Serving as the catalyst for the new Four Winns Tow Series, the TS222 was released at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show in February, powered by Volvo Penta’s new “Forward Drive” sterndrive. On this new lower unit, the counter-rotating DuoProp actually faces forward instead of aft, thereby changing the game for sports like wake surfing in conventional sportboats.The Four Winns TS222 sheds her sportboat heritage to become very much like an inboard specialty towing machine. She is based off Four Winns’ successful SL platform, including a proven hull shape with its Stable Vee design. One of our test captains was so impressed by the handling of this boat that he said the builder had “nailed it”.The surge in popularity for wake surfing, combined with the new Forward Drive from Volvo Penta and the Four Winns’ TS222, created quite a buzz this spring after the Miami Boat Show.
Ballast System –
We recommend using all of the 1,300 lbs. (590 kg) of water ballast to create the most sizable wake or wave possible. If one needs to level off the boat while wakeboarding, move people around rather than draining one side of ballast.
Custom Wakeboard Tower –
This forward-sweeping tower looks good and mounts from two points, rather than four points as older towers do. Opt for speakers and board racks to max out the tower and enjoy the ability to fold it down with ease for storage.
Optional Wake Enhancing Tabs –
These tabs are easily adjusted by the driver to max out the wake size, or to customize it to the boater’s liking. The indicators next to the switches serve as a nice guide to see what level of deflection one is creating. A good tip is to drive the boat without a rider in tow and play around with it to see what one might like out of their wake or wave. More deflection generally equals a steeper wave.
Zero Off –
This speed control system is dedicated for wake surfing and wakeboarding and is popular among enthusiasts.
Four Winns Trailer –
This trailer offers plenty of features to help the owner tow with ease.
At 22’7” (6.88 m), the TS222 also has a 8’6” (2.59 m) beam. Four Winns’ Comfort Ride seats are of good quality, and in our opinion, the Silvertex upholstery lives up to today’s expectations.
This boat greatly resembles many of the “traditional” V-drive or inboard specialty towboats that have been in the towed watersports market for years. With a forward-sweeping tower, and shovel-nose bow configuration, the vessel looks strikingly similar to expensive wake-specific towboats that many people are used to seeing on the water. That’s a good thing because that is precisely the market Four Winns is going after with this model.
Rear-facing, platform seating allows passengers to give their attention to the rider behind the boat and the optional board racks and tower speakers are a must-have. The premium sound system from JL Audio is available for those wanting to add some quality beats to their day on the water.
This revolutionary innovation, also released at the Miami Boat Show, was delivered by Volvo Penta. Not surprisingly, it received an NMMA “Innovation Award” in the propulsion category at the show. The DuoProp propellers sit about 26’’further forward compared to a traditional sterndrive, according to the engine maker. This allows the props to be further away from wake surfers while riding and also for anyone boarding the boat at the stern.
Forward Drive (FWD)
delivers a smooth ride with an undisturbed water flow to the propellers for greater theoretical efficiency. This is the primary reason the props were faced forward in the IPS system, and something we often see on commercial shipping as well.
Picture it as pulling
, rather than pushing the boat through the water. FWD also creates easy low-speed maneuvering. Our test captains report that turning is also quicker and crisper at all speeds than with conventional aft-facing sterndrives.
For wake making
, the adjustable trim offers benefits to wake shape/size that is not possible with inboard powered boats without plates or blades strapped to the stern. In addition to seeing an increase in responsiveness, which our captains have reported, Volvo Penta says fuel economy is relatively the same as with a conventional sterndrive -- and, of course, better than an inboard. Thus far we have not been able to test enough boats with the Forward Drive to be able to compare empirical data on our own.
We have tested two boats with Forward Drive with two different captains and both said the same thing -- the boat is easier to make her go where wanted when backing, and the boat is easier to dock.
For those planning on wake surfing, don’t skimp on the option for the Super Surf’R Tabs by Wake WorX. This allows the driver to designate which side of the boat to wake surf on. The driver can also adjust the size and shape of the wave with ease and then level the boat off for smooth cruising. For wake surfing, we would recommend weighing the boat a little more on the side of the rider, which can easily be done by moving people in the boat.
Zero Off GPS Speed Control
Speed is of critical importance for wakeboarding and wake surfing. Proven in the wakeboarding and waterskiing world, Zero Off GPS speed control is one of the best systems on the market today.
This engine is no longer available. However, this model is available with other power systems.With an empty weight of 4,160 lbs. (1,890 kg), four people on board, and 2/3 fuel, we filled two aft ballast bags with 164 gallons (621 L) of water, giving us an estimated test weight of 6,689 lbs. (3,034 kg).Our test engine was the Volvo Penta V8-320, turning a K4 propset on the forward facing drive.We found acceleration was brisk, measuring an average time-to-plane of 3.6 seconds.With the torque being felt throughout the power curve, it is easy to see that adding someone onto the end of a towrope will have little effect on the performance. Bowrise was 11-degrees, certainly consistent with what we’ve seen with standard outdrives.We reached a top speed of 43.3 mph at 4630 rpm while burning 23 gph for a range of 85 miles.
Heretofore, because of the very nature of wake surfing and its proximity to a boat’s transom and aft-facing sterndrive propellers, this sport has been limited to inboard-powered boats such as specialty ski/wakeboard boats, and jet boats. Now, all of that has changed.
New, Safer Lower Unit.
With the advent of Volvo Penta’s forward facing propellers on its Forward Drive sterndrive, boaters have an alternative. Typically, specialty inboard ski/wakeboard boats are higher priced than conventional sterndrives, and for that reason alone, this new drive unit might increase the popularity of wake surfing.A second safety aspect of this drive, particularly compared to an inboard, for wake surfers is the underwater exhaust. Finally, even if the TS222 is only used for swimming and normal sportboat activities, when people are in the water, they will be farther away from the props than with a conventional sterndrive.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Four Winns TS222 (2015-) is 43.3 mph (69.7 kph), burning 23.00 gallons per hour (gph) or 87.06 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Four Winns TS222 (2015-) is 26.2 mph (42.2 kph), and the boat gets 3.09 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.31 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 139 miles (223.7 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 320-hp Volvo Penta V8-320.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard AM/FM Stereo with MP3 port|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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