What began as a family-owned boat business has grown and developed over the last half-century to become one of the most recognized names in the fiberglass industry, Four Winns. And its success hasn't been slowing down in recent years. With the introduction of its new SL Series last year, which was aptly billed as "a new breed" of boats, the Michigan-based builder is maintaining its momentum. The new SL262 deck boat/bow rider hybrid was received by discerning boaters with great enthusiasm in 2007. Now, Four Winns designers have expanded the SL Series to include the SL242. As part of the "Cross-Stream" series, every SL is characterized by a fusion of the most appealing features from deck boats, sport boats and ski boats. It is ideal for those who crave extreme water sports, but also demand sophisticated style and amenities.
Taking subtle styling cues from offshore saltwater vessels, the 24-foot, five-inch SL242 inspires a "one-ness" with the water, while providing generous interior space for creature comforts. With its signature Four Winns, stable-vee split chine hull, a smooth ride is ensured along with an uncommonly wide cockpit. With the split chine design, a single chine aft splits into two chines as it progresses forward. The outer chine remains far outward while the inner chine curves sharply inward, creating a finer entry. The result is that the SL242 has superior lateral stability, gets up on plane quickly with minimal bow rise, and unbelievable cornering.
This family-friendly boat also offers great comfort appeal. Its elongated bow provides a large skid-resistant platform for boarding, lounging, or securing the anchor. Once aboard, the bow also boasts a spacious U-shaped seating area with leaning backrests for optimal comfort and room to stretch your legs. Cockpit seating includes a super-wide Comfort-Ride Plus helm seat with flip-up bolster, and the port seat backrest converts to aft-facing, perfect for a water sports spotter. The U-shaped stern seating is wide and accommodating, with a removable cushion to create a side walk-thru to the swim platform. Of course, seats feature top-quality marine-grade upholstery, in a variety of color schemes that complement the boat's exterior colors. A cockpit table is optional and affixes to the sidewall to allow for plenty of legroom. Snap-in carpet covers the fiberglass liner.
A new breed of boat calls for a captain who appreciates a combination of fabulous attributes. At the helm, the elegant control panel is the backdrop for stainless steel push-button and toggle controls, genuine wood tilt steering wheel, and a compass. The dash is adorned with the boater's choice of mahogany or blond wood trim, and rich hand-fitted, top-stitched upholstery in choice of three attractive shades: Pewter, Bluewater or Driftwood Tan. The flush-mounted Faria gauges include full instrumentation and the plastic lenses in these gauges are specially coated to resist fogging and condensation. A depth sounder with shallow water alarm is a valuable standard feature that is enhanced by a water and air temperature gauge.
There is dedicated space at the helm for an optional GPS. Entertainment buffs will appreciate the iPod/MP3 port and 12-volt DC receptacle housed within a storage compartment for small electronics and Four Winns has outfitted each 2008 model with a SIRIUS satellite entertainment system. Included is a free six-month subscription to SIRIUS' 100 plus commercial-free channels.
Four Winns engineers went above and beyond on the SL242's storage. Not only is there plentiful storage, it is innovatively placed for efficient space usage. The SL242 offers an in-floor compartment large enough for skis with the added ease of a hinged lid with gas-assist lift. Among the clever new additions to the SL242 is a removable trash receptacle accessed via a "lid within the lid" area of the ski locker. The bow houses storage behind the backrests and beneath seats. The cockpit also conceals generous storage under the U-shaped seating, and a large cooler nestles conveniently below one of the seats, alongside an ingenious flexible, mesh-sided bag for damp gear storage. For easy access at service time, the engine hatch has gas-assisted lifts.
Although the SL242 may not be the traditional deck boat, its sleek lines, performance hull and interior comforts are enough to make even the most discerning deck boat owner take a closer look at how Four Winns is creating a new breed of hybrids in the industry. Like every other boat built by this veteran manufacturer, the new SL242 is sure to last as long as the memories you'll make on the water in it.
For more information on this or other Four Winns models, visit www.fourwinns.com.