You have to give Scott Porter, the president of Thunderbird Products/Formula in Decatur, Ind., and the rest of his team credit for thinking ahead—as in far ahead. Knowing that the performance-boat market couldn’t sustain the company forever, they diversified beyond their FASTech series of sport boats and added the Sun Sport line of recreational day boats several years ago. In recent times, Sun Sport sales have carried the company.
But Formula has deep roots in the performance-boat world, and those roots remains. That’s why the company is adding “FX” versions of three models in its Sun Sport line: the 290 FX4, the 310 FX5 and the 350 FX6. The 290 FX4 was introduced last Friday, June 11, at Formula’s Northeast Showroom in Freeport, New York. The other two FX models will be introduced later this year.
According to a press release from the company, “This revolutionary new concept (the FX series) in sport boating is a unique melding of the highly successful Sun Sport design with the performance-focused FASTech image, creating a synergy of on-water usability with upscale excitement.”
In real-world parlance, that means the FX series of Sun Sports feature, thanks to designer John Adams, FASTech-inspired styling including IMRON exterior graphics, an upgraded dash with back-lit LED instruments, twin MerCruiser 377 engines, a 600-watt MP3/iPod port stereo system and other amenities not found on a standard Sun Sport.
“We’re looking to attract the customer who wants all the functionality and features of a day boat—and I think we’ve elevated that to an art form—but who also wants something a little more graphically and aesthetically exciting with a performance-boat attitude,” Scott Smith, Formula’s marketing manager, told me this afternoon.