Although the company was founded to compete on the offshore race circuit, it didn’t take long for the brains at Formula Boats to recognize that performance and luxury really do go hand-in-hand. Nowhere is that unique balance of performance and comfort so beautifully expressed than in the Formula 270 BR, a 27-foot bowrider that spoils its owners with an addictive blend of brilliant design and subtle sophistication.

Taking a cue from high-end sports cars, Formula broadened its focus beyond race boats and began focusing on the luxury performance market, bringing its exhilarating ride together with elegant styling and opulent interior finishes. That focus on refined sophistication proved to be exactly what the market wanted, quickly positioning Formula among the most respected marques in the world and putting them in solid company with luxury nameplates like Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Aston Martin.

Bowriders have always been all about versatility, and Formula advances that concept with some thoughtful engineering in its newly refreshed Formula 270 BR. The boat follows a traditional bowrider layout with its forward seating area, walk-through windshield and main cockpit seating; the brilliance is in its execution and attention to even the subtlest details. The modular bow seating is a great example.

The bow can accommodate four adults in comfort, with plenty of room to spread out for conversation.

The bow can accommodate four adults in comfort, with plenty of room to spread out for conversation.

Let’s face it – the bow seating in most bowriders has always been fairly limited, with the forward sweep of the hull inevitably constraining foot space. Formula’s modular approach in the 270 BR uses a series of removable inserts to give this space multiple seating options. Start with the base seats and you can accommodate four adults in comfort, with two on each side of the boat facing one another for conversation. Add the removable pedestal-mount table and you now have the perfect venue for drinks out in the sun, or a tasty lunch al fresco. Pop in side seat cushion inserts and the space transforms again to twin forward-facing lounges. Add a center insert between the lounges and the bow transforms once more, this time into a comfortable wrap-around sofa that’s the ideal place for a few people to stretch out and relax. Add a second center insert and it converts into an expansive sun pad.

A removable table adds further utility to the bow. Or, replace it with a pop-in seat cushion to convert this area to an extra sun pad.

A removable table adds further utility to the bow. Or, replace it with a pop-in seat cushion to convert this area to an extra sun pad.

Comparisons to a luxury automobile spring up again when trying out the plush upholstery in the Formula 270 BR. The seat backs and cushions provide firm yet gentle support, while the buttery-soft vinyl skin is neatly stitched and beautifully finished throughout. Seat mechanisms operate smoothly and securely, whether you’re adjusting seat back, raising or lowering arm rests, or lifting the seat cushion to access the large storage lockers neatly concealed in the seat bases.

Look more closely and note the stereo speakers peeking out here and there, keeping the music flowing without ever becoming intrusive. You’ll also note there are stainless steel cup holders everywhere – there are 14 of them, in fact, neatly integrated into the seating areas throughout the boat so a cold drink is never out of reach.

Stereo speakers peek out here and there, keeping the music flowing without ever becoming intrusive.

Stereo speakers peek out here and there, keeping the music flowing without ever becoming intrusive.

Step through the 270 BR’s walk-through windshield and the newly-redesigned helm console commands attention, with its stylish automotive design reflecting elegantly molded fiberglass and richly padded, double-needle stitched vinyl elements. High-polished surfaces on the instrument panel nicely complement the classic chrome-bezeled gauges, while a  leather-wrapped, polished stainless steering wheel once again suggests inspiration from a high-end sports car. The dash even features a recessed smartphone garage, complete with iPod/MP3 port and a 12-volt outlet.

The double-wide helm seat is ergonomically designed, with an articulating seat cushion that allows for a sitting, standing or raised-bolster position. Convertible seating is a major key to the Formula 270 BR’s versatility, so both the helm and passenger backrests flip forward and aft, allowing forward-facing or aft-facing seating. The passenger-side lounge flows aft, forming an L-shaped conversation area with the stern lounge. Position the starboard helm backrest forward, and the entire cockpit becomes a single, fluid space with plenty of room for the whole family to relax in comfort.

The elegant helm places everything the driver needs within easy reach of the padded wheel.

The elegant helm places everything the driver needs within easy reach of the padded wheel.

The passenger console houses the 270 BR’s entertainment center, its integrated glove box housing a Clarion AM/ FM/CD stereo, with iPod/MP3 and USB ports. There’s also a second 12-volt outlet. Opening the wide fibreglass door reveals a spacious head compartment, complete with an opening porthole and side panel storage trays. Buyers can spring for an upgraded optional porcelain head unit with a 49 L holding tank, which comes with a vanity and molded sink.

The aft sunpad in the Formula 270 BR converts to an extended layout with angled backrest in one smooth motion, creating the perfect spot to keep an eye on the kids when they step out for a swim. There’s an enormous amount of full-width storage under the sunpad, as well as under the aft and starboard lounges and the helm seat. If that’s not enough, a large in-floor ski and wakeboard locker, along with the starboard console storage locker, accommodate larger items.

Removable tables work with the cockpit seating to create a comfy lunch spot.

A removable table works with the cockpit seating to create a comfy lunch spot.

With Formula’s roots still firmly planted in its performance heritage, the 270 BR is more than just luxurious – it’s fast. Depending on the engine and prop selected, the 6,200-pound 270 BR will run at anywhere from 45 to 55 mph at wide-open throttle. But even with base power, this boat is guaranteed to put a smile on your face with its agile, responsive handling. The deep-V, 22-degree deadrise hull eats rough water and keeps everyone dry, while providing motorcycle-like turning and acceleration.

Even with base power, the Formula 270 BR is a 45 mph boat.

The massive rear sun pad and extended swim platform speak to this boat’s love of water. Note the swim platform corner edge cup holders.

Families looking for a versatile, performance-oriented runabout with more than a touch of luxury will find the Formula 270 BR delivers on all counts. Refined, sophisticated yet approachable and fun, the 270 BR might just be the ultimate bowrider.

Formula 270 Bowrider

  • Length: 27’ 0”
  • Beam: 8’ 6”
  • Draft: 40”
  • Dry weight: 6,200 lbs
  • Fuel Capacity: 100 gal.
  • Base Power: MerCruiser 6.2L 300 ECT w. Bravo 3

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