Issue: April/May 2006
BACKING A WINNER
This powerful bowrider has all the right stuff to win a buyer over.
If your main criteria for buying a new bowrider is aesthetics, look no further than the new Four Winns 240 Horizon. This stunning vessel, complete with optional wakeboard tower, certainly has the looks, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find she’s also got the build quality, performance and handling to make the 240 a leader in her field.
A MX 6.2lt 320hp MPI MerCruiser sterndrive powers the Four Winns 240 to 42mph at 4000rpm, which is hoofing it for a 24-footer that weighs in at around 2000kg. Her steering is extremely light and responsive and the hull requires only a small amount of trim for optimal performance. In fact, trimmed out to one quarter (the normal amount of trim for a vessel of this type) the hull gets a bit flighty and dances on its chines. So, in this case anyway, less is best.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about the hull, it just doesn’t need as much trim as some of the others to achieve an optimum running angle. Four Winns has developed what it calls its ‘Patented Stable-Vee Hull’. It features aggressive, wide and down-turned chines carried well forward.
Working in conjunction with a sharp bow entry, they form mini tunnels down each side of the keel. These trap air and produce a cushioned ride that’s soft and, more importantly, dry.
This isn’t a new design, but what the Four Winns has that many others don’t is ‘after pods’. These help the boat plane quickly and act like a set of trim tabs. They also help push the bow back down if the boat comes off the top of a wave. In this situation, the weight of the motor in the stern forces the hull to come down on its transom. But the after pads hit first and the forward motion of the hull throws the bow back down.
The hull’s running surface is also stepped at the transom to reduce friction and break the water’s surface tension, which allows the boat to slide across the water with less effort, creating better fuel economy.
In short, this hull planes quickly, has exceptional lateral stability at rest and underway and she always maintains a good running angle. The hull is also built to last. It features 10 layers of fibreglass, selective coring material and a layer of flotation foam for high strength and durability.
It may cost a bit more to construct, but all Four Winns are fitted with a fibreglass liner, which not only makes them look good, but means they’re easier to maintain.
This boat’s got the lot: snap-in carpets, high quality marine-grade aluminium and through-bolted hardware. Plus, the hull and deck are triple fastened with stainless steel screws, sealed with polyurethane and topped with a stainless steel rub rail.
Some boats have a problem with storage… this isn’t one of them. And it’s not just the amount of storage she has, it’s the type and how it’s been sighted. Odds and sods go under the bowrider seating. Wakeboards easily slide into the deep long locker between the driver and observer seats. Drinks go into the removable Esky under the port lounge. Lifejackets go under the starboard lounge, so they’re easy to get at quickly. The sunscreen goes in the locker under the sink unit. More items can go into the twin transom bins and the skis fit up each side of the hull in the long transom lockers. Now that’s what we call good storage!
When closed, the engine box on electronic rams makes a large sunpad. This padding also helps keep engine noise to a minimum. The aft lounge extends from behind the observer’s seat in a ‘U’ around to the sink unit to starboard.
The driver and observer seats are the heavily padded bucket-type and both have bolsters. The driver seat is fully adjustable and can be easily set into a comfortable driving position. In the portside dash bulkhead is a Porta Loo. The helm station features full instrumentation with non-fogging gauges set in wooden surrounds. The adjustable sport steering wheel is also made from wood. The wrap-around windscreen offers good protection to all in the cockpit from the slipstream and there’s a folding partition that seals off the bowrider cockpit when it’s not in use. The bowrider will seat three in comfort, but two’s the limit if you want to stretch out.
The 240 Horizon has both a stern and bow-boarding ladder. The bow ladder locker also houses the anchor and both ladders feature Four Winn’s extra-wide rungs that make barefoot boarding more comfortable. There’s also a freshwater transom shower to wash off the salt and sand before it gets tramped all through the boat. The boat comes on a dual-axle trailer, colour-matched to the hull. It features a handy swing-away tongue to aid garaging, plus disc brakes and submersible lights. It’s fitted with heavy-duty tyres, the aluminium wheels have six lugs for extra safety and the trailer has electric over hydraulic brakes.
The Four Winns 240 Horizon is a great looking bowrider with a standard of fixtures and fittings to make her a leader on the Aussie market. The build-quality is matched by her performance and handling and backed up by a lifetime structural warranty. She also has a five-year osmotic hull blistering warranty, three years on non-structural parts and components and a one-year warranty against cracking, crazing, or fading of the exterior gelcoat.
A base boat will set you back around $76,000. The full tricked-up 240 Horizon as tested and with the 6.2lt engines costs around $92,000.
SETTING THE STANDARD
The standard in Open Bow boating just keeps getting better and better. Four Winn’s Horizon line of bowrider models raises the standard in quality for open-bow boats. Four Winns boats are not cheap to buy, but are built to an exceptionally high standard.
The Horizon line includes 10 models ranging from 18 to 29 feet to satisfy the entire family.
Perhaps the most spectacular feature on the 240 Horizon is the Mediterranean sun deck. In seconds the aft couch unfolds to create an amazing sunning area. Best of all, the back can be raised to create a huge chaise lounge.
If you insist on bringing everything but the kitchen sink with you when you boat, this vessel can handle it. Twin storage lockers flank the full width swim platform. Each is deep, long and ready to handle your skiing equipment and other oversized boating gear.
A MX 6.2lt 320hp MPI MerCruiser driving through a Bravo III sterndrive powers the Four Winns 240.
In calm conditions with two adults onboard the Four Winns 240 Horizon returned the following performance figures.
MPH – RPM
10 – 2000
30 – 3000
42 – 4000
BEAM: 8′ 6″
DEADRISE: 20 degrees
WORDS : IAN MACRAE
+ Great styling & finish; Stable-Vee Hull
– Nothing to report