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What boats compare to Formula Sun Sport?

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Old 07-01-2009, 01:24 AM
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Default What boats compare to Formula Sun Sport?

We are looking for a trailerable boat that is big enough to cruise Puget Sound and small enough to tow to the local lakes. We'll overnight on it occasionally so we need an enclosed head, at least one berth and small galley. We'll spend most of our time on deck so we value topside space more than cabin space. Has to fit a camper enclosure cause the warm season is short and it gets cold early on the Sound. Something not slow is a big plus. I am looking at some Formula 280 Sun Sports as they seem to fit the bill perfectly; are there any other boats that I should be viewing? I am trying to stay away from pocket cruisers in favor of performance cruisers, but again we want lots of deck space/seating and ideally with a fridge/sink like the Formula. Any suggestions? Thanx!
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:00 AM
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cobalt 343 with 525's, however no fridge or galley. could go portable though
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:05 PM
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Talking Look at Chaparral

Chaparral made/makes a 280 Sun Sport. Almosta knock off of the Formula. Monterey makes a 290 I believe.. I think Four Winns, Regal and others have very similar boats.
Seriously look at the 330 Formulas even if you have to go a few years older, they are much more livable boat, inside and out. Difference in handling the rough will greatlyb extend you season, also. Besides, that's what you're going to end up with anyway.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:14 PM
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The Formula will be difficult to beat. They are all around NICE boats. It will last you for years to come, and they hold their value very well.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:18 PM
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Check out Monterey boats. Very good quality and alot more affordable than Formula.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:23 PM
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I tried to get a brand new 2008 Chap 275 SSi, selling for a ridiculous discount this spring. It had the maximum 8.1 Mag single DP in it. No twins available. Hard to trade or sell anything used nowadays.

At any rate, this boat has, for me, the best layout of any other boat I looked at. The Formula certainly has more engine choices. The 2009 Formula is the 290 SS. The Chap has a bit more headroom, maybe a couple of inches. Personally, I think the Chap is made just as well, but YMMV. It all boils downs to engine and layout preferences. The Formula can have twins, the Chap not. There's a slight difference in dollars as well . I'll take either one.


As for Cobalt, the 303 is a nice piece of work. I'd put their fit and finish ahead of Formula slightly. Layout is superb, and it does feel more substantial. Now's the time to look for any of them, as 2008's are getting more scarce, and there just aren't that many 2009's available with the plants being idle. I think people will be in for a shocker when they look at the prices and availability next year and beyond. Supply will be smaller than in the past, prices will be up, and a more Build to Order model will be in place than ever before.
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Old 07-03-2009, 02:44 AM
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Thanx a ton, guys. The Chaparral does appear to be a direct copy of the Formula, but unfortunately (and oddly) just as expensive and hard to come by. The Montereys are equally scarce, but a nice layout in a smaller boat. It seems I'll never be able to afford a Cobalt. Regal makes a similar floorplan in a 26' boat (8.3 ventura and the 2650). I am looking at a couple right now as a likely purchase. One seller claims the 8.3 Ventura will top out in the mid-50s with a carbed 502. I hope to find out for sure if I can ever get him on the phone...

Thanx again!
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:54 AM
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I wouldn't get a carb in a pleasure craft ever again. I guess I missed where you were looking at older boats, sorry about that. Regal makes a great boat as well, fairly fast hull, good solid ride as well.

FWIW, a fully loaded 2008 Chap 275 SSi, 8.1, full camper canvas, TV, the whole nine yards, blew out of here Brand New last month for circa $65k. Nobody's going to beat that price used. Last I looked, that boat MSRP was around $30k less than the Formulas.

I personally like the seats of the Chap and Formula better than the Regals. For used, there was a beautiful Cobalt 29 footer for sale this year in NY. Excellent shape, lower hours. The only downside was twin 5.0 engines. It was listed for $50 k. I'd have gotten the brand new Chap for $15k more.

Check them all out, prices will all start going up for next year's boats. The industry will start doing far more build to orders, and dealers will carry a lot fewer boats in inventory due to the new floorplanning agreements. By next summer or the following, boats will probably be 30% higher than this year's ASP.
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