Formula 330 CBR Boat Test

Formula's 330 CBR mixes impeccable style with top-notch construction and plenty of punch.

Formula 330 CBR
LOA: 33'0" | Beam: 10'3" | Draft (max): 2'11" | Displacement (approx.): 12,900 lb. | Transom Deadrise: 21 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 9'1" | Max Cabin Headroom: 6'0" | Fuel Capacity: 225 gal. | Max Horsepower: 900 | Available Power: Twin Ilmor, MerCruiser or Volvo Penta sterndrives to 860 hp; triple Mercury Verado outboards to 900 hp | More Information: formulaboats.comBill Doster

When Formula’s new 330 CBR arrived dockside, it really turned heads. Thanks to sweet graphics and triple Verado 300s on the transom, our 900-horse test hull attracted gawkers wherever we went, largely due to the sheer size and wow factor of this mega-bowrider dayboat.

Plus-size bowriders with huge outboard power continue to rank high. How does Formula’s crossover bowrider stand out? We think boat buyers will be ­impressed with the 330 CBR’s impeccable style, well-executed design, and top-notch construction and features. How does it perform?

At 33 feet long with a 10-foot-3-inch beam, the 330 CBR takes every foot-pound of torque the triple Verados have to offer. The punch and reaction time of triple inline-six, 900 supercharged horses get the 330 CBR on plane and passing the 30 mph mark in 7 seconds. Top speed hovers around 55 mph, and while our load included just two crewmembers and 127 gallons of fuel, we suspect that top-end speed likely won’t drop much when loaded for fun. At wide-open throttle — 6,500 rpm — the sound of the ­Verados proves more authoritative than noisy. Ridewise, the CBR’s deep-V hull flattened every large wake we hit. This big Formula performs predictably with a steady gait. The Verados keep it planing, even at low speeds and in hard-over turns; given its size and heft, it moves gracefully and grandly.

If amenities and cool touches are your thing, then the 330 CBR is your boat. It is equipped for day tripping, overnights, or evening sojourns to your favored eatery. Crew seated in the bow won’t be crowded; it’s huge, with broad, richly upholstered lounges that don’t stick to your shorts in the hot sun. It’s easy to spend the day up there, with well-placed sound-system speakers, large cup holders, and USB outlets to entertain in comfort. The polished look continues with the framed automotive-style windshield, which wraps around the pilot and cockpit with compound curves and just the right height and heft, giving a great view over the bow and to port and starboard, and provides a sturdy handgrip in rough seas.

Between the bowrider section and the cockpit, a step-down mini-cabin separates the layout. The cabin serves well as a quick respite from the sun or for whimsical overnight quarters. The door to access the cabin is heavy and closes solidly, giving confident privacy to those below. Amenities include a V-shaped lounge that is a comfort for two to get out of the rain. Insert cushions convert it into a berth. A microwave, flat-screen TV and stereo, air conditioning, screened portholes with a large sliding cabin window, and a bright, clean and crisply styled head with undercounter lighting make this cabin a cozy nest for two.

Formula 330 CBR
The helm station is dominated by the Mercury VesselView digital monitoring system and Mercury Active Trim automatic engine trim.Bill Doster

Topside, the helm station is dominated by the Mercury VesselView digital monitoring system and Mercury Active Trim automatic engine trim. The Active Trim system is a nice-to-have extra. While you can trim the boat manually, our testing on this boat and others shows only a very rare need to do so. Similarly, this boat responds well to the throttle levers, but the joystick control adds a level of maneuverability to the boat that even the most seasoned skippers will appreciate.

The helm seating is a dual-position wide convertible backrest unit, making a great conversation pit when combined with the L-shaped aft lounge. Stylish ­Corian cockpit tables are at your service in the bow and stern. There’s plenty of ­connectivity in the aft cockpit as well; no one will get bored on this boat, even those who have their noses in their phones. The Clarion sound system is amped at each of the six aft cockpit speakers, so output is clear.

The aft swim platform and lounge is well-sized for this large hull and the crowds it will carry. The hardtop with retractable sunroof provides stylish and functional overhead protection.

Formula 330 CBR
The cabin serves well as a quick respite from the sun or for whimsical overnight quarters.Bill Doster

Formula knows how to build attractive boats that last. The gelcoat is accented by sweet Axalta ChromaPremier basecoat and Imron Elite clearcoat. Construction consists of a bonded and through-bolted hull-to-deck joint with a Perma Panel foam-filled hull matrix for structural stiffness and vibration ­reduction.

What would be the engine room in a sterndrive boat is a compartment for rigging: batteries, wiring and plumbing, genset, and fire detection/prevention system. Maintenance and cleaning are made easier by the open space.

Given the 330 CBR's size and features, direct comparisons are tough to make. Other boats with similar missions include Regal's 33SAV ($347,825 with twin 300 hp Yamaha outboards), which is the same size as the Formula but carries a max of twin 350 Yamahas compared to the ­Formula's triple Verados, and Sea Ray's SLX 350 ($365,628), which matches the Formula for power but is nearly 2 feet longer.

Formula 330 CBR
The aft swim platform and lounge is well-sized for this large hull and the crowds it will carry.Bill Doster

High Points

  • Abundance of way-cool gadgets and toys will keep new owners entertained and learning for at least the first season.
  • Deep-V hull won't rattle teeth in heavy late-afternoon chop and cruiser wakes.
  • Electric windlass and power sunshade save time and effort and add to the luxury.

Low Points

  • High-tech battery system is complex; study your manual.
  • This much luxury, performance and quality doesn't come cheap.

Price: $436,120 (base with test power)

Available Power: Outboard & Sterndrive

Formula 330 CBR
Formula 330 CBR Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

How We Tested
Engine: Triple 300 hp Mercury Verado FourStroke outboards
Drive/Prop: Mercury Revolution 4 14 3/4" x 17"
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 127 gal.
Crew Weight: 375 lb.

More Information
Formula Boats - Decatur, Indiana; 800-736-7685; formulaboats.com