We believe Four Winns’ new V408 will
set new benchmarks for 40’+ express cruisers of the future. It has been carefully
designed for two entirely different uses – 1) day boat entertaining, and 2) two-couples
or family cruising. But that is just the beginning. We counted at least 10 innovations
on the boat, all features that pack big-boat utility into a 40’ boat. We got a sneak
peek at the prototype at the Ft. Lauderdale show and we think you’ll be impressed,
as we were.
This new 40-footer
has an aft cabin with full standing headroom, plus many other innovations
that make it an outstanding design. It is a “must see” boat.
video “Sneak Preview” of the V408 --
From stem to stern the V408 is full of good ideas and it is clear that the folks
in Cadillac, MI have decided to break with tradition in their large cruisers and
go for the gold. The humdrum, me-too designs that permeated the industry for nearly
two decades are a thing of the past, at least at Four Winns. Now, it’s okay to be
different -- and to think out of the box.
First, the aspect of the boat we think is most notable: The aft (or mid) cabin has
full standing headroom along the forward side of the double bed. This means you
can stand up, put on your clothes, walk into the head, and otherwise be in a real
stateroom and not have to crawl into a cabin under the bridge deck.
If you have ever cruised with another couple, then you know how embarrassing it
is to relegate them to the “kid’s quarters” which they have to get on their hands
and knees to enter. Four Winns solves that problem with an elegant design. Now,
on to the other innovations --
From the Bow --
Starting at the bow, the V408 has an opening in the bow pulpit so you can actually
dive off the bow. If you’ve never done it, you don’t know what a thrill it can be.
The deck hatch treatments which are the most artistic and pleasing we have seen
on nearly any boat are large, round and designed to get plenty of light below where
it is needed.
This is the standard layout in “day-boat”
The aft cabin with head is a $6500 option.
Four Winns believes in good seamanlike design, so their side decks are ample and
our 6’, 230 lb. Director of Testing, Capt. Rob Smith found them to his liking as you’ll see
in the video. Four Winns was one of the first companies to jump on the practicality
and beauty of Flexiteek and has used it to good advantage on the stern of this boat
and on the bridge deck. (Or, you can spec the real thing.) The optional hydraulic
swim platform is the ideal size for a PWC which can double as a tender and playmobile.
Clear View Astern --
The boat also makes a remarkable entertainment venue, with an optional hydraulic swim platform
ideal for snorkeling or scuba, or turn it into your backyard barbie with the grill
on the aft deck.
We like the clear Plexiglas in the locker in the swim platform. Just add underwater
lights and you’ll have a spectacle of fish darting below at night. The locker is thoughtfully
sized for two large fenders as you’ll see in the video.
An example of innovation is the placement of the electric grill in the transom of
the boat. Think of the advantages: no greasy smudge on the coupe‘s overhead, freeing
up room on the bridge for seating and tables, and by folding down the rumble seat
you have an ideal-sized food-prep counter. With a flip of a switch you can turn
the rumble seat into sun pad.
The sink, wet bar and icemaker are handy to the “J”-shaped seating. You can put
a table here for al fresco dining or filler cushions for al fresco sunning. Finally
someone has put drawer-style refer and icemaker in a cockpit. Four Winns has taken
a cue from the megayachts and provides blue courtesy lighting around the bridge.
The Bridge --
Probably most notable on the bridge is the coupe-style fiberglass hardtop coupled
with an amazingly large sunroof with electronic adjustment. The expansive sunroof,
combined with wide windshield walk-thru steps, allows passage to the foredeck with
ease and plenty of headroom. It does this because the sunroof goes to the frame
of the windshield. When it is retracted, anyone can stand up and not have to duck
when going through the open windshield to the foredeck.
Again, we don’t recall seeing this done before, but in any case it is an impressive
bit of engineering as the g-forces placed on the hardtop are considerable. The retractable
sunroof is also available in glass, which is an option I think we would pass on.
The lounge seating aft and the helm seats are all on one level, which is something
we like, particularly when going offshore. The helm is well done and the helm seat
is electric, which is the only way to go in this size and type of boat. Importantly,
you can stand at the helm and have good visibility forward.
Joy Below Deck --
Below, as noted above, the remarkable aspect of the boat is the optional aft (or
mid) cabin with full head room by the bed and in the head which has a separate shower.
This is a $6500 option over the standard layout. Double sliding doors provide privacy.
In the prototype they were translucent doors, Japanese-style, but we are sure you
could get them opaque if you wanted.
Many boaters, particularly in the Midwest where they do not do that much overnight
cruising, prefer the standard arrangement because it opens up the salon to handle
more guests and provide room for entertaining.
This deck drawing is a bit deceiving as there
is actually plenty of room to get forward
between the helm seats and the bench seat to port.
In the galley Four Winns has provided a clever swinging counter that can be moved
out of the way or completely eliminated. This allows the chef to decide if more
counter space is needed and provide for it.
We like the fact that Four Winns provides cruising canvas as standard. This lengthens
the boating season and Four Winns makes sure the canvas fit and finish is correct.
The boat is available with twin 400-hp gas engines driving through Volvo Penta’s
IPS pod drives, or with its 370-hp or 435-hp diesels hooked up to the pod drives
and joysticks. The boat will carry at MSRP of just under $587,000 with standard
The boat’s warranties are --
*Lifetime limited warranty on structural components of the hull and deck
*Five years of pro-rated protection against osmotic hull blistering
*Two years limited warranty coverage on non-structural parts and components
*One year limited warranty against cracking, crazing or fading of the exterior gel
If you would like a test drive of the new V408 or simply to see one in a dealer’s
showroom, click here.