Each member of our test team is raising, or has raised, a family. So whatever we like about a particular model will also be popular with parents in the market for a new boat. Let's just tell it like it is then: As a whole, the 214 Funship is one of the top three family boats in this Boat Buyers Guide.
The nomenclature of the 214 is deceptive. We expected a 21-foot deck boat, which would put it in mid-range for size. Nothing changed when we watched it run next to our photo boat: The sloped bow gave it a lean appearance forward of the windshield, and the top speed of 51.7 mph fit right in with the active deck boats we tested.
But then we stepped through the transom companionway, and the 214 suddenly looked like it should be called a 264. The interior is massive. In fact, the bow on this model is the same size as Four Winns' 23-foot deck boat. The perception of largeness also comes from the extended platform, which is one of the biggest we've seen (it also stretches the storage length to nearly 24 feet). By filling this model with big-boat features like fore and aft showers, a portable toilet under the port console and a sink on top of it, Four Winns makes this a viable boat for long day outings.
What really excites us about the 214 as a family boat is the way it drives. We noted how muscular the boat feels at the wheel, not because of the power source but because of its strength on a wide footprint in rough water. The boat never wanted to walk side to side at low rpm, and throughout the spectrum it held speed and course as well as any boat we tested outside the water-sports category.
Four Winns wants this boat to last, which is why they mold deep scuppers around the cockpit, powder-coat the boarding ladders and use brawny components like the robust ram-assisted shock under the engine hatch. Enduring. It's another trait that families really appreciate.
• Two cocktail tables stow in carrying cases; forward table is optional
• Sirius satellite radio comes with a free subscription for the first year
• Clarion remote at helm has tuner readouts so you don't have to guess which station is on; transom remote is optional
• Dock lights are standard
• In-deck storage, accessed from the bow, is massive
• Insert for transom entryway turns the stern into a wide U-lounge
• Standard walk-through windshield is family friendly
Test Engine: Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi/SX
Test Prop: 14.75 x 19, stainless steel
Test Load: People (190 lb.); Fuel (15 gal.)
Top Speed: 51.7 MPH @ 5,100 RPM
Time to Plane: 4.7 sec.
Time to 30 MPH: 9.8 sec.
Min. Plane: 18 MPH @ 2,400 RPM, 79 db
Length Overall: 23'8"
Dry Weight: 4,270 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 13/2,000 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 50 gal.
Max HP: 300
MSRP (test boat): $46,254
(w/ matching tandem-axle trailer)
Idle 3.5 61 db
1,000 5.6 68 db
1,500 7.6 72 db
2,000 9.2 79 db
2,500 20.0 78 db
3,000 27.1 77 db
3,500 33.9 82 db
4,000 39.5 85 db
4,500 45.7 88 db
5,000 50.3 92 db
5,100 51.7 94 db