With updated Cyber Ice graphics, the Formula 382 FAS3Tech continues to be one of the most popular offshore performance boats.
By Eric Colby
In addition to the new boats at the 2016 Miami International Boat show, there were some proven performance models that have retained a loyal following. One such boat is the Formula 382 FAS3Tech and the flagship of Thunderbird Products’ offshore go-fast line featured the company’s premium Cyber Ice graphics.
In the past few years, Formula has been carrying the graphics farther aft beneath the wraparound windshield and onto the dash panels for a more continuous look. The sunlounge on top of the engine hatch also gets more of the graphics treatment to give the boat a more current appearance.
Taking a closer look at the sunlounge, the headrest cushions angle up at the front. This creates a comfortable chaise-lounge style place where at least three sunbathers can stretch out and soak up the rays when the boat is at rest. Aft, there’s a stainless-steel boarding ladder integrated into the swim platform with a centrally positioned grab handle that makes it easier to climb aboard after a dip. The boat comes with a trunk that contains the shorepower hookup, cord storage and a freshwater transom shower so you can wash off the salt and sand before getting back into the cockpit.
“THE MOST POPULAR ENGINE PACKAGE FOR THE 382 FAS3TECH IS TWIN MERCURY RACING HP700 SCI NTX SIXS.”
In the cockpit, the aft bench seat has good depth to make passengers feel secure during an offshore run. Storage in the base of the seat is easily accessed by lifting up the hinged bottom cushion. There’s more space outboard in the gun-wales. Lightweight plastic hatches slide smoothly and the compartments are perfectly sized for carry-on boat bags or for dock lines and fenders.
Forward, Formula has always provided the captain and co-pilot with the ability to customize their riding positions with power adjustable dropout bottoms on the McLeod bolsters and multi-position foot-rests that also move with the push of a bottom. In the port dash, there’s a drop-in locker that’s too big to be called a glove-box. There’s a mirror on the underside of the hatch and inside are dual USB charging ports.
To starboard, the helm has a full array of Livorsi Mega Series backlit gauges with a Ritchie 5” offshore compass. We applaud Formula for including a digital depth-sounder as standard equipment. The 382 FAS3Tech is equipped with Latham external hydraulic steering for precise control and the shifts and throttles are Livorsi chromed levers with drive trim in the handle. There are also switches for the K-plane trim tabs as well as position indicators. To keep the party going, there’s a waterproof dash-mounted control for the Clarion stereo that has iPod and MP3 connections as well as four 6 ½” JL Audio blue LED lighted chrome-finished speakers and 600 and 200-watt amplifiers.
Belowdecks, the 382 FAS3Tech’s cabin has a sliding locking hatch. There are long lounges with good seated headroom and a removable Corian cocktail table with four polished drinkholders. Forward is a V-berth that could comfortably sleep two. The entertainment center has a polished stainless-steel sink, Corian countertop and refrigerator and there’s even a 19” flatscreen TV. The private head compartment comes with a pumpout toilet and exhaust fan.
Back in the cockpit, a push of a button raises the engine hatch that is mirrored on the underside. The engine compartment has a freshwater flush system, twin batteries with a 60-amp charger. The motors are installed on through-bolted racing-style mounts. For convenient servicing, the trim pumps for the drives and tabs are forward in the compartment.
While in the engine room, we could see the backbone of the 382 FAS3Tech, a single molded structure that includes all the stringers, bulkheads and reinforcements. It’s called the FAS3Tech Grid and it bonds into the hull with Plexus adhesive to give the boat a super solid feel. The construction process was proven when the Formula FAS3Tech, Treadwell Motorsports, won the Factory 2 world and national championships in offshore racing.
Formula offers the boat with twin engines ranging from twin 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO Bravo One X stern drives up to 700-hp Mercury Racing motors with NXT Six drives or twin 725-hp Ilmor MV10 engines with Indy drives. With a pair of Mercury Racing HP525 EFIs and Bravo 1 XR drives, Formula has run the 382 FAS3Tech at a top speed of 76 mph at 5150 rpm. Best cruise was at 4500 rpm where the boat ran 66 mph and burned 66 gph, giving the boat a range of 159 miles, which means it could finish many poker runs without having to stop to fill the 176-gallon tank. The most popular engine package for the 382 FAS3Tech is twin Mercury Racing HP 700 SCi NXT Sixs. Add the Cyber Ice graphics and the boat has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $681,685. For more information, check out www.formulaboats.com.