Alternative Pull: Four Winns TS242

Four Winns TS242 with Volvo Penta forward-drive systemWBM

This was the first time we've been behind a Four Winns boat, and while we obviously had our doubts when it came to the wake performance of a sterndrive, we had some pretty interesting take-aways after a day of testing and trying out the brand's watersport-specific ­model. The TS242 is powered by Volvo's new Penta forward-drive system, which puts the boat's propulsion more comfortably under the hull so the safety concerns of a sterndrive are put to rest. While Four Winns isn't necessarily a household name when it comes to towed watersports, it was cool to see how accommodating the boat was for things like gear storage, seating for observing the riders, and towing features like speed control.

One thing that impressed us, since we'd ­never been inside a Four Winns, was the ­quality of all the interior components. The helm was well thought out and very comfy for someone who's towing a rider or just sitting idle. Our test boat had full navigation, a built-in head, and a convertible sun pad on the back seat that made you feel like you were witnessing Optimus Prime transform when it was time to convert.

In terms of performance, we were impressed with the Volvo Penta forward-drive system. The system has higher top-end speeds and better fuel economy than a typical inboard, but has a few different driving characteristics that take a little ­getting used to. It holds a line and tracks a little bit differently than an inboard boat, and the electronic systems have a different menu pattern than we're used to — all minor things, and easily figured out with a little time in the boat, but worth mentioning.

Overall, we thought the Four Winns TS242 was a great option for someone looking for the ­benefits of a sterndrive boat but still wanting to wakeboard, wakesurf, or even pop up on a wakeskate for a cruise. It's a great weekender with plenty of room and a lot of nice bells and whistles, and it put out a great surf wave as well.

Specs
Length 24'5"
Beam 102"
Dry Weight 4,660 lb.
Fuel Capacity 58 gal.
Seating Capacity 14
Ballast 1,800 lb.
Standard Power 350 hp
Max Power 380 hp
Four Winns TS242 with Volvo Penta forward-drive systemWBM

DIG THIS

When our boat editor Craig Kotilinek wakesurfed behind the new Four Winns, he was impressed with how long the wave was and the drive it had for a boat with a smaller ballast capacity. "The shape is a compromise between steep and mellow, with just enough vertical face to accommodate airs and lip tricks, and it has a gradual transition that will keep the nose out of the water for bigger boards with bigger riders," he says.