The new Four Winns HD 220 OB has a trunk for your junk. When the Michigan boatbuilder converted its 22-foot HD 220 from sterndrive to outboard power, it was left with an empty space where the engine used to be. After considering a number of options, Four Winns decided to simply throw down a floor and let the owner figure out how to best use a space bigger than the trunk of a Buick Electra. Most boaters would agree that one can’t have enough stowage space aboard a boat.
Four Winns could have eliminated the sterndrive motor box and opened up the aft cockpit of this boat. As useful as stowage can be, a larger cockpit is a desirable attribute as well. However, that structure also serves as the base for the aft-facing seat over the transom, a nice feature in its own right. So the motor box stays, and we get a 5-foot-by-3-foot-by-28-inch deep cubby for stowage below the aft seat.
The accommodations were not the only place Four Winns applied its boat design expertise. The HD 220 hull was modified to incorporate a set-back bracket for the outboard, which preserves much of the swim platform. Plus, the HD 220 OB has a unique running surface, with a pad keel that Four Winns says accommodates the change in weight distribution with outboard power. The set-back motor gives the prop great trim leverage, and the HD 220 OB really aired out when we trimmed to get the last 500 rpm of top speed. The ride in some stiff lake chop was outstanding, and this all-fiberglass boat feels really solid.
The main cockpit of the HD 220 OB features a wide walk-through from the platform, L-shaped seating aft and bucket seats at the consoles. A head compartment is fashioned into the port console. There’s room for four people in the bow, which comes with a broad platform covered in nonskid and a boarding ladder that will reach the beach when you nose in to your favorite sandbar.
Detailing through this boat is outstanding, from the neat top-stitched vinyl on the consoles to the deep lips molded around all the seat bases to keep water out of stowage compartments to the gas struts on all hatch lids. Despite its wide bow, the HD 220 OB looks sleek on the water. If you are an outboard fan, this deck boat offers a pleasing combination of performance and class.
* All the benefits of outboard propulsion: easy maintenance, less weight
* and more stowage space in the boat compared with sterndrive power.
* A cavernous storage space where the sterndrive engine used to be.
* Head compartment is a bonus on a 22-foot boat.
How We Tested
Engine: Single 250 hp Evinrude E-Tec G2 gasoline outboard motor
Drive/Prop: BRP Rebel 15.5" x 17" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 35 gal.
Crew Weight: 700 lb.
$80,108 (as tested)
Four Winns Boats Cadillac, Michigan; 231-775-1351; fourwinns.com