Four Winns HD270

Deck Boat Revival

by Alan Wendt
After sampling boats at winter boat shows around the country, an emerging trend is the renaissance of the deck boat as an alternative to pontoons.


  • LOA: 26'6"
  • Beam: 8'5"
  • Draft: 16"
  • Weight: 5,050 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 70 gals.
  • Water Capacity:
  • Power:
  • Price: Contact dealer

Four Winns, sensing the shift in buyers’ tastes, introduced a feature-rich deck boat: The HD270,  available in both sterndrive and outboard engine power models, along with a slightly shorter model, the HD240 (more on this later).

Geared towards families who want the versatility of enjoying a full day on the water, the HD270 boasts the most coolers (fixed and carry-on) and storage of any new model this year. Once you leave the ramp, there is zero need to return until the sun goes down. Yes, that means there is an enclosed head, and for the ultimate in toilet tidiness, an optional electric toilet with pump-out.

Lounge in comfort

Built on Four Winns’ exclusive split-chine Stable Vee hull, the seating layout takes full advantage of the 8-foot, 5-inch beam. Rather than narrowing at the bow like many runabouts, the HD270 offers a generous bow with lounger-like seating and deep backrests for comfort or security for passengers. An optional drop-in table is ideal for snacks and meals and it stores neatly out of the way behind one of the backrests. Each seat cushion is hinged for easy access to dry storage below: A forward hatch reveals a built-in cooler, while the bow hatch hides a telescoping boarding ladder and room for anchor storage.

Progressive boat builders, Four Winns included, are engineering cockpit bucket seats to add tremendous functionality. Wrapped in complimentary colored two-tone, hand-stitched Aquaflex vinyl, the cockpit seats feature fold-down armrests and can also recline. The term “flip-up thigh bolster” is redefined on this boat thanks to a clever, sturdy machined hinge, which allows the entire seat platform to rotate up and back into the seat, creating more of a booster seat to see over the windshield.

Clever designs

Even the seatback becomes a useful pocket for storing more than an iPad, airline safety card and dog-eared copy of Sky Magazine (my fellow Delta MM’s know what I’m talking about). Smartphones, swim fins, wallets and even car keys finally have a place to hide on the boat without getting bounced around.

Swivel both bucket seats 180 degrees and join in on cockpit conversations. Guests will be comfortable in the port and starboard cushioned bench seats with an aft wraparound lounger. Design engineers also figured out how to incorporate a circular cockpit table without the need for a telescoping base and floor-mounted receptacle, which typically ends up as a toe stubbing, dirt catching and ill-fitting carpet cutout. The support post on the cockpit table is L-shaped and slides into a surface mounting plate attached below the cushion line in the starboard corner. This is a natural ergonomic location, offers stability and, as a bonus, the table has two recessed cup holders.

Unlike other boats where the transom seat pulls double-duty — reversing to create forward or swim platform seating — Four Winns goes a step beyond and gives you an extra two seats facing aft. The more petite crowd will likely squeeze three onto the bench, but Mom and Dad are going to fight them for this prized position while anchored up enjoying a morning mimosa or sunset.

Get moving

Whether you choose the sterndrive or outboard model, access to the swim platform is identical on both. The sight lines are obviously unencumbered with the engine drive below the waterline, however the aft seating is mounted high enough that on the outboard model you’ll easily look over the engine cowling.

Industry-wide outboard advancements in both fuel efficiency and quietness swung the power pendulum in favor of Mercury, Yamaha and Evinrude, and all three brands are options on the 270 OB configuration. For those who prefer sterndrives, MerCruiser and Volvo Penta are the standards in a surprising range of horsepower and digital throttle control. I asked Four Winns if they’ve seen a preference develop as sterndrive sales across all brands have never recovered from pre-recession levels. They tell me it’s primarily a geographical toss up, with Great Lakes boaters favoring sterndrives and those in more year-round boating climates opting for outboards.

Four Winns offers the HD270 with a standard custom, low-profile tandem trailer. The foldaway tongue solves garage storage problems. The trailer is constructed using closed box steel with a polyurethane finish and features bearing protection, disc brakes and submersible LED lighting. Unlike other trailers, this one is fully welded, protecting against corrosion and loose bolts.

With that in mind, inexpensive fuel for the car should translate into summer adventures at more places than just your favorite lake. Why not map out a dozen weekend destinations with your friends? Between the extra coolers, storage for water toys and yes, the onboard head, the Four Winns HD270 and HD270 OB models are made for sunup to sundown, nonstop fun. 



South Shore JUN17