All Aboard Boats: American Chopper Meets Family Boating

The Formula 290 FX4 delivers the look and feel of power and performance.

There are those boaters whose love for speed and performance gets superseded by life — by the ability to take the whole “fam damily” tubing at the sandbar, for instance, or by the lack of time to wrench on a pair of blueprinted big blocks. Whatever. It happens to most of us.

But life changes don’t have to necessitate that your new ride be a waterborne minivan. Instead, you can take a stock runabout and bling it out — either yourself or at a yard that performs such work.

Alternatively, you can check out a boat like Formula's 290 FX4. I had a chance to preview the boat at the Formula Factory Showroom in Freeport, New York. Like that '63 Corvette or '74 Firebird you drive only on weekends, this boat delivers the look and feel of power and performance. Yet it provides the comfort and amenity for socializing and family boating. From the Livorsi Monster gauges and engine controls to an Imron paint job that extends into every locker, hatch and the engine compartment (I especially thought the twin-pipe, through-hull exhaust was a cool feature), the 290 FX4 sates the desire to look cool that many crave. It's also no slouch while up and running, as I can attest from my sea trial of the standard 290 SS, the model on which the FX4 is based.

You'll pay about $20K more for an FX4 versus a comparably equipped 290 SS. But you'll have a "one of a kind." And the finish and detail are sure to evoke nods of approval from avid boaters, even if the FX4 doesn't suit their boating style. For that alone, it's worth a look. Until then, check out the photo gallery on Boating's Facebook page.

For complete specs click here.