To make a surfing wave, you need to make a big hole in the water and let it roll up behind the boat. But when you’re done surfing, most boaters want added maneuverability and trimmable running angles for the smoothest possible cruise. When you’re surfing, you need to know that the prop is safely away from any possible contact with the rider. Enter the Four Winns TS 242 (Tow Series) with Volvo Penta’s new Forward Drive system that tucks the props up under the transom, facing forward for maximum bite on the water while eliminating risk to swimmers behind the platform. Further, in our tests, Forward Drive gave the TS 242 full dexterity in both forward and reverse, easing docking with control from directional thrust that inboard wake boats won’t give.
For surfers and wake riders, this system works, eliciting a “cowabunga” from surfers while providing the crew on board with a stylish, radical look and a comfortable ride. Forward, the bow’s flat blade stem adds beam-forward seating comparable to deck boats.
The Tow Series features a wakeboard tower, ballast tanks and fast-fill-and-empty pumps for convenience. Wrap-around seating with a full sun pad provides a roomy amphitheater for observers. Our test boat had a SeaDek surf pad on the swim platform, which offered comfort, secure footing, and a mar-resistant finish to protect it from boards and their fins.
Entertainment comes from a superb factory-installed stereo system, and we’d have to recommend cannon speakers with the sound bar located above to complement coaming-mounted speakers throughout the boat. With Bluetooth connectivity, anybody on board can be the DJ.
For the skipper, the helm station’s bucket seat swivels aft for at-anchor lounging, but while driving, the view forward was commanding with or without the seat bolster flipped up. The throttle is beautifully placed for easy control, but the ability to program automatic tow profiles into the speed-control system means the skipper only needs to touch the throttle twice — once to engage it and once to disengage it to pick up the satisfied board rider.
*This may be the most surfable platform we’ve seen with the Forward Drive
*Forward Drive puts props under the transom, safely away from swimmers.
*Wide transom platform adds more fun real estate for passengers to enjoy water sports or swimming.
How We Tested
Engine: Volvo Penta V-8 350 hp
Drive/Props: Forward Drive/K3 3-blade stainless-steel propset
Gear Ratio: 2.14:1
Fuel Load: 35 gal.
Crew Weight: 600 lb.
$104,615 (as tested, including trailer)
Four Winns Cadillac, Michigan; 231-775-1351; fourwinns.com