Sharing the excitement.
By Brad Roberts
Last year, Four Winns introduced a brand new hull and brought it to market under the H210 model. For 2013, that very same hull design – and it’s inherent and incredible characteristics – expands to the all new H180.
I know! That was my reaction too: “Didn’t Four Winns introduce just a couple of years back an all new H180 model?” Yes they did – and it was a great boat. But when you have a hull that’s this exciting, this responsive, you simply can’t keep it to just one model, you must share it with the rest of the line.
So I waited until the first of the all new 2013 H180’s arrived at the Boat Warehouse in Coldwater. They had both the sterndrive and the outboard version in stock, and we set up to test the outboard on nearby MacLean Lake.
The H180’s hull shape on the trailer very much resembled last years’ H210. The hull sides are quiet vertical (which creates tremendous interior space) and the chines are hard. Four Winn’s trademark Stable-Vee® hull had received the same treatment at the stern as last years’ H210 model that had performed so well. The hull bottom was turned down slightly, effectively creating a built-in trim tab. I wondered however, given the three foot shorter length of this hull, whether it might be too much.
I climbing up the four step angled swim stairs. Anybody who’s ever climbed up a too short ladder or worse – one that as soon as you add your weight to it, disappears several degrees under the swim platform – knows just how hard it is to get out of the water. That’s why I called this impressive reboarding devise ‘swim stairs’ and not a swim ladder.
The swim platform consists of two flat and reasonably-sized rectangular areas on either side of the motor well that are truly functional for sitting, reclining, or putting on water skis or a wakeboard. The outboard is mounted low on the transom so that the top of the shroud is just slightly higher than the stern seatback.
In the cockpit, a full width stern bench seats will seat four adults. The twin swivel captain’s and companions chairs are plush and comfortable.
The helm featured the optional hydraulic steering as our test boat was equipped with the optional and all new 150hp Mercury four-stroke outboard. Traditional white on black gauges with chrome bezels were set near vertical under a small eyebrow. Forward in the bow, the seating is unique with the outboard side of the seat backs angled forward just slightly so that they truly support your back as you sit with your feet up and stretched forward. All seats are finished in Aquaflex™ white vinyl with a Silvertex™ color vinyl insert to match you hull colour options.
Performance wise, I recorded an incredible 2.6 second time to plane that produced very little bow rise thanks in part to the subtle trim tabs in the hull. At wide open throttle I recorded a top speed of 53mph. The Mercury 150 is a wonderful engine match for the H180 – near silent at idle and with plenty of torque throughout the powerband. So much torque in fact that I was able to get the three blade aluminum prop to cavitate a little bit in very hard cornering – a problem I’ve had with this same engine on other hulls – that’s easily solved by upgrading to a stainless prop. Simply put this is the best hull FourWinns has designed, and then tweeked for smaller models like the 180 – ever!
LOA: 17’ 11’’ / 5.46 m
Beam: 7’ 7’’ / 2.31 m
Fuel Capacity : 24 gal / 91 L
Boat & Engine Weight : 2250 lbs / 1020 kg
Persons Capacity: 8
Maximum Capacity: 1800 lbs / 816 kg
Max HP: 200