One nicely grilled dolphin sandwich later, and it was back out for an afternoon run. Spellberg turned over helm duties to me. The wind had picked up to a solid 15 knots, and there was a short-spaced, two-foot froth on the water that looked like frosting on the bay. I eased the Volvo Penta single-lever electronic controls up to WOT. As the engines spooled up through their midrange—between 1500 and 1750 rpm—I found that even while I was standing at the bolstered helm seat, the 45’s bow rise partially blocked my forward sightlines (remember, I’m 5'7"). Her trim angle at this rpm was six degrees. She dropped to about five degrees at cruise speed, and from cruise down to forward idle, visibility forward was clear.
The 45’s solid-fiberglass, modified-V hull bottom (18-degree aft deadrise) easily ate up the chop and provided agile handling. In fact, she made turns that were so tight they reminded of spinning my skateboard on its heel when I was a kid. This boat’s V-drive configuration plays a part in this, as does her Teleflex SeaStar power-assisted steering, but it’s the 45’s massive rudders, which measure 12 inches front to back and are 26 inches tall, that are mainly responsible for the enhanced wheel response. One drawback to her tight turn radius is that at high speed she has a strong inboard lean, which causes a momentary loss of visibility to the inside of the turn.
After working the 45 back through myriad no-wake zones, I passed the wheel back over to Spellberg, then had an opportunity to take note of the 45’s luxury, such as the now-flipped-down, optional double-wide Ultraleather helm seat, Kenwood stereo, wet bar, and optional Gaggenau grill. The on-the-water party set will enjoy this bridge-deck and cockpit layout, which is rivaled only by the below-deck’s cleanly finished, high-gloss cherry interior and two-stateroom layout. Seven-foot headroom and large overhead hatches in the saloon make this space a wide-open and bright entertainment venue. Real teak and holly in the galley sole enhances the already-warm cherry, and on our test boat everything was accented by an optional Ralph Lauren decor package in—what else?—navy blue. With all this luxury and performance laid out in front of me, I just wanted to turn the boat around and head for Bimini, but I had a plane to catch.
I’ve been fortunate to drive a lot of boats, and where most vessels excel in one or two areas, the 45 excels in many: quality fiberglass construction (the fiberglass was finished in places I don’t see every day), exceptional handling, clean, high-quality, grain-matched woodwork throughout, and a strong list of standards. Formula has taken its high-performance boatbuilding skill and married it to a true luxury yacht. She’s definitely worth taking for a test cruise down to Monty’s for a bite, but be warned: You may wind up buying more than lunch by the time you get back.
Formula Boats (260) 724-9111. www.formulaboats.com.
Gear on Board >> Sharp Wireless TV
For $3,050 you can take your TV on the road—or maybe just to the U-shape cockpit lounge onboard the 45 Yacht. This wireless 15-inch LCD TV from Sharp can be placed anywhere onboard. So if the game’s on, just crank up the 45’s bridge-deck air conditioning, set up the Sharp next to the cockpit’s Gaggenau grill, and cook up some dogs. It’s just like being at the park!
Spotlight on | Latham Hydraulic Swim Platform
It’s a $24,025 option, but this Latham Marine swim platform is really cool. A unit like the one on my Formula 45 test boat can be fitted with chocks to hold your PWC or, if you’re a diver, be fitted out as a staging and launch area. With the press of a button, the platform lowers via hydraulics to a depth of 3'4", making it a snap to enter the water even with full dive regalia, which means no more struggling up the dive ladder or wrestling with a davit to secure the tender.
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