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2021 Four Winns H4

DATE POSTED:October 14, 2021
The Stable-Vee hull delivers a smooth and efficient ride.
The Stable-Vee hull delivers a smooth and efficient ride. (Courtesy Four Winns/)

Calling any boat model iconic risks hyperbole, but Horizon bowriders have defined the Four Winns brand for a generation. So it’s with some caution that Groupe Beneteau Americas charts a new course for its runabout line, seeking to elevate the series with some fresh design while retaining the Four Winns DNA. The name is changing to H Series, and the 2022 line will include a 20-foot H1, a 22-foot H2, and this 23-foot-11-inch H4 model, each offered with sterndrive or outboard power. The current Horizon 260, 290 and 350 models will stay in the line for now.

Bow seating is 17-inches deep.
Bow seating is 17-inches deep. (Courtesy Four Winns/)

The H4 rides a newly designed hull with an 18-degree deadrise at the transom, significantly shallower than the 20-degree deadrise of the Horizon 230 model it is replacing. The new vertical stem gives the boat a strong, contemporary look in the water. Stand astern and observe that the beam pinches slightly abaft its widest point in a smooth line through the boarding platform. The hull retains the Four Winns Stable-Vee performance and functionality—to plane off quickly and with minimal bow rise. Powered by a 280 hp Volvo Penta Duoprop sterndrive propulsion system, our test boat planed in less than 6 seconds with a full tank of fuel and four people aboard, and we never lost sight of the horizon. The ride through a stiff lake chop was fine, but we did note some drumming of this hull through that chop. Handling is outstanding, and with twin contra-rotating props, we could execute an aggressive 180-degree maneuver without trimming down.

A Simrad GO7XS touchscreen presents all instrumentation.
A Simrad GO7XS touchscreen presents all instrumentation. (Courtesy Four Winns/)

The signature bucket seats are retained, and the cockpit has a typical wraparound bench seat with sun pad over the engine. We like the secure 17 inches of depth in the bow seats. The upholstery is executed mostly in a single color, with new textures including a honeycomb stitch pattern in the contrasting inwale pockets.

Stowage is plentiful on the H4.
Stowage is plentiful on the H4. (Courtesy Four Winns/)Wraparound seating makes entertaining easy.
Wraparound seating makes entertaining easy. (Courtesy Four Winns/)

A Simrad GO7XS touchscreen presents all instrumentation, with a duplicate Simrad for navigation as an option ($1,420). Rather than a shocking revolution, this is a well-considered evolution of a favorite family runabout.

A comfy sun pad is found over the engine.
A comfy sun pad is found over the engine. (Courtesy Four Winns/)

How We Tested

  • Engine: Volvo Penta V6-280C 280 hp
  • Drive/Prop: Duoprop sterndrive/FH5 24-pitch stainless-steel propset
  • Gear Ratio: 2.32:1 Fuel Load: 52 gal. Crew Weight: 700 lb.

High Points

  • Aggressively priced.
  • Exclusive single lever to rotate and adjust bucket seats fore and aft is easy to reach and works like a charm.
  • Four Winns Stable-Vee hull performs well at speed and delivers efficiency and stability.
  • Hatch gutters drain with tubing to a low point in the bilge, which keeps gear and equipment free from drips.

Low Points

  • Carpet-lined stowage below the bow seats is a potential mildew problem.
  • Volvo Penta throttle response is abrupt in the midrange.

Toughest Competitor

The 24-foot-6-inch Chaparral 248 SSX (base $120,240 with 280 hp Volvo Penta Duoprop and trailer) is equipped with dual Simrad displays, a convertible sun-pad lounge, and the smooth-riding Chaparral Extended V-Plane running surface.

Pricing and Specs

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Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Four Winns H4 Certified Test Results
Four Winns H4 Certified Test Results (Boating Magazine/)

Four Winns - Cadillac, Michigan; 231-775-1351; fourwinns.com