Customer Is King
Innovation: Cockpit galleys
How It Came to Be: About a year and a half ago, Four Winns decided to take a different approach in gleaning information from its customer base. While its marketing department still would conduct much of the research, Four Winns’ designers were charged with picking up the phone as well. What did they learn? “We quickly discovered that people are not cooking inside of the boat,” says vice president of engineering Christophe Lavigne. Four Winns put that information to work in the design of the V305, moving many of the cooking amenities normally reserved for the cabin to where their customers wanted them — in the open-air cockpit. By transporting the cooktop, sink and refrigerator outside with the optional grill, engineers increased the space belowdecks. A convertible u-shaped dinette lounge was added there, providing additional sleeping space for two and bringing the total sleeping capacity to six.
Why It’s Unique: The V305 became the only 30-footer in its class to offer belowdecks sleeping for six. It was a totally unintended benefit of reacting to customers’ desires in other areas of the boat. Now that’s innovation at work.