Flagship of the Formula fleet, the new 48 delivers style-and adrenaline.
The name Formula has a long and distinguished history as the first of the late Don Aronow’s go-fast companies. The larger-than-life Aronow once confided to me that he liked starting companies more than he liked running them, so there are more than a few companies still afloat that bear his flamboyant imprimatur.
Formula is arguably the most successful of Aronow’s offspring, however, having been owned and well managed by the Porter family for more than a quarter of a century. Indiana may not be known as a boatbuilding capital, but Formula has grown into a powerhouse, building boats that combine a speed-for-everyman attitude with luxurious appointments.
Formula’s talented John Adams uses modern technology to create new designs (Aronow’s “new” designs sometimes bore an uncanny resemblance to those from companies he’d sold), and the 48 Yacht on these pages is the new Formula flagship. An update of the 47 (“On Board”, December 2003), the 48 has all of the best features of the 47, along with some clever updates, but most important, it feels like it had an adrenaline injection. With a new diesel power package and an entirely new hull, this is Man O’War compared to the 47’s plow horse.
Adams penned a slippery hull that is deeper and longer, but just as solid and predictable. During our testing off Florida’s Sanibel Island, we easily topped out at over 33 knots (38+mph) even though the water was mirror smooth (smooth water is notoriously “sticky, since it doesn’t provide the aeration that allows a hull to break free and run fast).
The Formula 48 disproves an unfortunate misconception that speed and fuel economy are antithetical, but it isn’t necessarily true. In fact, at a comfortable cruising gallop of 30 knots, the Formula 48 sips fuel at just 1.5 gallons a mile.
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