Four Winns New V408 Redefines and Raises the Bar - 05/13/2009
When Capt. Steve saw the Four Winns V408 at the Ft. Lauderdale boat show, it was virtually “love at first sight”. Capt. Steve is probably our grumpiest captain, but he was actually smitten with the V408. In fact, the more he toured the clever innovations that this boat had to offer, the harder he fell for her. But being Capt. Steve, he still managed to find one thing he didn’t care for! How did this guy ever manage to find a girl he wanted to marry? So what’s wrong with this beautiful-looking boat?

Four Winns V408
Her stylish lines and sleek character are the tip of the iceberg of what this boat has to offer. Her L.O.A. of 43’6” and beam of 13’4” also make an attractively sized package for any level of operator. Check out the hull windows, they blend in so well and do a great job of letting in natural light.

Capt. Steve Says…

In this economy, the old phrase of “lead, follow, or get out of the way” simply will not cut it anymore. Nowadays it’s more like "lead or die”. Four Winns doesn’t just take that as a simple business model. They take it as a challenge. And it seems that they are not only driven by challenge, but manage to succeed in a world where change is hard to implement for a laundry list of reasons. The V408 is a shining example of just how much cleverness one builder can fit into a 43’ package if it tries very hard.

Four Winns V408
You can stand at the helm with the sun roof closed. Note notch in the overhead that opens for the walk through to the bow.

The Windshield Done Right

When I walked up to the V408, I immediately noticed that this boat was taking care of my number one complaint...isinglass. As soon as I look at a boat, especially a weekender, and see a windshield that goes up half way to the hardtop and the rest of the space filled in with isinglass, I shake my head, and sometimes walk away right then.

Nothing against isinglass, mind you, its just that I don’t like having my vision distorted for no good reason, nor do I care for a windshield frame right in my line of vision. These are the sort of things that make me grumpy. This boat was all glass, so I stepped aboard. And from that moment on my head kept nodding up and down like one of those dogs in a car rear window.

Four Winns V408 Four Winns V408
The V408 has a swim platform that can double as an aft deck for sun bathing or a submersible beach where children can paddle around and feel secure. Launching and retrieving a PWC or tender couldn’t be easier.

Bring on the Party

It’s not just the sheer size of this cockpit, but also the features and innovations that really are impressive. And they just keep coming. Even the swim platform can’t be just a swim platform on this boat. It is much more, a whole entertainment venue in itself. There’s an electric grill and removable table there. The aft end of the platform is also hydraulically activated to submerge making it ideal for launching a PWC or a boat tender, or just turning it into an onboard submersible beach. Small children will love sitting on it in a few inches of water, and maybe Mom will, too!

Four Winns V408 Four Winns V408
The transom is a great place for Dad to cook up some steaks while at the same time keeping smoke out of the boat. The backrest of the lounge moves fore and aft.

There’s also storage in its deck for two large fenders, but Four Winns couldn’t even make it “just a storage compartment”. It also makes a great wading pool and they even made the bottom see-through acrylic, for underwater viewing! And these are all standard features. Add the optional underwater lighting and you’ll have an unbelievable show.

Four Winns V408
Large seating areas, removable table, rear seats that convert to rear facing and/or a sun pad lounger, two refrigerators, large entertainment center, dual helm seats, massive sun roof, walk through windshield… and that’s just looking forward!

Moving Down Below

Large hull side windows let in an incredible amount of natural light. The tables are removable to increase the roominess. There’s a galley settee that converts to a bed, two staterooms with sliding pocket doors, an L-shaped galley, and you know how I always complain that there are no fiddles around stoves to keep the pots in place… well this one doesn’t have any either. It does have pop up holders in the corners of the burners, so you can still have the look and ease of cleaning with flat surface, but safety of sea rails when cooking.

And the List Goes On

I’ll save the rest of the features for an in-depth test but trust me when I tell you… it’s not a short list. I was impressed at every turn. And you will be too. But if the boat was all that great and loaded with features, was there still something that I didn’t like. Well, yes, and I had to go all the way up to the bow to find it.

Four Winns V408
View looking aft from the galley in the salon below. Large shoji screens to the left are doors to the VIP stateroom with en suite head – and optional washer/dryer!

There the bow rails don’t come together over the anchor as you would expect. They are separated and have a platform between them. This makes too much of an attractive seat for my taste, and while underway, the thought of someone sitting there gives chilling ramifications. But to spend this amount of time on a weekender and find only one complaint, well, that says a lot coming from me. Who knows…maybe if I had this impressive boat for the summer I could come up with one or two more.

[Editor’s Note: Capt. Steve obviously didn’t read the review we wrote of this boat six months ago in the 11-26-08 newsletter where we said we liked bow safety rail treatment. We said, “…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.” Of course, we meant at anchor. Capt. Steve has a good safety point, but we would assume that everyone would be shooed off the bow before the boat got underway. ]

Read Editor’s review of the V408…

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