Story and select photos by DinaRella / Professional images courtesy of Formula

Formula’s legacy is like no other! The flagship has been building born to run powerboats – starting with the unequivocal hero hull 223 – since the King of Offshore Racing Don Aronow purchased the parent company Thunderbird Products in 1962, prior to the Porter family taking over control in the late 70s. Today, the fourth generation of lifelong boaters still reigns at the helm – just the same as innovation and high performance remain at the root of Formula’s name and its fame.

Following the stern drive market’s freefall in the early 2000s, Super Sport Bowriders and Super Sport Crossovers were the Formula survivors. Most notable was the spectacular 500 Super Sport Crossover anchored by quad Verado 600 mills and 27-inch centers. For this reason, it was big news when the Decatur, Indiana-based company revealed its plans last February at the 2022 Miami International Boat Show to grace the docks of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, nine months later, with the 387 Center Console.

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2 387F FIBS debut.JPG
3 387S running RDC.jpg
4 387 cockpit LEDs.jpg
5 387S Formula One.JPG

Picking up on the Crossover perfection, the evolutionary trajectory of “the first center console in four decades” promises it has ticked all boxes addressing the wants and needs of its established boater base with the newest incarnation. In light of this pledge… the maker has given us two models to choose from – the “F” in the 387 CCF stands for Fish and the “S” in the 387 CCS is for Sport.

At the foundation of each immaculately executed, bold build from exclusive in-house designer John Adams is the FAS3TECH super-sport hull (twin-stepped deep-V, 38’7” with a 12’ beam, riding on a 23-degree transom deadrise). And from the configuration of the cabin to the cockpit… the pair shares more than a few identical traits which Formula’s accommodating product design coordinator Ron Gephart was keen to point out during our tour.

For starters, port side entry down three steps leads to a cabin cooled by an 8,000 BTU air conditioning unit (or upgrade to an 18,000 BTU unit) powered by an 8.5 kW Fischer Panda Mini 9 diesel generator. Here you can relax in the Ultraleather U-shaped lounge, or for when you need to catch some zees, simply tuck in the filler cushions from the specially designed slide-out storage drawer under the 32-inch TV, and transform the dinette into a twin berth.

A mini galley incorporating open-grain or high-gloss finish cabinetry, an Isotherm refrigerator and microwave; side windows (with privacy shades for sleepy time) that let natural light flow in; and a fully-enclosed private head and shower outfitted with thoughtful touches like a wall phone charger and mounted clips for those wet bathing suits, all enhance the cabin experience.

Up top, the sculpted, largest-in-its-class, multi-color LED hardtop features a 6-foot-wide electrically activated stern SureShade to block searing midday rays and a rugged center ladder provides access to the upper hatch (if that format was chosen by the customer.) The compound-curved windshield with power-opening glass and washer/wiper combo improves visibility and allows for additional airflow, while powder-coated side hand rails and grabrails run the length of the console for safe passage.

Cup holders and USB outlets are everywhere you turn, a cell phone holder/wireless charger is to port, Mercury digital throttle and shift controls, SmartCraft VesselView, Mercury Joystick Piloting, and a Bennett trim tab system fill the dash fitted with illuminated push-button switches and triple 16-inch Garmin or Raymarine monitors.

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7 387F storage drawers.jpg
8 387F private head.jpg
9 387F open windshield.JPG
10 387F windshield RDC.jpg
11 387S Sureshade.JPG
12 387F center ladder.JPG
13 387S LEDs.JPG
14 387F helm station RDC.jpg

387 CCF
An uncluttered bow and 24-inch-wide passageways around the center console include generous rod holders with graduated angles to maximize the spread line on the gunwales, lure in the anglers, as do dual 40-gallon livewells with electronic pressure maintenance and redundant raw-water pumps for back up, and twin in-floor, 90-gallon tuna-sized fish boxes rigged out with freezer plates.

The emphasis on functional is abound with four handy fixtures deemed highly useful including: a spring fed retractable fresh and raw water hose; toe rails along the padded deck for further security; a cleverly situated electric grill off the transom; and an abundance of fender cleats with quick release clips up and down the gunwales, inside the designated fender storage spaces and innovatively added to the hardtop to keep the halyards tight on the outriggers.

The multi-purpose mezzanine galley however, is what gives new definition to the word handy on this dandy boat; the impressive leaning post functions as either a bait rigging station or as an entertainment zone in a social capacity. Opening up the top drawer to port reveals a row of buttons which control several functions from deploying the SureShade to making the Formula-logo branded retractable cooler on slides show itself. What’s more, the base can too be used as a step to reach rods up on the hardtop.

15 387F open bow for fishing.JPG
16 387 Fish winding hose.jpg
19 387 Fish transom grill.jpg
18 387F.JPG
17 387 Fish Mezzanine switches.jpg

20 387 Fish slide out cooler.jpg

387 CCS

Trading fishability for funability on the 387 CCS, again we begin on the roomy bow, but this version is just begging sun worshippers to take refuge on the multi-density fast-dri foam jumbo two-seat lounger with contoured back-and-head rests. Need more relaxation room? In place of the livewells on the stern is an ergonomic fold-down seat facing the helm, or better yet, hop onto the jumbo swim deck to dangle those feet, take a quick dip or to partake in some water sports activities. The addition of the transom trunk facilitates storing rafts and gear, and of course the side wings on the swim platform make boarding a breeze.

In the aft galley, a removable sink lid can be flipped and inserted into a special slot to be used as a cutting board, a concealed stern-facing bench can be manually extended outward, and a fridge and storage drawers take the place of the tackle stowage compartments found on the CCF. Blasts of cold air from the lower air conditioning vents cool down the area keeping the good times going, while a Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer does its part to keep guests from rocking and rolling.

Engine packages come exclusively from Mercury by way of triple 300 or 450 hp, or twin 600 hp outboards; if opting for the triple 450-hp configuration, expect to drop just under $1.5 million. Wide open throttle was reported at just over 61 mph at 6400 rpm. Backing off the sticks by about 20 mph puts you at a cruising sweet spot of 43 mph at 5000 rpm.

Not only is Secret Formula the name on the revolutionary 387 CCF, it was also the name of Scott Porter’s 302-SR1 which he campaigned in the mid-80s, setting a UIM World Speed Record and winning the Southeast Divisional Championship in B-Class. With the new launch, what’s clear is the boat maker still has the Secretive Magic Formula for meshing promises and provisions together with pleasure and performance to produce a new sort of Winning Formula!

21 387S med bow shade.JPG
22 387F triple captain chairs.jpg
23 387S bow seating.jpg
24 387S galley RDC.jpg
25 387S rear bench.JPG
26 387S spacious transom.JPG
27 387S twin 600s RDC.jpg
28 387F triple 450s.JPG
29 387S aerial RDC.jpg