Hot Rod’s 23-foot 1978 Formula Sportsman

Hot Rod’s 23-foot 1978 Formula Sportsman

February 20, 2018

It’s always exciting to see and read about our Formula owners and all their hard work… Read all about this 1978 Formula!

I grew up in Florida and got my first boat at age thirteen. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time on the water. As far back as I can remember, my favorite boat was the 23′ Formula. Thirty years ago I bought this boat to share my love of boating with my wife and kids. Our boat enabled us to enjoy all the water activities that built priceless memories of quality time together as a family.

I have recently retired and my two kids are grown up now. My wife and I wanted to restore our boat because of all the great times and memories we shared in it. We knew it would need a total rebuild after forty years of use.

I have read many stories about boat makeovers in BoatUs Magazine and now I have the time to tackle such a large project.

Since we no longer needed the cuddy cabin style boat anymore, I decided to make a change. It takes a lot of homework before starting a project like this if it is to be done properly.

I purchased the top cap from an original 23′ Formula center console boat that was the same year hull as ours. My friends helped me remove the entire cuddy style cap from my boat and install the center console cap. It fit perfectly and that was the beginning of converting our boat into a center console style.

I am lucky enough to have great friends and an understanding wife who helped and supported me with this huge project. Before and during all the demolition, I took pictures of everything so I could rebuild it as strong as it was originally designed. My goal was for my boat to go another forty years for my kids and their families to enjoy.

I completely gutted our boat down to the bare hull and replaced stringers, gas tank, floor and all the rigging. Formula had used enough material on our boat to make two boats which is probably why it lasted so many years without a hint of failure.

I will admit it took me six months of non stop labor—everyday—removing and replacing fiberglass, wood, hardware, sanding for days, and replacing everything to rebuild my boat to like new again.

I just knew it would be worth the extra effort when completed.

It seems like we have an entirely new boat now after rebuilding and changing the style. It feels awesome to say that I restored our families boat.

Which was the “Formula” for our family to enjoy boating on the water for over thirty years!

Fort Lauderdale, Florida


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