To maximize the cruiser’s efficiency, Formula designer John Adams created a 22-degree, two-step bottom with multiple staggered strakes. The bottom design was “borrowed,” at least in theory, from the company’s FAS3Tech performance boats, and like all the offerings in the FAS3Tech line, the 400 Super Sport also had a fiberglass structural grid (stringer) system.
And efficient it was, starting with an impressive top speed of 59.7 mph at 5,200 rpm. Twin 470-horsepower motors dialed into Bravo Three drives with 2:1 reductions and Bravo Three 15″ x 28″ and 13 3/4″ x 28″ three-blade propellers may seem like a hefty propulsion package, but when you’re talking about pushing almost eight tons of boat through the water, it’s not.
Thunderbird Products, the Decatur, Ind.,-based parent company of Formula, is one of those rare production boatbuilders that blurs the line between production and custom. The company’s paint work, for example, is several cuts above production standards, bordering on sublime. Such was the case with the 400 Super Sport’s Imron “Flagship Sapphire” graphics over brilliant white gelcoat.
Plush—that is word to describe the below deck areas in the 400 Super Sport. Sleeping accommodations included an aft berth, a dedicated V-berth all the way forward and facing lounges that, with filler cushions and table supports, converted from a dining area to a second V-berth. Upholstered in Ultraleather, those lounges were among the most richly padded we’ve encountered.
The boat’s port-side galley was better equipped than most second-home kitchens. It included a refrigerator with “face-doors” attached to disguise it as a cabinet, a single-burner Kenyon electric stove, a Samsung microwave oven, a hot-and-cold-water sink, bountiful cabinetry and Corian counter tops.
Opposite the galley was a stand-up head compartment with a porcelain toilet and a hand-held hot-and-cold shower.
The amenity parade continues in the cockpit, which included an entertainment center and a vast U-shape lounge with lots of stowage space beneath its bottom cushions. The two-person co-pilot’s seat to port faced the dual-person helm seat to starboard.
At the helm, elegant VDO instruments were installed in woodgrain panels. The majority of rocker switches for the boat?s endless accessories were to the right of the tilt woodgrain steering wheel. To left of the wheel were more accessory switches and a remote-control touch pad for the Kenwood CD stereo. Gaffrig throttle and shifters were mounted on the starboard gunwale.