Four Winns comparison

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Vaughn, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Vaughn

    Vaughn Guest

    Hi there...Happy New Year to all.

    I live in Australia and am looking to buy a new boat.

    I like the Four Winns Sundowner 205 but Four Winns is relatively new to Australia and so I can't find much history on them here.

    I have looked at Bayliner, Sea Ray and Maxim also and have all of them to be more expensive. My question is mainly about quality and resale comparisons.

    Does anybody know how they all rank in these areas?

    It appears to me that Bayliner, Sea Ray and Maxim all have quite good resale value here but there's not enough data on Four Winns.

    As far as quality goes, Sea Ray, Maxim and Four Winns seem to be comparable and all of a higher standard than Bayliner - is this true also?

    Thanks and have a great 2004.

    Vaughn
     
  2. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    From what I've seen, 4Winns are comparable to the other makes you mentioned. How do you intend to use the boat? These types (I call them "fluffy boats") don't hold up well in salt water. They're fine in fresh, but you'll want a cover over all that carpet and upholstery when not in use. As far as Bayliners, no offense anyone, but around here, we call them Bottomliners:D Good luck!
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Guest

    Thanks for your comments.

    We have actually changed our minds and are now interested in the Four Winns 248 Vista - 26'

    We live in an area where there are many canals and they all go to the ocean - so it's all salt water.

    Do you think the Vista would perform well or is it, too, a "fluffy boat"??

    Vaughn
     
  4. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    The boats perform well, what I mean by "fluffy boat" is all the fancy interior, carpeting, seat upholstery, plastic trim, etc... This stuff doesn't hold up well in a marine environment. The upholstery cracks in the sun, as well as the plastic trim. I personally believe carpet has no place on a boat other than in the cabin. Also, many of these carpeted boats are just that, carpet over plywood decks which is an invitation for rot. I don't know the environment in your area, but here in South Texas, we have 95 degree weather most of the year, intense sunshine, and humid conditions. Upholstery turns to rot and mildew without constant care and covering when not in use. I haven't looked at the particular model you mentioned, but other Four Winns I have seen have this sort of interior. One other thought, will you be trailering this boat, ot keeping her in the water? Most of these boats are stern drive, and the Mercruisers have had major corrosion problems when wet slipped here. I have seen many Four Winns at the lake, and they seem to hold up well, but I don't see many here at the coast. Just some food for thought. Good luck, and let us know what you get!
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Guest

    Thanks Craig...

    I live on the water and will moor at my home on an air berth (or similar). It seems to be the way to go around here to avoid the damage. No trailer required.

    Our weather here in Queensland is very sunny and temperature ranges from 66 to 90 all year. It's also quite humid.

    I don't think there is plywood on the decks - check out their website if you have time - www.fourwinns.com.

    I'll let you know which way we go.

    Thanks....

    V
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Outdrives have corrosion problems when they are not maintained properly. One of the main causes is that the anodes are not changed in time. They need to be checked reguarly. Also, improper bottom paints can cause severe pitting. Mercruiser and Volvo-Penta have a flush kit with a neutralizer that helps prevent internal corrosion too.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Guest

    Thanks Gonzo...

    So an air berth (dock) would save heaps in repairs and maintenance then? Would that be the way to go for a boat like this?

    V
     
  8. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Dry storing a boat with an outdrive is ideal. However it is important to flush the engine after using it in salt water.
     
  9. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
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    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    I owned a 1993 27ft Searay Sundancer for 5 years.
    The boat was originally purchased (2nd hand) in Sydney. I live in Tassie, but we flew up on a regular basis to NSW and used the boat extensively there for 2 years. I then moved the boat south to Hobart and did a lot of cruising here for a further 3 years. When it came time to sell, we decided to tow the boat up to the Gold Coast - with the intention that we'd use it up there for a while until a buyer came along. The boat was sold within a fortnight - for almost 20K more than we paid for it!

    That's a rather long-winded sales pitch for buying a SeaRay - I believe they are better built than most of the other mass-produced US boats. They are also a little better made than most of the local alternatives like Mustang, Sunrinner etc.

    If you're planning on buying new (I wouldn't) then expect to do about 1/2 your $ in the first 5 years. Buy a 5 year old boat and it should hold its value pretty well.

    As far as the 'fluff' factor goes - boats, regardless of build type, require maintenance. Look after your boat and it will serve you well for many years. I replaced my cockpit carpets when they were 9 years old - cost me about $70. Used a 3M vinyl protector on the cockpit seats - they were as good as new when I sold the boat. I replaced the covers when I brought the boat home (to Tassie). (Make sure your boat has white - or at least light coloured covers. Sitting under a dark bimini on a hot day is a *****) Inside, the boat was as good as new.

    I had the sterndrive serviced annually (on average I spent about $1000 a year on engine/leg maintenance). The boat was antifouled once a year and the leg twice a year. An air berth would have been nice - but 15K + buys a lot of antifouling!!

    Now, as for resale value of the various brands, local agents have done a very good job of disguising the fact that all of the US built boats are pitched at different markets back home. SeaRay and Bayliner are both owned by the same company for instance (The Brunswick Corp). Searay is pitched at the top end of the mass-produced market, Bayliner towards the bottom. Here, however, they are both pitched at the same buyer. Fourwinns have had an on-again / off-again sort of run in Aus. over the years. Personally I'd buy one of the better known (in Oz) brands, but that's just preference on my part.

    No matter which way you go, so long as you look after the boat, you'll have a great time in it - the Gold Coast is a great place to muck about in boats - almost as godd as Tassie!!!:D
     
  10. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    yipster designer

    and thats not counting the gas...

    than there is the summer and winter dock, extra's like gel battery and amp meter, anchor winch, satnav, gmdss dsc marifoon, radar, epirb, canvas, generator, diesel stove, heather, bedsheets, insurance and maybe lawyers, the list can go on and on. a boat is like a wife; you fall in love and than its an adventure for better or worse. eh, something like that...

    we bought our 88 sundancer in 94 for about a thirt of the newprice and stuffed it with the above. engines and drives are more or less the same anyway, do corrode tho! when going new bayliner is actually making fine sturdy boats the last couple of years for that same low bottom price, and you might save some for the "extra's"
     
  11. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Bloody Hell Yipster! With all that crap on board, it's a wonder you didn't need bigger engines as well!! :p :p
     
  12. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    didnt i tell that after blowing an engine in seaweed i went to 235hp EFI's and than figgered bravo III's? some of those extra's, did not even name all, got stolen and sure you can do with less but safety and comfort are important here as well. yes, i'm shifting weight forward now and maybe want to extend that platform down. a little bigger lady has to wait :mad:
     
  13. Grant
    Joined: Feb 2004
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    Location: Auckland

    Grant New Member

    Looking at doing the same as you Vaughn

    Hi Vaughn

    Did you end up buying a Fourwinns 248 Vista as i am looking at doing the same and am having difficulty deciding between the Fourwinns and Searay 240 Sundancer. Could you share your experience?
    With thanks
    Grant


     
  14. Lucy

    Lucy Guest

    Chosing which boat

    We are trying to decide on buying a boat and have narrowed it down to 3 options. I would be interested in your recommendation. We live in Melbourne, Australia. They are all brand new boats and all are sterndrive

    * Stejcraft Islander v6 fuel injected (6metres)
    * Whittley 550 cruiser (v4)
    * Four Winns 205 sundowner

    The four winns would be an imported boat through an authorised dealer but I'm a little concerned about what happens with the warranty. ie if the dealer closes shop and something happens to the boat, do I have to deal directly with the U.S. I believe this dealer is the only registered dealer in Victoria currently.

    Similarly, the Whittley is a beautiful boat but I'm concerned about the v4.

    The stejcraft isn't as nice as the Whittley in terms of interior but I like the power of the boat. I haven't heard too much about Stejcraft and am concerned about what would happen if the business went bust therefore no warranty. Both the Stejcraft and Whittley are made in Australia though.

    Your advice would be most welcome.
     

  15. sundowner SS

    sundowner SS Guest

    Lucy et al

    I live In Sydney and have a 1 month old Four Winns 205. In a word, awesome. As far as warranty concerns for it being a US boat, the main warranty issue I could imagine is mechanical. Mercruiser dealers are everywhere, which is why the dealer recommended that over the Volvo. Whilst VP diesel are common, in Oz, the petrol volvo engines are not as common, and may therefor present some problem in parts / service when compared to mercruiser.

    The engine is a 5.0L MPI petrol, and performs well. It copes with the rough water in the harbour with ease, whilst off shore is generally calmer than Sydney harbour on a saturday !!

    We easily travel with 4 adults and 6 kids, and the storage onboard is by far the greatest of the class. I looked into this a lot before forking out my $60,000, ( it takes 2 weeks for me to spend a $20 gift voucher), and by far it offered the best value for money, and seemed to be the best in that class of boat...Bayline / stejcraft came no where near it, The Whittley whilst a nice boat, is underpowered and its fishing pedigree was still evident...The giant swim platform is the best thing since sliced bread....No other boat is as easy to board as the sundowner, either from a jetty, or the water

    The factry trailer by Four Winns is absulutely awesome. The only downside i had is that at boat ramps, every one wants to have a look at it ;-))

    Also, the yanks fill the water tank with antifreeze because it gets a bit colder there, and it takes a bit of effort to get the taste out of the system....

    I think there is only about 3-5 of these boats currently in NSW. The dealer, Jed, from 7 Seas Sydney, is well worth ringing for info. He is from the US and knows a lot about them..

    Please feel free to email me if you need more info.
    northwest.physio @ affinityhealth.com.au

    No affiliation to anyone mentioned, just one very satisfied customer
    PS - 50 knots is a fun speed.
    PPS- the boat is much bigger in real life than the web site pictures look.
    ppps - AUSTRALIAN PROPELLER magazine did a test on them in JAn04
     
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