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Four Winns 190

Four Winns 190 Horizon (July 2006)

Four Winns’ 190 Horizon is nimble and very responsive. Bernard Clancy reckons he’s found a bowrider that’d be great for watersports as well as family cruising

The Four Winns 190 Horizon is one of the smallest craft in a substantial range of pleasure boats from this brand. As one of the Genmar group of companies, Four Winns comes from a pedigreed powerbase in the US boating market.

Americans love their sterndrive-powered bowriders and, judging by the number of bowriders being rushed into the Australian market from the States, there is obviously a good market here for them, too.

The 190 Horizon is probably about mid-market in the US. It’s a good performer but without all the bells and whistles that the Crownline range has, for example. Then again, it’s a more zippy performer because it’s a lighter boat.

It was powered by a Volvo Penta GXi 4.3lt V6 of 225hp and jumped quickly out of the hole, achieving a top speed of 88km/h at 4800rpm and a cruise speed of 55km/h at 3000rpm, which were pretty good figures. The boat was quite responsive at speed but a little sluggish at walking pace and the 21-inch alloy prop tended to cavitate under tight figure-of-eight manoeuvres. Go for the stainless prop every time.

An idiosyncratic feature of most American bowriders is that they position the forward combination navigation red/green light right on the bow where, in my view, it is most susceptible to being knocked and broken. Their thinking seems to be that this type of boat is rarely anchored and if you need to do so then do it from the cleats either side of the bow.

That’s okay, but this view seems to devalue the anchor which, in this instance, sits in a fairly flimsy cradle under the U-seat at the bow. I suppose you could call this an anchor locker but it really is quite a compromise and your anchor rope is stored in an invisible in-hull cavity behind this, the only access being a hole not much bigger than the diameter of the rope through which you must stuff the rope when you don’t need it. This would drive me crazy within 30 seconds, although many would say I’m not the most patient of men.


The bowrider section, with cream and light brown vinyl cushions, is spacious enough for three people but, while there are back cushions for the bow passenger and also on the back of the bulkhead, there are none on the coamings. Storage bins beneath the seats are partially carpeted. A couple of stainless steel grabrails built into the coamings, two plastic cupholders, speakers and a light complete the forward furnishings. The deck is covered in brown clip-on carpet.

The five-piece windscreen, supported on two black alloy rods, has the usual centre panel, which swings open. It is held in space by a studded strap.

The sporty helm is height adjustable but, depending on the angle, can hide instrumentation, which includes the basics: fuel, volts, oil temp, speed and rev dials set in a plastic patterned console. Switches for blower, bilge, horn, nav lights, and the 12V socket are handy while the stereo remote control is to the right of the helm.

Opposite the passenger is a small lockable glovebox with a Clarion CD player mounted inside it. There’s a plastic grabrail on the coaming, a cupholder at the left ankle and speakers under the dash.

The off-white/beige vinyl seats are comfy and feature full swivel movement, forward-aft slide and effective high-sit bolsters.


The central floor locker has heaps of room for wet gear, skis and a wakeboard. Small side pockets either side are vinyl covered but there is no padding on the coamings. The rear full-width bench seat has a three-compartment storage bin underneath. Again, there are plastic grabrails to keep passengers in place while you’re having fun.

A very large sunpad sits on the engine cover, which lifts on gas struts. There are large storage boxes either side of the engine.

The battery is reasonably accessible back of the starboard side box.

The rear non-skid swim platform is a good size with a four-step alloy ladder built in under its own hatch.

Four Winns 190

A bimini covers all to protect from sun and rain and a canvas curtain also blocks the front companionway to keep out chilly breezes and spray in nasty weather.

The boat is packaged on a US-made Gatorhyde trailer.

The 190 really shows its stuff on the water. It performs sharply and quickly, is very responsive at the helm and slips through the water beautifully on tight turns. I’m sure skiers and wakeboarders will love the way it performs.



Sports wheel



Big on plastic

Not enough bang for your buck

The anchor set-up

Four Winns 190
Four Winns 190
Four Winns 190

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