It took the better part of a few winters, but Dan Stordahl appears to be quite happy with the Formula Boats 292 FAS3Tech sportboat he refurbished after buying the 29-foot twin-engine V-bottom from his brother a few years back. Well at least happy enough—as there are still some things he plans to do with the 2002 model in the near future.
Dan Stordahl can’t wait to get back in his revamped 29-foot Formula next season. All photos courtesy Dan Stordahl and Chad Shutter
For now though, after getting to enjoy the boat toward the end of the summer, Stordahl is ecstatic to have one of the prettiest—and fastest—Formulas he’s ever laid eyes on thanks to the Bob Shutter, Bonnie Shutter, Chad Shutter and the rest of the team at Boat Repairs Plus & BRP Marine Custom in Denver, N.C., as well as several other parts suppliers that had a hand in the different projects.
“Dan’s project started as an interior makeover along with a dash/electronics upgrade,” Chad Shutter said. “We re-foamed and re-upholstered the whole cockpit and sunpad to give the boat a new look and feel. We also upgraded the helm with a Garmin GPS display, Mercury SmartCraft gauges, hydraulic steering, a new steering wheel, controls and more.”
Check out the updated Formula Boats 292 FAS3Tech sportboat that was revamped by the team at BRP Marine Custom in North Carolina.
Stordahl said he was grateful that he turned to BRP for the repairs.
“When I got the Formula, the interior was pretty rough so I started looking around for someone to take care of that and came across some pictures of a Donzi 28 ZX that Bob and Chad at BRP had recently fixed up,” Stordahl said. “I really liked the Donzi so I took some screen shots and asked a few people locally if they could do something like it and had no luck. So I ended up calling Chad, we talked and hit it off and I decided to send the boat to North Carolina.”
During the second offseason with Stordahl’s boat, Shutter said the team at BRP refreshed the boat’s stock MerCruiser 6.2L engines, added billet trim tabs from Marine Industries West and upgraded the boat with LED lighting throughout. At that point, the boat was looking good and running well—it topped out at 77 mph with the stock power—but Stordahl wasn’t done.
“Stupid me wanted to do the paint,” Stordahl said, then laughed. “I also wanted to take off the handrails to give the boat a clean deck. It almost doesn’t look like a Formula now because of that. We didn’t just go full tilt on the paint either; we decided to go with new drives, transom assemblies and engines, along with adding SeaDek flooring to replace the factory carpet kit in the cockpit. We even swapped out the factory cleats with the pull-up-style ones.”
The experienced boater said he didn’t realize how much labor was involved in removing the rails on the bow and stern, which was a big part of the exterior facelift. All of the spots were the rails were attached had to be sanded down and filled with fiberglass before the primer and paint layers were applied by the BRP. While at it, the talented crew painted the windshield frame to match the powder-coated seat bases.
Check out the 29-foot Formula being given a facelift in the painting process.
Along with the newly installed IMCO Marine SCX drives, Stordahl said the power upgrade was the final piece of the puzzle as the twin 415-cubic-inch small-block engines with 3.3-liter Whipple Superchargers put together by Jeff Harris of Harris Performance in Alabama are making about 725 hp each. And although he didn’t have much time to test propellers or anything else to really dial in the boat, he plans to do just that when the 2019 boating season rolls around.
“Initially my goal with the new power was to run 92 to 95 mph,” Stordahl said. “We’re at 92 mph right now and we’re only at 5,200 rpm—the engines redline at 6,200 so there’s still more left. Now my goal is to break 100 mph. It is going to take some testing, but I think we can get there.”
Stordahl added that he plans to take his boat, which as of this year now rides on a new trailer from Evolution Trailer Technologies, around the country in 2019 to several performance boat events, including the Four Horsemen Poker Run in Wisconsin, the Old Hickory Fun Run, Bar Crawl and Raft-Up in Tennessee and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. He may even run Wet Tappin’, which he’s named after his water mainline business and calls one of the “nastiest 292s around,” in the late-August top-speed event.
“I love having a new look on an older-style boat,” Stordahl said. “There’s still more to do—we haven’t done anything with the cuddy cabin—but I’m very happy with how it’s come together.”