Formula 387 CCF

A real magic carpet ride.

by Capt. Tom Serio

Usually, I give a final accounting of a yacht I test toward the end of the story.

Photos Courtesy of Formula

Not today.

I’m going to offer my overall impression up front, then give you the proof to substantiate my claim. Okay, here goes: The Formula 387 Center Console Fish (CCF) is one versatile yacht that offers so much to the general cruiser as well as to the fishing fanatics, and it’s a truly well-designed vessel. Add in the sleek styling, velvety smooth ride and generous features and options that the 387 CCF offers and this is one yacht that will be on top of the list. There, I said it.

Curb Appeal

First off, the Formula 387 CCF is a good-looking boat. The unbroken sheer is complemented by lateral hull styling and thigh-high freeboard. Integrated styling is also found in the raked windshield, angled-back side window frames and aft hardtop stanchions. Key here is that the swept angles are identical, portraying a thoughtful design and not a hodge-podge of components we often see. By the way, these are not fiberglass but rather aluminum channels that add a solid feel.

One cool feature is the opening forward windshield. Not some of it — all of it. Making this happen are two oversized and beefy hydraulic pistons that keep this window rock steady even when running open.

The Business End

Enough of the niceties, let’s get down to business. Formula has a patented multi-plane hull design called FAS³TECH. It offers a fast-paced, super slick surface that decreases drag, increases performance and creates a soft re-entry thanks to the multi-stepped configuration. It really makes for a smooth ride, so much so that our ocean ride in 2-footers was velvety soft, like a magic carpet ride. Other boats would be skipping at speed, but the 387 CCF with its deep-V hull and 23-degree transom deadrise ate them up. This means faster to the fish, a quicker return, and a comfortable ride in between. Hull rigidity comes from the molded structural grid, as well as bonded and through-bolted deck and hull assemblies.

While fishing, spool up the Seakeeper 3 gyro stabilizer to basically eliminate the snap-roll you may experience on a deep-V vessel. Of course, a hull is only as good as the powerplants pushing it, and Formula doesn’t skimp here. Our test ride had triple Mercury Racing 450 outboards, but options include triple Mercury Verado 350- or 400-hp blocks, or go for a pair of big Mercury Verado 600s. Any combo would be perfect on the 387 CCF.

With triple 450s, the horses responded nicely to the throttle commands. Wide open we topped 60.7 mph; the speed is there. Dialing in at 4,000 RPM, we hit 32.5 mph at 48.9 gph. Nudge up to 4,500 RPM and we saw 42.9 mph at 66.6 gph. As we pushed the throttles, the speeds ramped up but so did the gallons being consumed. The point is, find the boat’s sweet spot and your ideal cruise speed for a comfortable combo.

What’s in a Name

Don’t be fooled by the “center console” nomenclature, as the 387 CCF has a nice cabin that’s much more than just a compartment under the helm. Step down the woodgrain-finish flooring to the large U-shaped dinette/lounge/double berth (yup, it does all that). Drop in the table for meals or games, or add the filler cushion for sleeping. Formula got it right by designing a drawer dedicated to filler cushions and table storage. Tucked away, they don’t flop around or get in the way.

Keep the gear safe, as the dinette seats have ample storage for rods and reels.

Entertainment is via the 32-inch TV and Rockford Fosgate stereo. Comfort is from an 8,000 BTU reverse cycle AC system. To starboard is the galley, with upper microwave, lower Isotherm fridge and Corian counter with a built-in molded sink with cover.

Surprising is the private head with VacuFlush toilet, Corian sink/counter and shower wand, making it a great setup for spending the weekend or cleaning up after a fishing trip.

Power for the AC and Seakeeper is from a Fischer Panda 8.5 kW Mini 9 diesel generator (with a 25-gallon fuel tank). Builders use diesel generators for the safety factor.

Even though the 387 is a Center Console Fish, it doubles well as a cruiser. Bow seating includes a large two-person lounger with folding center armrest/cup holder with USB ports. A large cooler is underneath.

The coolest setup is the aft-facing mezzanine seat that slides out over the center tackle station. Added is an electric Yeti Tundra 35 cooler that comes out from under the tackle station. Not only bringing another huge cooler for drinks/food to the setup, it also acts as a custom platform for stepping up to the seat. It’s a rugged setup yet very stylish and blends in well.

Teak decking adds grip, and gunwale padded combing adds comfort. Thanks to the 12-foot beam, Formula has added swim platforms on either side of the outboards with enclosed ladders, making access from the water or dock easy. Side boarding doors are a great extra.

Fish On

But this is a fishing machine after all, and Formula again did its homework in getting the job done. I lost track counting all of the rod holders (many as combo drink holders, too). Suffice it to say that no matter where you fish on this full walk-around boat, you are within arms reach of a rod holder. There are seven rocket launches across the back of the hardtop and another five across the transom. Wow!

Trick out the ride with Gemlux 18-foot telescoping outriggers, two 40-gallon livewells with acrylic lids, and in-deck fishboxes can be found from bow to cockpit. I like the optional grill on the transom. There’s nothing better than grilling up the catch you just reeled in.

Notable is the center tackle station, complete with one drawer that fits five Plano storage boxes, and three additional drawers — a great idea for keeping lures and hooks organized. One drawer is actually a flip-out with several electrical controls — handy, so you don’t have to keep going back to the helm.

Drivability is easy from the starboard helm. Triple 16-inch Garmin multifunction displays bring a sleek “glass helm” look to the console. Wood trim, footrests and corner grabrails (which are all over the boat, a nice safety feature) make this an appealing setup. Triple helm seats have folding armrests. An overhead console houses the 7-inch Mercury Smartcraft VesselView display, VHF, Seakeeper controls and more. Oh, and this boat has speakers everywhere so crank ‘em up.

Of note is the center ladder up to the hardtop hatch. Easily add a small tower or use it to access top-mounted electronics.

When Formula Boats sets out with a new model, you know it’s going to be better than the last. The 387 CCF doesn’t disappoint. From the ride to the comfort to the fishability, the CCF will raise fish and a few eyebrows at the docks. Just tell them it’s your magic carpet ride!

Superior ride and handling.

Deck layout works well for cruising and fishing.

Cabin design makes this a dayboat or weekender.

Could use another grabrail next to the helm.

Specifications

  • LOA: 38’7″
  • Beam: 12′
  • Weight: 22,500 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 500 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 55 gals.
  • Power (as tested): 3 x Mercury Racing 450-hp outboards
  • Price (as tested): ~$1,777,000
  • Website: formulaboats.com
Dealers

Source: https://lakelandboating.com/formula-387-ccf/