Captain's ReportThe SL 262 is a Trend Setter
By Capt. Ron Svoboda
The SL 262 is not your run-of-the-mill runabout. She is different from bow tostern. First, this is a big boat. At 5,380 to 5,590 lbs., dry, depending on the engine weight, she is one of the heaviest boats in her class. Her freeboard is higher than most boats in her class which makes her ideal for saltwater use as well as for inland lakes and rivers. Third, her “split chine” dull design gives her added stability, makes her dryer, creates a huge bow seating area, and when you put her in a sharp turn she carves it as if on rails.
This model has been so popular since her introduction that Four Winns has introduced two other SL models, the LS 222 and SL 242. All three have proven to be very popular with the boating public, and there were imitators almost immediately.
The “SL” in the SL 262 stands for Sport Luxury and this boat covers those two bases well. When you step aboard the first thing you notice is the rich-looking tan upholstery and the solid-looking, wide custom-made seats – not seats that are flimsy, off-the-shelf and used by a dozen builders. This is not a rinky-dink, stamp-them-out-100-at-a-time bow rider. This is a substantial boat. That classy and elegant theme is carried through to the helm which has a real wood-grain steering wheel and dash panel.Huge, Versatile Bow
Forward, the extra-wide row makes into its own self-contained sun bathing pad or playpen. We’ve never seen anything quite like it! This is certainly a boat that is versatile so let you imagination run wild. Beach landings are aided by the square snout’s concealed ladder, and by a small swim platform that supplies ample footing while boarding or when working the anchor.The Business End
Probably more than any other builder, Four Winns has been working hard the last few years to make the stern of all of their boats a major focus. As a result, the stern of the SL262 is another outstanding feature. First, there is a seat to port for observing a water skier or wake boarder. On the centerline, a large sunning ad makes into rear-facing seat for two – and now you have “stadium seating” so an audience can view the aquatic antics of the person on the end of the tow rope.
The SL262 has a big, beam-width swim platform, making it a water baby's dream. The platform includes a soft rubber mat and a recessed, four-rung (not three-rungs like most builders) swim ladder. There is a freshwater shower and stereo remote handy. The walk through to starboard has an acrylic gate that looks like thick glass. It uses magnetic catches to secure it in both open and closed positions, so there is no hassle with a mechanical latch.Cockpit and Helm
Inside the lavish cockpit an L-shaped lounge to port provides seating for at least eight guests and offers the use of an oval snack table. There are storage compartments below the seats and one of them converts into a little lounger. Directly across from this lounger is a small singles seat with easy access to a removable, insulated beverage cooler that tucks under the seat. An optional mini-sink can be ordered and is situated very cleanly into the starboard side bulwark.
The helm is another classy item that sets this boat apart from the norm. The dash is covered in hand stitched leather, and the steering wheel and trim panels are real wood, coated in a beautiful high-gloss finish. All the buttons and accessory switches are done in a classic, aero motif. I loved the look, but struggled a bit with figuring out what switches did what, as labeling and functions were not as obvious as the cool-looking design.
The helm seat is substantial with a nice, wide, thick padding and a useful flip-up bolster pad. The companion side gets the same deluxe seating as the captain. Behind the glove box console is a head compartment with porta-potti. It’s a bit tight for tall people, but is a great feature to have when entertaining guests. The ladies will love it as it also makes changing clothes private.The Ride
As already noted in sharp turns the SL 262 behaves as if she were on rails with no side slipping or cavitations. Her 20-degree dead rise is a good compromise between ride and performance. Here weight gives her a solid feeling and she cuts through waves with authority. We noticed no bad habits.
The MSRP on the boat depends on your engine option, and prices run from about $81,000 to $86,000. We think that the boat runs great with the smaller engine option, so that is the won we recommend, which will save you several thousand dollars.
Four Winns, in our opinion, has a real winner here. We expect to see more boats with the “split chine” design and we think it will be around for a long time. To the untrained eye, the boat may look a bit odd at first, but we urge you to take a test ride to see for yourself how she feels and handles.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Four Winns SL 262 (2008-) is 50.8 mph (81.8 kph), burning 31.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 118.47 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Four Winns SL 262 (2008-) is 28.7 mph (46.2 kph), and the boat gets 2.83 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.2 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 191 miles (307.38 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp Volvo Penta 5.7Gi.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
|Limited Lifetime Yes|
|2 years - Mercruiser or Volvo See Engine Mfg. See Engine Mfg.|
2 years - Mercruiser or Volvo
See Engine Mfg.
See Engine Mfg.
|5 Year No|
|2 year non-structural parts and components Yes|
|ISO Certification NMMA Certification||Yes|
(It's quick and FREE!)