It was 56 degrees when we headed out in our SL242 test boat. A mist was blowing and the weather was set to keep us in port. That’s typical spring weather and also why we appreciated the deep, expansive cockpit of the SL242. We wanted to boat and in this rig, no chill could drive us back to the dock. This is an important factor when you consider a boat investment. The more days you can enjoy (not just tolerate) the boat, the better the buy.
The SL series boats from Four Winns fit those long-season goals, because they were configured like no other models on the water. They incorporate the latest split-chine hull, which is obvious to notice when the boat idles toward you. Instead of attaining a sleek look with low gunwales, they took the opposite approach with higher hull sides that barely angle into the cockpit. The straighter, higher sides allow the interior to be stretched on all sides, giving it more space than any model in its size and class. They also used the depth to build in a sizable head under the port console, plus lots of in-floor storage.
At the same time, Four Winns used hard angles in the lines to create elegant appeal. Look at the sharpness in the bow and stern, and you have a good sense of how the furniture has been developed. Even the helm and instrument panel carry the crisp lines you see in upscale living rooms.
Key Note: The forward section of the hull uses split chines to expand room, but they don’t touch water at planing speeds-the Stable-Vee does the work there.
• A one-of-a-kind option is the counter, sink and molded cup holders that flip down from the backrest in the starboard-side lounge seat.
• Sun pad folds out onto the big swim platform, so passengers can chill out high above the water.
• Top of the head unit rises a few inches on a gas strut for extra head room.
* Length Overall: 24’5″
* Beam: 8’6″
* Dry Weight: 5,080 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: 58 gal.
* Passenger/Weight Capacity: 12/2,100 lb.
* Maximum HP: 375
* MSRP (w/ MerCruiser 496 Mag): $78,877
* NMMA Certified: Yes
* Test Engine: MerCruiser 496 Mag
* Test Load: People (570 lb.); Fuel (15 gal.)
* Most Economical Cruise Speed: 27 mph @ 3,000 rpm, 9.5 gph
* Top Speed: 51.6 mph @ 4,800 rpm
* Time to Plane: 4.1 sec.
* Time to 30 MPH: 8.1 sec.