It’s the end of an era as Formula Boats is winding down production of its high-performance FAS3Tech models.
The last 292 and 382 stepped-hull V-bottoms came off the production line at the Indiana plant earlier this month. No more FAS3Tech models are in the pipeline, said Scott Smith, marketing manager for Formula Boats.
The company is no longer updating or promoting the line and has dropped it from production for the 2020 model year. Formula Boats offered high-performance powerboats from 27 to 41 feet.
“The pure performance market has just gotten smaller and smaller,” Smith said.
The performance market has been shrinking since the economic downturn more than a decade ago. Buyers have moved to center-console offerings with outboards or simply held onto their current boats.
Smith said the changing nature of work and technology may attribute why the performance market has shrunk.
“People are living differently than they did 30 years ago,” Smith said. “They’ve got their phones with them all the time, they’re working more and taking their off time in smaller bites and you would think a high-performance boat would be great for that. But on the other hand, when they do take time off, more people want it to be family time and time with their friends.”
Formula Boats since it was founded by the late Don Aronow in 1962 has had a performance boat in its lineup. When the Porter family bought Formula Boats in 1970, the family emphasized the performance roots and were heavily involved in offshore racing.
The FAS3Tech underwent a major retooling in 1996 with addition of a stepped-bottom hull and hull grid system. Over the years, Formula introduced new graphics and interior updates the FAS3Tech models while expanding the line.
Continuing to revise graphics and tooling updates didn’t make financial sense for the small number of FAS3Techs the company was building, Smith said.
The FAS3Tech lives on in the company’s other models, especially the Super Sport line.
“You can see it in the whole boat. It’s in the whole hull,” Smith said. “Those are FAS3Tech hulls. They are wider hulls and the deadrise is not 24 degrees, it’s 21 or 22 degrees but they have all the FAS3Tech heritage in them.”
Smith said Formula Boats could one day bring back the high-performance line if the market grows significantly.
“If somebody comes along and makes it worth our while, we would probably do it,” he said. “As a matter of record, we’re done with them.”