The 380 Super Sport Crossover is a big bow rider featuring a full cabin for overnighting

By Zenon Bilas
Photos courtesy of Formula Boats

Formula Boats has a reputation for combining quality, performance and luxury, and their newest model, the 380 SSC, continues that tradition. With a 38’ length and a beam of 11’6”, the 380 SSC nicely bridges the gap between the 350 Crossover Bowrider and the 400 SSC. The well-conceived design, deep hull, and an optional extended swim platform increases the boat’s length to 40’7”, the 380 SSC has a bigger boat feel to it, making it a perfect choice for larger lakes and offshore boating.

The 380 SSC (Super Sport Crossover) is a big bow rider, featuring a full cabin with overnight accommodations for four. It is powered with twin sterndrive engines, either a pair of 8.2L MAG HO MerCruiser sterndrives or, as on the test boat, optional 520 hp Mercury Racing engines. 

Since racing legend Don Aronow built the first Formula in 1962 in North Miami, performance has been at the core of this brand. In its Decatur, Indiana, factory the Porter family carries this on. Even though the 380 SSC is a family boat, Formula features a multistep hull featuring 21 degrees of deadrise at the transom. The combination of a stepped hull and hefty transom deadrise enhances the top speed and improves the ride in bumpy conditions. The Formula 380 SSC features a skeletal grid molded into the hull, adding strength and distributing the stresses of bumpy conditions evenly throughout the boat.  

Formula’s focus is on quality rather than volume, as they build about 400 boats each year. Many of the components such as doors, hatches and cabinets are built in-house. John Adams is the exclusive designer for Formula. His vision and consistent design guide each Formula from hull to deck to interior layout, and is clearly evident in the 380 SSC. The layout is efficient and components such as doors and hatches fit snugly. 

Instead of the hull and deck featuring color in the gelcoat and decals to create striping, Formula sprays paint onto the boat, using first a base paint and then applying Imron paint. The multistep process gives the 380 SSC a vibrant finish that reduces chalking and fading in sun and saltwater. Except for cabinets in the cabin, there is no wood in the hull or the deck.

The interior and exterior of the 380 SSC features abundant edges and straight lines. It’s hard to find a curve anywhere in the boat and this gives the 380 SSC a modern stealth- like look. A key Adams design feature is the one level deck, which eliminates the need to step up as you move from stern to bow. Even the swim platform only requires you to step up a few inches to get onto the deck. Once on the deck, you can easily move from stern to bow through the wide passageway.

At the helm, the spacious and luxurious triple command seating featured on the Formula 400 and 430 models has migrated to the 380 SSC. Because the all-composite dash is spacious and well organized, viewing the chart plotters, VHF radio and gauges is easy and not intimidating. The throttle and joystick and bow are perfectly positioned for the driver. 

The optional 18,000 BTU AC at the helm kept the cockpit cool and comfortable on a hot and humid late summer day in Miami. The tall glass panels on the windshield offer abundant visibility and the hard top features glass panels for added visibility and light in the cockpit. The passage way on the starboard side to the bow can be left open or a glass section that slides sideways can extend the windshield and enclose the cockpit. The glass panels in the hard top even retract electronically, giving this boat excellent versatility. 

Storage sections are well thought out. There are places to store tables, cushions and fenders in designated areas, keeping everything organized and the deck and cabin clear. Even the engine room shows a penchant for organization, as pumps, batteries, wiring and hoses are well placed. Drawing inspiration from super yachts, there’s plenty of space to move around the two sterndrive engines.  

There are plenty of opportunities to entertain and enjoy the boating experience. A Rockford Fosgate stereo system has 10 6½” speakers and two subwoofers in the bow and cockpit. Thirty cupholders are spread throughout the 380 SSC from the bow to the optional add-on swim platform. The 380 SSC include three Corian tables for use in the cockpit, bow section and cabin. The tables can convert to shorter legs to create a large lounge seating area in the cockpit, bow section and cabin. The stern bench seat converts into a luxurious aft-facing sun pad. The cockpit also features an outdoor kitchen with sink, refrigerator and optional electric grill.

The add-on swim platform can be hydraulically lowered below the water to make it easier for swimmers to get back on board. The swim platform also features a rack that holds paddle boards for water sports enthusiasts. 

The cabin is spacious for a bowrider and due to a deep hull, the cabin height is 6’5” high. The cabin has room to sleep four between the convertible V-berth and aft stateroom. The head includes a standup shower that is spacious and easy to clean. The cabin also features 12,000 BTU AC, a microwave, four 6½“ speakers for the stereo system, sink and optional TV for comfortable overnight stays. Formula’s seamless design is seen in the cabin, except for a few protruding hinges on the door to the head. 

Behind the wheel, the Formula 380 SSC is a pleasure to drive and very maneuverable for its size. The test boat featured the optional twin 520-hp Mercury Racing sterndrive engines featuring Bravo III outdrives. In the test, the 380 SSC reached a top speed of 50.1 mph. 

A big boat like the 380 SSC needs time to get going and that’s reflected in the acceleration numbers. According to Mercury test numbers, the 380 SSC took 15.82 seconds to reach 20 mph and 24.56 seconds to reach 30 mph. Because of its solid construction and full array of features, the boat weighs 20,500 pounds, which is what we would expect for this length and type of boat. 

The 380 SSC features 8.2 L 430 hp MAG HO MerCruiser sterndrives as the base engines but, because of the weight of the boat, the 380 SSC will be most likely be powered with the stronger 520-hp Mercury Racing engines. In addition to the 380 SSC, Formula is also working on an outboard version that will feature either triple or quad outboards.

Luxury and quality do come with a price. The base boat comes in as $888,310 and the test boat, which came with a full of array of options, brought the price to $1,038,170. But without question, the 380 SSC is another example of a well-made, luxurious boat that is perfect for venturing offshore and enjoying life on the water. 

SPEECIFICATIONS

2020 Formula 380 SSC

Length: 38’
Length with optional swim platform: 40’7”
Beam: 11’6”
Dry Weight: 21,200 lbs
Fuel Tank: 250 gallons
Draft: 41”
Hull Deadrise: 21 degrees
Engines as Tested: Twin 520 HP Mercury Racing sterndrives
Outdrives: Bravo III with stainless steel F22.5, R24 propellers

Formula Test Data:
Test Date: August 2, 2019
Atlantic Intracoastal North Miami, Florida

For more information: www.formulaboats.com

Heading South

RPM MPH GPH (Total 2 Engines)

1,000 6.0 6.2
2,000 10.0 16.6
3,000 22.3 36.2
4,000 34.8 51.0
5,000 48.8 80.2

Heading North

RPM MPH GPH (Total 2 Engines)

1,000 6.2 6.2
2,000 9.6 16.2
3,000 21.6 34.2
4,000 38.6 51.2
5,000 51.3 81.6

Average

RPM MPH GPH (Total 2 engines)

1,000 6.1 6.2
2,000 9.8 16.4
3,000 22.0 35.2
4,000 36.7 51.1
5,000 50.1 80.9


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