Stable Vee Hull-
This hull design is quite unique in that it’s basically a stepped hull boat. However, where we typically see the step in the center of the boat, at about midships, here Four Winns has placed the step well aft at the stern quarters to each side.
The geometry of the step
also has some unique features. Its profile shows a teardrop cross-section and the leading edge curves dramatically forward as it moves towards the keel. All of this should provide a more efficient riding hull and a more economical one. Also, as the hull moves outward from the keel the reverse chine has a bit of a hook to it.
As for the stern of the hull, there’s an extended running surface that comes out well past the transom where the outdrive is mounted. Our test shows that this not only provides for a quick time to plane (2.8 seconds) but also allows the boat to stay on plane at lower speed. She doesn’t start to fall off plane until dropping to the mid to upper teens in speed.
SS Version –
The model we tested is the Signature Series version of the H260. This model includes, as standard, the Premium Color Gelcoat with sporty graphics, the coordinated interior colors, a tinted low profile windscreen, bow docking lights, bow scuff plate, a transom trim switch and 4 aluminum mag wheels for the included trailer.
Custom Trailer –
We’ve seen boats that included trailers as standard features but Four Winns takes the concept to the next level. These trailers are made by Four Winns and are not after-market. Also, the designer of the boat works side-by-side with the designer of the trailer to ensure that the match is perfect, regarding exactly where the load bearing components of the boat are with respect to how she’ll sit on the trailer.
Additionally, Four Winns makes sure that all trailers have brakes, most will have dual axles, integrated and ratcheting tie downs and swing-away tongues.
Four Winns has what it calls "Water Intrusion Management" (WIM) utilized all around the boat. It ensures that any water coming aboard, either from rain, washdowns or heavy seas will not enter the dry compartments where gear is stowed, but instead will get directed back overboard through deck drains in the aft end of the cockpit. In its simplest forms, we can see gutters around all hatches and raised lips under seat cushions. For more intricate measures, all cup holders are fitted with drains to keep water from pooling.In and of itself, this is nothing new. What is unusual is that Four Winns has made this such a high priority that it has made a whole program out of it.
Human Element/Ergonomics –
Four Winns takes the comfort level, and indeed the application of the human element, to a level that some builders don't even think about. As we move about the boat there are no sharp edges or extrusions to be seen or felt --anywhere. Cleats are pull-up. Bimini supports fit into curved mounts. Anywhere the hand moves to quickly, such as around grab handles, shows open or padded areas.Seating spaces all have padding anywhere the arm or body will tend to rest. It’s not necessarily noticed when stepping aboard or giving a cursory glance at a boat show, but sit on the boat long enough and occupy every space and the differences start to become clear, especially to someone that gets to be on hundreds of different boats, such as our test captain.
Long List of Standard Equipment.
The H260 SS's list of standard equipment runs several pages, but we are struck by the number of items that we normally see on the options list among boats in the same class and price-point as the H260 SS. Here is a list of just the things that caught our eye--
The Four Winns H260 SS has a LOA of 26'3'' (8.0 m), a beam of 8’5” (2.56 m) and a draft of 35" (89 cm). She has an empty weight of 4,900 lbs. (2,220 kg) and with ¾ fuel and two people onboard we estimated her test weight to be 5,935 lbs. (2,692 kg).With the single Volvo Penta V8-350 turning a DP outdrive with FH4 propsets, we reached a top speed of 51 mph.
As for achieving the best economy
, and this is where she’ll be operated most times, we found 3500 rpm and 27.8 mph to be her best speed. At that speed her fuel burn was reduced to 8.4 gph and she could keep that speed up for 7.5 hours with a full tank and holding back a 10% reserve.
The helm is a balance of beauty and functionality. A vinyl visor lines the top and it’s hand stitched with contrasting colored UV-resistant thread. The Faria fog-resistant gauges are mounted to a stylish panel fabricated from billet aluminum. This is one of the many benefits to having a factory in Michigan, close to automobile suppliers. Below is a fiber weave material that is matched to the starboard bulkhead.A depth sounder with alarm and air and water temperatures gauges are standard. The two polished raised bezel Faria instrument keep track of seven functions and minimize instrument panel clutter.
Lifting the aft sun pad accesses the engine compartment and dual assist struts make short work of the lifting. Underneath is a clever storage solution. A mesh bag with a padded bottom and sides is snapped into position, and this makes a great area for putting wet bathing suits and towels as the heat of the engine will serve to dry everything out quite well while at the same time keeping everything contained. Another snap-in storage unit is just to the side.The best feature of all, however, in the engine room is the fiberglass liner which makes short work of keeping this compartment clean. Oil leaks can be spotted immediately.
This is an exceptionally well handling boat. Hitting the throttle brings the bow up 7-degrees, leaving the horizon uninterrupted. We started out making gentle turns and could already feel the added responsiveness of the hooked chines. With the turns becoming ever more aggressive the comfort level in the turns remained the same. We saw perfect tracking throughout the turns and felt none of the grabbing we thought we’d see with the hooked chines. There was no chine walk and no prop cavitation.
When crossing wakes from the camera boat she rode right over while shouldering off the spray. We caught minimal air under the hull and then she showed a smooth re-entry.
The bow is in the usual configuration of a bowrider with storage under the hinged cushions. However, there’s a marked level of comfort that takes this boat to a higher level than many boats in class. To the outer bulkheads there is an armrest at the caprail and another in a lower position allowing for multiple positions to feel relaxed. To the inboard side are flip-up armrests.And here’s a new amenity -- slide-up headrests. The upper parts of the backrests slide to form headrests… the first we’ve seen of this type of creativity. The seat cushions are also contoured and are slightly elevated under the backs of the knees, a much more comfortable positioning.
We measured 16” (40.6 cm) between the seats at the footwell so certainly if people choose to sit facing each other then knees will be close together, if not coming together. But this is a rare occurrence as bowriders are typically using these seats in the forward lounge manner… one to each side. In this manner there’s plenty of room for comfort as the padded side bolsters go from 78” (198 cm) apart at the aft end to 37” (94 cm) as we move forward.
There is 24" (61 cm) between the consoles for transiting through to the cockpit. A bi-fold air dam can be deployed, along with the walkthrough windshield, to block off the wind on early morning runs or during operations in the shoulder seasons up north.
Inside the port console is a head compartment with 4’ (1.2 m) of overhead clearance. That translates to 2’4” (.71 m) from the top of the seat to the overhead. Standard equipment includes a Porta-Potti, but our test boat was fitted with an optional pump-out VacuFlush head ($1,992). The door to the compartment is double latched, one latch is a flip strap and the other is a latching handle.
The cockpit is roomy with 82.5” (209.6 cm) between the bolsters. Seating wraps nearly all the way around with only the offset walkthrough to the swim platform interrupting the U-shaped seating with storage underneath. We measured 32.5” (82.6 cm) of cockpit depth for safety. Snap-in carpeting is included as standard.
All seat cushions are hinged allowing convenient access underneath and it can be reached with one hand free. The hinges also permit the cushions to be opened fully, and they remain open without having to hold them. This is an important point and one that is sorely lost on some manufacturers. Under the aft seat cushion, the storage consists of an insulated built-in cooler so it can be loaded up with supplies, or ice, food and drinks, or just used as regular storage.
Our test boat was fitted with the optional wake tower ($7,385) and it includes the black canvas Bimini. It had an overhead clearance of 5’10” (1.77 m) at the front increasing to 6’1” (1.85 m) as the deck is slightly canted down at the aft end of the cockpit. The elevated towpoint is 6’5” (2.0 m) off the deck.
Aft Sun Pad
Four Winns created a versatile, and attractive, sun pad at the stern. In the typical configuration it measures 7’1” (2.2 m) wide x 45” (114 cm) front to back. The starboard side lifts to form a chaise lounge and while we find the positioning to be comfortable, we’d like to see the frame support multiple positions to facilitate anything from a reclined position for cat naps to sitting up and enjoying a cocktail and the waterfront surroundings.
Going Two Ways.
But we do have to give credit to Four Winns for adding a second seating option at the sun pad. In the center is a separate hinged cushion that lifts to form an aft facing seat. The same pull strap that lifts the cushion is also connected to a king starboard support that fits into a pair of notches at the underside of the cushion. Additional comfort is added with the inclusion of a step 6 ½” (16.5 cm) off the surface of the swim platform to rest the feet on. This now makes a great place for two people to sit and relax while enjoying the surroundings at any time the H260 SS is not underway.
The swim platform is accessed by lifting the starboard sun pad cushion and transiting a 15” (38 cm) walkthrough. In the walkthrough deck is a hatch, opened with a lift-and-lock latch, with storage underneath. This storage is actually a mesh holder that is held in place all around with snaps. This makes it ideal for wet items such as masks and snorkels as they can drip dry into the bilge compartment. Just to the side bulkhead is an optional freshwater shower ($231) plumbed to a 12-gallon (45.4 L) tank.To the opposite side is a remarkably convenient line storage space. This is a brilliant solution for where to put the lines, and the cushion will always be lifted anyway when the lines are being handled, so now we can just drop them in place and close the cushion off.
The platform itself is a bolted-on version that is well supported underneath with large knee braces. With the outdrive in the lowered position, the platform extends well past the sharp edges of the running gear. The corners are protected with stainless guards and there is a grab handle across the center for swimmers to hang onto while waiting a turn at the reboarding ladder. The entire platform rests only 3” (7.6 cm) off the surface of the water.
With regards to the reboarding ladder, this one is a four-step model that goes quite deep. In fact, with the boat on the trailer it reached all the way down to the parking lot. It also has wide treads that will feel more comfortable under bare feet. Folded away, the ladder is concealed under the starboard side of the platform and easily deployed from the water. It is one of the best stern ladders that we have seen on any boat in class.
The base price of the Four Winns H260 SS, including the standard tandem axle trailer, is $94,923, equipped with a catalyzed Volvo Penta 300-hp sterndrive. See your Four Winns dealer for other engine choices and option pricing. The Four Winns H260 SS is an upscale boat built with premium materials and craftsmanship with the discriminating boater in mind.
Four Winns is now owned by the Beneteau Boat Group, the largest boat builder in Europe and one of the largest in the world. This bodes very well, indeed, for the brand which has been owned and run by four different groups since the Winn family sold out in the 1990s. We feel confident that Beneteau will bring stability to this brand as well as make available to it the incredible depth of expertise it has gained over decades of building all manner of boats. Certainly, the future of Four Winns looks brighter than ever.As for the H260 SS, she speaks for herself, as the photos and numbers above attest. Her performance, handling, equipment, features and amenities are all top tier, in our opinion.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Four Winns H260 SS (2015-) is 51.0 mph (82.1 kph), burning 28.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 107.87 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Four Winns H260 SS (2015-) is 27.8 mph (44.7 kph), and the boat gets 3.3 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.4 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 209 miles (336.35 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 350-hp Volvo Penta V8-350 DP.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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