Four Winns SL 262

The SL 262 features a number of amenities and a stable ride.

Ahead of the current trend, Four Winns has long built boats that carried the maximum chine beam far forward before rising out of the water. This increases width at the level of the cockpit sole, creating a sprawling bow area. The chines are kept out of the water at speed, allowing the boat to meet wakes and chop with a sharp V-shape. And, since the design creates extra beam at the waterline along a greater proportion of the boat’s length, stability rivals that of the Swiss franc.

This hull form is dubbed the Stable-Vee SC, for “split chine,” because each chine divides in two forward of the helm. The inboard chine tapers into the stem in the traditional manner, and the outboard split-off carries the waterline beam forward. My daylong romp proved the design’s veracity on all counts, at speeds to 50 mph.

The SL 262 is a big boat. It’s not only beamy, but it also sports waist-deep coamings. Four Winns fills that acreage with amenities, including a fiberglass-lined head with a smoked acrylic skylight and wood cabinetry. The rubber-matted swim platforms are great: I can see the kiddies boarding by the stern, running through the boat and jumping off the bow as I type. The interior boasts hand-fitted, top-stitched upholstery, and I appreciated the generous space between seat and wheel. Snap-in carpet is standard, and stowage is as massive as the cockpit. An aft facing seat and recessed swim ladder reside on the transom platform. I didn’t get to test the standard dual-axle trailer with brakes.

Details that impressed included an L-lounge that converts to a sun pad and another convertible lounge called the water-sports seat under which a carry-on cooler resides. Mimicking a trend in tow boats, the SL 262’s bow area converts to a completely enclosed “playpen.” Access to batteries, belts, pumps and the engine in general proved excellent, though the electric hatch could stand a smidge more clearance aft. Its underside kissed the engine cover of our 400 hp Volvo Penta 8.1 GiC/DP EVC test engine.

Comparable model: Chaparral 264 Sunesta