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Formula 271 fastech vs Donzi 26ZX

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Formula 271 fastech vs Donzi 26ZX

Old 06-08-2021, 11:35 AM
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Default Formula 271 fastech vs Donzi 26ZX

Hey gang! Been a lurker for what feels like a decade. I've been dying to buy my own performance boat since about 2001 when I was in high school. Had my powerboat magazine subscription back then drew my own boats up in CAD.. got the fever after riding in a friend's 26 Baja outlaw.

Well long story short on the history I'm hoping to jump in next summer/fall timeframe so being about a year out I'm trying to narrow it down a bit. Boat would mostly be myself, the wife and two kids under 7 years old. Lake boating 75% of the time and sound/ocean the other 25% with the ocean only on super nice days. Would like to trailer to Florida occasionally as well.

I've considered heavily the Donzi 28ZX but I feel like twin engines are pushing my 9,500 lb towing capacity in the F150 too tight for comfort. No point maxing out the truck.

That brings me down to the Donzi 26zX and the Formula 271 fastech as my front runners. Possibly a 26 outlaw or similar Baja as well. Trying to stay model years 2001 and newer and a budget of mid 40k's

What are your thoughts between them. I'm leaning towards a formula with the right motor. Preferably a 500efi/525 or a 496 HO if I can find it. Should I avoid the 502's?

Would like to be able to hit 65-66 with either boat. I know the Donzi will be a tic faster but the formula would be better built and ride better so the wife and kids would be happy. I see a nice looking 271 with a rebuilt 500efi on powerboatlistings but Im sure it won't be around when I'm ready to pull the trigger next year. Also it's dam hard to find one to get a feel for the layout with the family in it.


Thanks in advance for your input and advice. I'd also like a Pantera 28 but doubt the wife would enjoy it as much, lol.

Last edited by CharlieWhiskey85; 06-08-2021 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 06-08-2021, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlieWhiskey85 View Post
Also it's dam hard to find one to get a feel for the layout with the family in it.

I'd also like a Pantera 28 but doubt the wife would enjoy it as much, lol.
The kids won't care one bit what boat you chose. My kids grew up (from 6 mos) riding on a 24 and 30 Superboats. They loved it! My wife's only complain was the head, (or lack there of).

Boats that size aren't going to have a great cabin. You might want to add a 26 Sonic to your list.

I'd rather have the Pantera than any others you mentioned.
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Old 06-08-2021, 12:41 PM
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Welcome to OSO, I don't have an opinion on which boat would be more/less suitable for your use. But I would like to say, when you are in a position to buy the boat, that will become a major part of your family for many years, do not pull the trigger on the first one that comes along. It sounds like you have done your research on the size, make and options, now be as meticulous about the candidates to fill your need. Have it surveyed! Good luck, and I hope you find exactly what you are looking for.
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Old 06-08-2021, 12:51 PM
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My wife prefers the ride quality over the top speed...so we are a Formula Family.
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Old 06-08-2021, 01:10 PM
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Yup 26 sonic is on the short list as well. Not as big of a fan of the looks. I sorta figured the ride quality will be better on the formula.

Anything to look out for on the early 2000's formulas?
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:46 PM
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Can't beat twins for getting back to the dock if you lose an engine... one of the reasons I moved up to twins.
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Old 06-08-2021, 07:42 PM
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Donzi built a few 28zx’s with a single but probably won’t make your target speed. Good boats for space and comfort. Baja is a nice simple first boat, good performance and roomy. Formula have all the ‘pretty’ touches, well built boats.

Considered a Donzi27zr? Goes well with stock power, nicely fitted out but not much headroom in the cabin, if that’s important. Never many advertised but you might find one in your budget.

Research engines a bit, Mercury Racing engines like tne 500’s and 525’s are great but will cost you more on service. They need a bit more love to keep them at their peak. A stock 496 or 496ho is a good engine, just follow Merc’s service recommendations.

Probably the simplest answer is to take your wife shopping and have a look onboard all possibilities. From personal experience, if the wife doesn’t like the boat, it won’t get used much….🙂

RR

Last edited by rak rua; 06-08-2021 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rak rua View Post
Donzi built a few 28zx’s with a single but probably won’t make your target speed. Good boats for space and comfort. Baja is a nice simple first boat, good performance and roomy. Formula have all the ‘pretty’ touches, well built boats.

Considered a Donzi27zr? Goes well with stock power, nicely fitted out but not much headroom in the cabin, if that’s important. Never many advertised but you might find one in your budget.

Research engines a bit, Mercury Racing engines like tne 500’s and 525’s are great but will cost you more on service. They need a bit more love to keep them at their peak. A stock 496 or 496ho is a good engine, just follow Merc’s service recommendations.

Probably the simplest answer is to take your wife shopping and have a look onboard all possibilities. From personal experience, if the wife doesn’t like the boat, it won’t get used much….🙂

RR
Thanks! Honestly I haven't looked at 27 ZR's as I didn't figure they'd be in my price range. I'd definitely prefer a 496HO and they seem like there more prevalent on the Formula's than the Donzi's.

Thinking of hitting the Miami boat show in Feb just to get a space and layout feel for boats. Hard to get on 20 year old boats and feel them out, don't want to waste people's time that own them.
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Old 06-08-2021, 10:12 PM
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I think a twin engine with mild power will help keep you on the water and safe offshore. Out of your choices I like the Donzi zx or zxo. The formula 292 was also powered with mild 6.2 mercs and you should consider those as well. I used to pull a 28 Apache just fine with a Chevy z71, three axle trailer helps a lot with the load. I've been in your shoes before except had to get rid of my go-fast when we had kids as I didn't have the time to wrench on it anymore. If you've not yet had a boat of your own you may be underestimating the time commitment it can take just to take care of and enjoy the boat, much less have to fix it when something goes wrong. For that reason I recommend you find something in mint condition and with low maintenance motors even if that means buying something newer and smaller and maybe not so fast because if your wife is anything like mine she won't have much patience for taking day's off away from the family to work on a boat.
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Old 06-09-2021, 07:00 AM
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I still am a firm believer that the Formula fit and finish stand the test of time. Aside from all the Fastech letters that seems to always come off on the emblems. 😁
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