopilot and joystick). It also blends form and function.
How We Tested
- Engines: Triple Mercury Racing 450R Supercharged V-8 outboards
- Drive/Props: Outboard/14 5/8” x 19″ Revolution 4 stainless-steel 4-blade
- Fuel Load: 200 gal. Crew Weight: 600 lb.
- Windshield opens electrically to enhance visibility and airflow in the helm and cockpit, and improve communication to crew on the bow.
- Stunning available Imron paint schemes help personalize this boat and identify it as a Formula from far afield.
- Dual 40-gallon livewells feature electronic pressure maintenance and redundant raw-water pumps for backup.
- Optional air-conditioning vents on the mezzanine seat hit you in the lower back.
- Cockpit scuppers make an annoying burping sound. Formula says it is working on a solution.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$1,452,820 (with test power)|
|Draft (max):||3’10” (engines down)|
|Transom Deadrise:||23 degrees|
|Max Cabin Headroom:||6’4″|
|Fuel Capacity:||500 gal.|
|Available Power:||Triple or twin Mercury outboards up to 1,350 hp total|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Formula Boats – Decatur, Indiana; 260-724-9111; formulaboats.com