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Your thoughts on Formula boat purchase (Long)

Old 02-11-2003, 12:44 PM
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Location: Shelby Twp, MI
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Default 3/11 UPDATE - Your thoughts on Formula boat purchase

Since we sold the Go-Fast last year, we have been focusing on a Formula 2003 370SS or 2000 400SS. Finally got it narrowed down to 2 of each and want to make a decision by Friday.

370 Plus side: 1.99% financing and 5 year warranty. Boat has everything we want. New 496 Mag HO's, Bravo 3x drives, better fuel economy, and cheaper for storage and dockage at Put-n-Bay

370 Bad side: Depreciation when buying new (although 1.99% and our down payment keeps everything in check at the 3 year mark - hopefully ). Payment goes up $339 per mth at end of 3 years - new rate is 4.99%. A little bit tighter to gain access to aft queen bed (i.e., tight sqeeze for fat butt).

400 Plus side: Negotiated great deal on one out of state and my friends his pretty close in price also. Larger cabin and easier access to everything. Boats have already taken the first 3 year depreciation hit. Financing rate of 5.5% (ends Friday though). Low hours @ 150 and 240 for each boat.

400 Bad side: Shipping and other expenses for out of state boat. Was told bravo 3 on heavier boats with high horsepower were failing. Formula has special deal to replace both drives and gimbles for $6000 (expires June 03). NO 5 YR WARRANTY. Older engines compared with 496's. A little more expensive to run.

Payments for all boats are with in $60 per month of each other with special 1.99% financing on new 370.

What would my fellow "Middle Class" american OSO'ers consider?? Am I dumb for even thinking of buying a new (expensive) vs a great deal/shape used boat with no warranties?? I said I would never buy a new boat again, but now I am thinking about!!

P.S. Don't say by another go-fast this week. Maybe next week


Last edited by MooseKnuckle; 03-11-2003 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 02-11-2003, 01:09 PM
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It depends on what your definition of middle class is! There are many other variables that alot of us middle classers don't think about before purchasing that dream boat.

Insurance 200/month?
Storage 2-400/month?
tow rig (if towing) 6-800/month?
Gas $/month?
Bar Tabs

I've been thinking hard about getting a bigger boat, but I refuse to put myself into that situation until I can swing it financially.

Just my opinion and you know what people say about opinions

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Old 02-11-2003, 01:16 PM
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Man I must be in the Middle lower class
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Old 02-11-2003, 01:22 PM
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Both sound like good deals....i think if i were in your situation i would look at my tow rig (if you're gonna be trailering) The stoarge space for the boat (lucky for me i have a big factory to keep it in) Are you gonna keep it in a slip over the summer? I know the harbor where my buddy keeps his 38 at, the slips go up to 40'. A 40' boat plus a hydrohoist will need to go to a 50' slip and thus more money again!
Then the gas issue.....twin engines either way will drink some gas but the 40' is heavier and will drink more then the 37.
Yes the warrantee issue would play into the factor bigtime...but if your friends take care of their toys then maybe i would feel a bit better knowing that.
I'm sure there are more angles to look at but these are the first that pop into my head when i read your post. Good luck with which ever one you buy!

Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy horsepower. And I've never seen a sad person hauling a$$!
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Old 02-11-2003, 01:27 PM
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Yup the 40 will cost ya more to run that is for sure. You have to decide if the features are worth it.

Put your best foot forward!
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Old 02-11-2003, 01:34 PM
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We will be keeping boat in a well at our marina. It is a standard 40 x 14 well. Water is very clean there also. But I will be busy scrubbing bottom each weekend to keep clean. May even haul out once or twice to have cleaned. Last boat sucked down a lot of gas, I was ok with 2-3K a season on gas.

My friend does indeed keep everything in ship shape, has everything done professionally.

Insurance is cheaper than go fast and storage (for winter) will cost more, used to pay $240 to store in a friends barn. I think it is about 2k for winter.

AND I won't be towing any of these boats with a truck...that would be one big pain in the a$$.
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Old 02-11-2003, 01:41 PM
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Well, you're not going to be trailing it, unless you have a semi + permits - the 370 is 14,400 lbs dry with a 10'6" beam, the 400 is 15,500 dry with an 11' beam...

The warranty on a new boat is nice, but Formula is supposed to be pretty good on customer service. Mike, have you looked into taking the cash back on the 370, then going with the 5.5% financing you have for the 400? I got a CD from Formula and the cash back on the 370 is $8K - that's 2 seasons of dockage and gas, give or take... worth thinking about, anyhow.

I'd say the boats are a wash - I personally love the 400, always have. The 370 looks like's twin brother - does the new boat have the painted hullsides? They look great in the brochure, but I'd have to wonder how those dark colors will look after a season or three of "dock rash".... As for the cabin, how much will you be overnighting?

Tough call either way - wish I had your problems! Let your daughter decide - have her point to the picture of the one she wants Seriously, if you're going to keep it for a while, I'd look hard at the new boat, with 5.5% financing and take the $8K off your best deal (from what I understand, the money back is direct from the factory - you make your best deal with the dealer, then tell him you want the cash back). If you think you might sell early, you might want a used boat that's already taken that depreciation hit...

Good luck - we're heading down to the Detroit show in about an hour...
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Old 02-11-2003, 01:55 PM
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Default Big Formula

Those are both fantastic boats. we see our fair share of them down here in S. Florida.
I have heard of the drive troubles when you expect a Bravo to push that much weight. I wonder why Formula doesn't use a V Drive or better yet...a surface drive like the Pulse Drive. The Pulse drive is extremely reliable, and will not have any trouble moving that tuna wagon around.
At the very least.. you could buy the used boat and throw some B Max drives on it. Yes, you have the money, and No you're not middle class.

Like previously said... Buy new if you are planning to keep it for a long time. Buy used if you may sell in 3 years. But then again, what does a rich man care if he looses $40k in three years??

Lastly: What do you do for a living? And are they/you hiring?
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Old 02-11-2003, 01:58 PM
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My Boats: 2000 Formula 400 SS
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I ran the numbers with the $8000 cash back. No advantage of taking the $8k + my cash down. Balance is the same at the end of 3 years. What is worse, my first 3 years of pymts would be $300 higher each month than using 1.99%.

The 370 would be blue or red, my choice. I love the red...looks very sharp. Everyone says imron paint will last a very long time.

I plan on doing a lot more over-nighting this year. Head out Friday night and don't come home until Sunday evening. Also taking trips to PNB, Cleveland, Grand Bend Ont., Cedar Point, etc.

If we don't use that much, then I would be upset we boat the boat with bigger cabin. Otherwise I would buy another Go-Fast and use it for speed fun during week and then make daytrips with daughter.

With my luck, my daughter will point to the 400 and a 38 Go-fast. Then I'd have to buy both to keep her happy, right???
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Old 02-11-2003, 03:42 PM
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How much more would a 2001 400SS run there are several on yachtworld for sale. The '01 would give you the balance of a 5 year warranty. Otherwise I would buy a used 37 and save the dough. My .02
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