Formula 310 Bowrider

Open Country: Reach for the sun.

Picture a bowrider. Do you see a too-small, Lilliputian-powered open boat? Does that image make you long for a cruiser, even if a cruiser is more boat than you need? Then it's time to test Formula's 310 Bowrider, which gives more room for your crew on deck, where they want to be, than aboard a similar-size express cruiser. Don't worry, you won't give up the convenience of a real head and a private place to change clothes or to take a shower. And without a cabin forward, you get a sportier-looking, sportier-handling boat.

The 310 Bowrider zoomed along at 39 mph with twin 320-hp MerCruiser MX 6.2 MPI Bravo Three stern drives turning 4000 rpm and crested the 50-mph mark with both engines running wide open. The 310 Bowrider offers the skipper a feel for the boat going through the water and, as a result, the ability to fine- tune and control the performance like no cabin boat can hope to do. Spin into a turn and you feel the boat lean and arc as you rotate the wheel. This boat climbs waves, crests them, and then mushes in slightly before rising and flying on. What's more, the common bowrider faux-pas, the one in which passengers seated in the bow cockpit block the skipper's view, isn't evident aboard the 310 Bowrider. Quick, level planing and sheer size obviate the need to ask your crew to scrunch down.

Ride quality is only one part of the 310 Bowrider's equation for comfort. Check out the removable bow lounge sections that allow the crew to sit facing forward with feet on the sole. Not everyone wants to recline, and with this setup, your passengers have a choice. Another treat is the aft lounge, which converts to a chaise with a pull and tuck. And of course there's a head, which aboard the 310 Bowrider is decidedly cruiser-like. I found plenty of headroom, a faux-granite vanity, cherry flooring, and a vacuum-flush commode. There's even a separate shower head-no plumbing the sink faucet to a hose here. Still wanna go dayboating aboard a cruiser?