7 Most-Common Problems With Formula Boats (Explained)

Formula Boats have a long history of being a top-tier performance luxury boat that has a deep history in racing. They build cabin cruisers, bowlders, and yachts which have a range from 24 feet to 50 feet.

Formula Boats have luxurious, durable, and quality construction combined with the stability and handling for any type of waves.

If you are shopping for a Formula Boat, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will share the most common concerns faced by owners.

Before we dive in, let’s make it clear that the brand is a top tier brand that you should have no trouble with, in general. Make sure to check our article on how reliable and good Formula boats are these days.

We have searched through all the Formula information to find the issues you might face with a Formula Boat over time.

1) Poor Quality Hardware

For Formula Boats that we built in the early 2000s, there was a problem with the cabinets. In some models, the cabinets were not mounted well.

The problem was found in 2006 and fixed.

You should pay attention to the cabinets if you are purchasing a model that was built before 2006. Other owners have stated that some of the hardware for the cabinets and steps are of a poor quality.

Formula owners have noted that screws are backing out of the cabinets and floors after a few trips in heavy waves.

2) Various Refrigerator Problems

Many Formula Boat owners discuss problems with their refrigerators across the forums. Their issues vary widely from mounting to wiring to the cabinet door.

There have been many complaints about their refrigerator not cooling well.

The refrigerator does not stop working completely. It just no longer cools as well.

The solution is to install a larger fan.

Unfortunately, formula Boats do not have a lot of clearance for the air behind the refrigerator, and it causes more stress for the fan.

Another problem is the seal on the inner door. The inner door is not sealing even though the cabinet door is completely closed.

There are a lot of complaints across the forums about the cabinet door on the refrigerator. Some of the new models have refrigerators with a stainless steel front.

3) Engine Issues

While these engine issues do not seem to occur across the line, there are many complaints in the forums. Many owners have listed concerns about their engine leaking oil or not starting at all.

Formula Boats has provided information about common engine problems found with their boats and ways to correct the problem. One of these common problems is that safety features are engaged. These safety features engage to prevent your boat from starting up accidentally.

This safety feature has an ignition interrupt switch (or safety lanyard) that must remain connected, so the boat runs.

When it is not connected, the boat will not run. Therefore, owners should ensure that the ignition interrupt switch is on.

There is a specific sequence you must follow when you start your engine. Sometimes, in the excitement of getting your boat going, you may forget to follow the proper sequence.

This could prevent your engine from starting.

In some cases, the fuel lines might be loose or pinched.

This can prevent your fuel from flowing to the engine. You want to ensure there are no obstructions or damage to the fuel lines. If there is, you can easily replace those lines. You want to ensure that all connectors have a tight seal and o-rings are intact.

Another problem for owners is having blocked air vents or exhaust. The gas tank needs a sufficient amount of ventilation for ignition to happen.

When there is a blockage to the vents, there is not enough ventilation. This is often common when the boat is brought out of storage.

4) Stress Cracks

Many Formula Boat owners have noted problems with stress cracks.

In one instance, there were stress cracks in the shower floor. The dealer stated the cracks were a result of a lot of use.

However, the owner notes that the shower had never been used.

Formula took the boat back to fix the stress cracks.

There are also reports in the forums about stress cracks in the gel coat. While these stress cracks should not be normal, there are a large number of boats that get them.

It can happen as a result of the boat flexing. It can also happen when the gel coat is too thick and cracks in certain areas.

5) Battery Care

There have been many owners posting about battery problems in the forum.

While batteries go bad and need to be tested, there are some steps owners can take to care for and extend the life of their batteries.

Formula has offered some suggested ways to care for their batteries. It would be best if you considered turning off your batteries when you are going to spend more than a few hours away from your boat. You should also have your batteries load tested to anticipate problems with the cells.

There are also some complaints about how Formula wires its batteries. They have two motors and two batteries, but may only have one switch. With this configuration, if one battery goes bad, it can take out the other battery with it.

To fix this problem, you have to install a second switch, which is easy to do or change the wiring configuration.

6) Keep Your Formula Boat Dry

When you are not using your Formula Boat, you should ensure that it is dry.

This is not a problem unique to Formula boats but worth mentioning in this rundown.

You do not want to allow moisture to sit or get trapped on your boat. This is to prevent mold and mildew.

You want to air out your Formula Boat at least once a week. A great way to help yourself with that is by installing a solar fan or dehumidifier as long as you have access to power.

You should ensure there is no stagnant water sitting in your cabin bilge. When there is standing water, it can leave a foul odor behind. When storing your boat outside, be sure to use the cover, no matter which type of cover you have, to protect it from the elements.

It is also critical to keep your cover clean and dry and stored properly when you are not using it.

7) Locating Older Parts

While there are still some older parts for older model Formula Boats in production, it is not clear how far back the available parts go.

However, Formula Boats does maintain a list of manuals and resources on its website. This is to help owners to identify the parts they need.

Formula Boats of Missouri and Formula Boats South have an extensive list of replacement parts for all models. In addition, there are online resources where owners may be able to find older parts. However, many owners note that it is difficult to find older model parts.

Formula Boats Forum is an active forum that is full of owners that are passionate about their boats.

They are always willing to help other owners find parts.

General Pros and Cons for the Formula Boat


Everything about a Formula Boat is high quality, including the paint and graphics, which are done with Imron.

The Formula factory works directly with a dealer network, removing the middle man from the process, and making it easy if there are any issues.

They stand behind all of their work and have a ten year warranty on deck and hull.


  • There tend to be stress cracks on the shower floor and other areas.
  • Some boats have problems with leaking engines or the motor not starting.
  • There are known problems with the refrigerator.

What Do the Reviews Say?

Boat owners love their Formula Boats, including the buying process.

“Factory build experience was great due to the factory build team of professionals. Progress photos were helpful and inspirational when it came time for completion and delivery. Formula flex program was a great experience especially since this was our fourth Formula.”

[Source: formulaboats.com]


What is the Resale Value on the Formula Boats?

Formula Boats are long-lasting boats, more than any other brand at any price point. There are a number of older Formula boats for sale which indicates how long they last.

While there are fewer Formula Boats for sale than most other manufacturers, which means they span decades of manufacturing and can get higher prices.

A brand new 240 Sun Sport sold for $103,830 in 2015. Today, it has an average resale of $74,590, which has a 28% depreciation.

A brand new 353 FASTech sold for $367,440 in 2015. Today, it has a resale value of $231,000. This is a depreciation of 38%.

Year Price
2015 240 Sun Sport $103,830
2015 240 Sun Sport $74,590
2015 353 FASTech $367,440
2015 353 FASTech $231,000





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