FORMULA BOATS’ 387 CCF AND 387 CCS CENTER CONSOLES WERE WORTH THE WAIT.
By Mike Burns
At the 2022 Miami International Boat Show, Formula unveiled their plans to step into the center-console market and develop a new line ranging from 32 to 45 feet. The first models introduced are the 387 CCF (Center Console Fish), and the 387 CCS (Center Console Sport). First off the line was the 387 CCF and we recently had the opportunity to check out this impressive model, which will be unveiled to the public at the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
With an overall length of 38’ 7” (to the transom) and a 12’ beam, the 387 Center Console Fish can be powered with a choice of engine packages from triple Mercury Marine or Mercury Racing outboards ranging from 300 to 450 horsepower to twin Mercury Verado V12 600 Outboards.
Below the waterline, the 387’s hull was inspired by the long-proven FAS3Tech design that Formula head designer John Adams developed for their popular performance boat line. This double-stepped hull produces more transom lift so that the boat rides more level compared to a conventional V-bottom. This helps with rough water handling as the stepped-hull design keeps more boat in the water, and this was clearly demonstrated during our sea trial.
The 387 CCF is an offshore battlewagon that is sure to impress the most demanding offshore anglers. Goodies include triple electrically adjustable helm seats with folding armrests, the dual 40-gallon live wells aft, port and starboard fish boxes with available freezer plates, to the premium GEMLUX outriggers and fishing hardware, this beast is just meant to fish.
Aft of the helm seats, the impressive leaning post features a retractable seat base that reveals a bait rigging station complete with a covered sink and a lid that converts to a cutting board. For easy access to the top of the hardtop, three steps are incorporated into the hardtop frame.
Below the seat there are plenty of storage drawers, including one dedicated for tackle organizers. A flip-out panel reveals several switches to control the enormous retractable cooler topped with reFLEX decking, and other switches control the retractable awning, which is a must-have option. The other compartment houses angler knives and tools, and a second smaller YETI cooler on slides is located in a compartment to port.
Back aft, a flip-down bench offers more seating, and transom doors to port and starboard lead to platforms that flank the outboards for easy access to your catch or the retractable swim ladder. Over on the port side, a section of the hull side can be hinged open, and divers and snorkelers will appreciate the removable dive ladder and flip-open grab handle to assist on getting aboard. Also at the transom, a built-in electric barbecue, powered by the Fischer Panda 8.5 Kw generator when offshore. Your catch can go from the sea to the grill in just minutes.
The open bow features an enormous in-floor fish box, or you can also opt for a bow seating package with power adjustable table. For comfort, there is a dual forward-facing sun lounge with a center flip-up armrest, which also incorporates recessed drink holders and USB charging ports. Over 30 drink holders or drink/rod holder combos are mounted at various strategic locations from bow to stern.
Hull side and cockpit sole storage compartments are abundant, and there are dedicated compartments for lines, fenders, and even YETI buckets. Washdown pumps and hoses, both fresh and raw, are at the ready amidship, to port and starboard.
At the helm, standard electronics include twin Garmin or Raymarine 16” widescreen monitors, Mercury DTS with 7” SmartCraft VesselView, Mercury Joystick Piloting, and a Bennett trim tab system. Three cellphone surface chargers/holders are mounted within reach of each seating position, and the helm also features controls for Rockford Fosgate stereo system, and the optional FLIR night vision. Overhead you’ll find two VHFs and controls for the Seakeeper stabilizer system.
For overnight stays, a portside integrated console door leads to an air-conditioned cabin, with 6-foot-4 headroom, and features woodgrain finish flooring, galley with open-grain or high-gloss finish cabinetry, Corian countertops, a U-shaped lounge with a removable table and filler cushion, 32” LED/LEC HDTV, concealed sink with cover, and a pull-out fridge and a microwave. A great design feature is a recessed drawer below the TV that houses the filler cushion and table when not in use.
A molded head compartment features the usual items such as a VacuFlush head, molded sink with a Corian countertop, and a shower. There is even another wireless phone charger/holder, mounted next to the vanity mirror. You can stay connected anywhere.
Our test boat, hull No. 1 in the CCF line, was fitted with triple Mercury Racing 450R outboards. With six people on board, and a half a tank of fuel, we headed towards Miami’s notorious Haulover Inlet to put the 387 CCF through its paces.
As we headed offshore, we were immediately greeted with 2’ to 3’ swells and we settled into a comfortable cruising speed of 43.2 mph at 5,000 rpm. As we came off the first few waves, I instinctively flexed my knees anticipating a hard landing. No need as the 387 effortlessly worked its way through the swells with remarkable ease, and the ride was extremely dry and comfortable. In addition to the excellent hull design contributing to the exceptional ride, the optional Seakeeper 3 Gyro Stabilizer practically eliminated any pitching and yawing.
As we approached the calmer waters of Miami’s Biscayne Bay, we opened up the throttles and hit a top speed of 61 mph at 6,400 rpm. Enough can’t be said about how the 387 CCF handles. The ride is secure and dry, even in aggressive turns, it is extremely solid.
When laying up the hull, like on many Formula models, they utilize a grid stringer system that is bonded to the hull with a Plexus adhesive, which they have been using for many years. In addition to the stringer system being bonded to the hull, Formula also bonds the deck molded to the grid, which eliminates any vibration or movement in rougher waters.
The console and hardtop were movement- and rattle-free when heading through offshore swells. Even the power-opening forward glass windshield with washer/wiper combo was extremely secure when running along in the open position.
Around the dock, the 387 CCF handled with ease thanks to the joystick control, which in addition to controlling the thrust of the triple engines individually, the system also utilizes the use of the variable speed bow-thruster, which allow for agile control and movement in any direction.
Formula has been long renown for building a superior and well-built product and the Formula 387 Center Console Fish, and the 387 Center Console Sport are sure to be a welcome addition to Formula’s top-of-the-line fleet.
LOA to Transom: 38’ 7”
Weight: 20,500 lbs.
Fuel: (gas) 500 gal.
Fuel: (diesel – for Generator) 25 gal.
Water: 55 gal.
Holding Tank: 25 gal.
Deadrise: 23 degrees
MSRP (as tested): $1,777,610 US
Biscayne Bay, Miami – 50% fuel – 6 persons aboard.
RPM MPH GPH (per engine)
600 3.63 2.17
1000 5.85 4.78
1500 8.31 8.90
2000 10.3 16.99
2500 11.8 25.08
3000 14.3 38.04
4000 29.5 48.05
4500 38.9 53.18
5000 43.2 73.68
5500 50.5 84.88
6000 56.4 109.1
6400 61.0 135.1