FOUR WINNS boats have attracted a lot of attention for those looking to enjoy some great comforts while lounging about in the many great waterways around this country.
Four Winns is an American company that manufactures and sell boats all around the world. Despite the Aussie boat-building market being very strong and competitive, we don’t see a lot of emphasis on this style of luxury boat – yet our many canal estates and protected waterways lend themselves very much to socialising and relaxing on the water.
The rise in the Australia dollar has contributed to the viability of importing products from overseas, and the Four Winns boats are one example. Boatarama on the Gold Coast has taken up the Four Winns dealership with new premises on Brisbane Road, Gold Coast to display these cruisers. Four Winns has quite an extensive range, from 5m bow riders to 9.5m luxury cruisers.
Scott Williams, the managing director of Boatarama, has been overwhelmed by the demand for these boats and he now has production bookings scheduled 12 months in advance and a steady stream of shipments coming through.
All boats and their trailers are checked to ensure they meet Australian standards, and in most cases this entails little more than changing a few lights on the trailer. Scott explained that many of the mid-range craft are fully trailerable and meet Australian transport requirements. Each boat comes with the necessary paperwork, both federal and state, to verify the certification and ownership of the boat and trailer.
The 205 Sundowner suits a variety of uses with its twin bunk vee berth accommodation and the flush upper deck to suit day tripping and overnight accommodation. It’s not marketed as a fishing boat, although the huge duckboard out the back does lend itself to dropping a line over.
A few of the Sundowners have been fitted with full stainless rails around the duckboard, with rod holders and even a BBQ fitted to it. It’s the ideal place to have a BBQ and it’s not hard to see yourself passing a few steaks over into the saloon area while the kids dangle their lines over the side.
The sleeping area is well finished and, while you can’t quite sit erect on the bunks, you can stretch out in comfort with more than enough room for two people to have a good night’s sleep.
A large, round overhead hatch lets light into this area, and provides a means to move in and out onto the for’ard deck area. There’s a sound system in here and nice soft lighting so you can set the mood for a quiet weekend away.
The cab is graced with all the flash fittings you’d expect to find in larger cruisers – lined walls, carpet, cushioned side pockets, down lights and done in soft appealing colours.
There is no dedicated toilet and shower room, though a toilet does slide from under the aft deck into the cabin. Out on the duckboard you’ll find a retractable shower head in the transom.
The cabin is fully lockable, and with the outside helm and cockpit clears on the inside area becomes completely protected from the elements.
The helm station is smartly finished and it’s easy to imagine you’re sitting behind the wheel of a Jag with the stylish dash arrangement, wood grain finish and helm seats that you just about get lost in.
The steering is fully adjustable, and along with the power steering, it’s a breeze for anyone to drive.
In a boat like this you don’t want the comforts to take up too much space, leaving little room to move about the boat. In many cases a minimal but functional galley is all you need, and that’s just what you’ll find here.
Behind the skipper’s seat the galley module proves a sink and running freshwater, a small icebox, drink holders and a little flat cupboard space for a tray of nibblies. In here there’s a large cupboard door which gives access to below deck storage, running right back to the duckboard. This has been designed not just for general storage but for keeping the likes of skis and fishing rods, which would otherwise get tossed up into the front cabin and get in the way. There is a hatch in the walk-through area of the transom as well so you can access these items while on the duckboard. It’s a neat and practical set-up.
The module forms into the rounded rear lounge which curves its way gracefully around the transom. Below is more storage and a removable day esky. A table slots into position in the centre of the aft deck so everyone can sit around and enjoy a meal.
The same rear lounge converts into a double bunk so you can lie out under the stars if you want to, or pull the canopy around to cover you in.
There is a lift-out section in this aft lounge that allows you to walk in and out of the cockpit onto the duckboard.
The whole transom area is a neat unit with storage locker out the back and access into the hull. The module features electric rams which, with a press of a button, sees this section lift up to reveal the engine.
There’s no excuse in not having a top time out on the water in the Sundowner, as it’s just at home cruising the waters of the Gold Coast as it is tripping over to Moreton Island.
With the 5.0L MerCruiser below and the surrounds well soundproofed, little noise comes from the engine room so you can enjoy talking without being drowned out by the engine.
There are a few engine choices available, with this 5.0L MerCruiser suiting most requirements. There’s no shortage of get up and go, with a top speed of around 40mph.
The Sundowner enjoys a soft, comfortable ride head-on into a sea, but I found it still leans a little side-on to the sea. At rest, however, the hull is very stable and you can move about with no problems at all, with next to no rocking of the boat.
One of the beauties of a boat like this is that if conditions are rough you can drop the speed down considerably and the power, along with the bigger prop of a sterndrive, holds the boat nicely in the water so you can still enjoy a soft ride home.
The Sundowner has plenty of standard features throughout that add up to give a very tidy package, and the big surprise is that you can buy this rig on a trailer ready to go for under $70,000. It’s no wonder they’re selling so well.
The boat is fully trailerable and, with the customised skid trailers that come to suit each boat, driving them on and off the trailer is a lot easier than you’d expect.
For further information call Boatarama Cruiser sales on (07) 5537 5955.
Make/model - Four Winns 205 Sundowner
Style - Cruiser
Construction - Fibreglass
Length - 6.91m (o/all)
Beam - 2.46m
Weight - Approx 2.0 tonne (boat, motor, trailer)
Deadrise - 19 degrees
Fuel - 135L underfloor
Height on trailer - 2.28m
Flotation - foam sections underfloor
Price - from $67,800 BMT
1) A recent addition to the Australian market is the Four Winns range and the 205 Sundowner is ideal for the many waterways along our coast.
2) Style and comfort is what this boat is all about and the rear lounge is the ideal spot to socialise.
3) The helm station is smart and stylish with all the necessary requirements at your fingertips.
4) It’s not hard to get a good night’s sleep in here with plenty of room to unwind after a big day out on the water.
5) The aft lounge lifts to reveal the five litre Mercruiser engine along with additional storage.
6) While you might lack a little space inside for fishing there is more than enough out on the big duck board for swimming and fishing.
7) Below the cushion bunks is more storage and a removable day esky.