Boat Buyer's Guide 2014
Author: Alan Jones
Formula’s next-generation 270 BR takes the luxury bowrider genre to a new, even-happier place. When you drive the boat — and this can’t be said for most other bowriders — you’ll hope for a bit of a chop, since its stout deep-V hull features 22 degrees of deadrise at the stern with an even sharper entry, but that’s just spec-talk. Its true brilliance lies in its balance and solid, one-piece feel. It’s one bowrider that’s seaworthy enough to take on larger bodies of water in comfort.
Formula styling is remarkably consistent throughout the line, and even though the 270 BR has been updated, there’s no mistaking its pedigree. Our test boat is clad in Latte-colored premium Flagship Imron polyurethane, which gives it a classy, understated look that Formula is favoring these days. The interior continues the same earth-tone palette with Latte, Sand and Oyster-white upholstery that’s protected by a PreFixx coating. Our test boat has the optional Extended Sport swim platform that is well worth the cost for its extra room out back, whether for staging watersports or just lounging at rest.
If one word could capture what makes the 270 BR special, it would be “convertible.” Everywhere you look, you have flexible seating options — starting at the stern with the newly widened swim platform. Formula has a stern convertible lounge that goes from rearward bench seat or recliner to ultra-long sunpad in seconds flat, with no latches to fool with. To port, the previous barrel bucket has been replaced by a copilot’s seat that has a flippable backrest for optional rearward lounging with your feet up on the stern L-lounge. Behind the Isotta tilt wheel, the captain sits atop a doublewide, flip-back helm chair, so backseat drivers don’t have to yell anymore. Even the bow section is convertible, with removable seat-bottom sections that allow bowriders to cruise with their feet on the deck.
Powering our test boat is the new 6.0L Volvo Penta V8-380 (hp), which really packs some low-end and mid-range punch. On plane in 3.6 seconds, the 270 BR hustled to 30 mph in 6.6 seconds, with a top speed of 50.4 mph. Given its 8-foot, 6-inch beam, what you have is a trailerable high-end bowrider with some attitude and style. You’ll definitely park it in the driveway rather than out back.