Four Winns 378 VistaBy Andy Adams

The overwhelming impression the 378 Four Winns Vista left us with, was that this boat offers a desirable mix of contemporary styling with traditional big boat qualities and the design emphasis on the great outdoors.

The express cruiser genre has become very popular in recent years by delivering a mix of accommodation and performance that meets today’s market demands. Unfortunately, to maximize performance and interior space, some builders sacrifice features like walk-around side decks to gain cabin space, take space from the cockpit to accommodate an aft cabin, then deliver an aft cabin that may be cramped or have little ventilation, and so on.

We were pleased to see the 378 Four Winns bring back many of the traditional convenience and safety features. The name 378 refers to the real length of 37’ 8” inches but with the swim platform, it’s actually 41’3” on a generous 12’9” beam. Depending on engines and options, a 378 comes in between 18,000 and 20,000 lbs. and has an “as equipped” selling price around $315,000.

The 378 exterior design makes a good first impression. We appreciate the molded in bow pulpit with remote control spot light, plow anchor, large drained locker and Maxwell electric windlass with controls on the deck and at the helm.

Four Winns makes it a pleasure to be outside on the 378. You don’t need to use the walk-through windshield. To get forward, use the steps on the aft deck, grab the handhold on the radar arch and make your way forward, protected by a welded stainless-steel bow rail. The expansive deck features a large sun pad and there’s room for a man to get out and stand around. Too many boats expect you to be seated all weekend.

Four Winns 378 Vista - HelmOwners will appreciate the family sized swim platform. It has a light switch and lights for late arrivals or evening dips, a hand-held shower and five step metal boarding ladder so just about anyone can get out of the water without being a gymnast; again traditional big boat features. The exhausts dump out the sides so gasses don’t get trapped under the swim platform – a major safety consideration.

With the transom door open, the swim platform is an extension of the cockpit for more roaming around room. It features an enormous wraparound couch that sweeps across the transom, up the starboard side and around behind the helm seat, to become a giant conversation pit or dining area with the removable table in. There’s cavernous storage underneath the seats and you can lower the table to convert it to a queen berth.

Opposite is a refreshment center with 110 volt power, built-in icemaker, sink, drink holders, trash locker and a small refrigerator. Nearby, are shore power and battery controls. The 378 has a full fiberglass liner and snap-in carpeting; all in all, a great living area.

But, where are the engines? Under the cockpit sole. At first we thought you would need to remove everything to get at them but then, we discovered the switch on the dashboard and with the press of a button a huge electric left went into action and picked up a large section of floor, table and all. From there, access to the engine and other vital mechanical systems was easy and convenient.

Also part of the great outdoors is the helm with double adjustable seat and side-mounted double companion seat. The array of instruments is very impressive. The wheel tilts for seated or standing operation and there’s a swing down foot rest too. The curved glass windshield has much appreciated opening side vents. A chart can be spread out on the dashboard top to add to the Raymarine chart plotter and autopilot on the test boat. We found everything well placed and it was a pleasure to drive the twin Volvo 8.1 GI 375’s.

Four Winns 378 Vista - GalleyThese 8.1 liter V8 inboard engines are huge and they accelerated the Four Winns Vista to planning speed in around 6 seconds; fast enough to send all you things flying below! The water lift mufflers keep things quiet but these lusty big engines raced up to hit the rev limiter at 4,900 rpm and doing 37 mph on GPS. We carried a full load of fuel and the boat was fully packed for a trip too.

The ride was comfortable and well controlled with easy banking into turns and a solid feel at all times. The 378 likes to go fast. It felt most efficient at about 3,400 or 3,500 rpm for high speed cruising. Luckily, it also cruises serenely at 1,000 rpm and 6.5 mph needing no helm correction and making it comfortable to get around on board while underway.

The final frontier for accommodation is the cabin. Rather than stuffing in more features that are too small to be useful, Four Winns made sure everything was man-sized and worked well. The port side companionway has under-step storage, the heat /AC controls, main electrical panel and entertainment equipment are there and the galley is directly ahead. Double refrigerators indicate Four Winns expects this boat to get used.

There’s a Corian-type counter, smallish sink, six lockers and two drawers, two burner stove, microwave, coffee maker and a flat screen TV that’s angled to the spacious dinette. The dinette or lounge area is almost as big as the cockpit seating; again cavernous storage under and this time, the table lifts out, the seat slides forward and it becomes a queen berth, open to the salon.

Four Winns 378 Vista - Engine room accessThe vee berth is also open (although both have curtains) and that makes it seem far more spacious. There are two cedar lined hanging lockers, abundant storage in the vee, another flat screen TV and finally, an enclosed head with separate shower stall. It’s really one large, well appointed cabin instead of being chopped up into a dangerously cramped aft cabin and other stuffy divided spaces. I like what Four Winns has done with the 378 Vista. Here’s a boat you can really live with, even on extended cruises.

Originally printed in Canadian Yachting’s October 2004 issue.

Technical specifications

378 Four Winns Vista express cruiser
Length OA with Swim platform 41’3” 12.6 m
Beam 12’9” 3.89 m
Weight 18,000 to 20,000 lbs 8,160 to 9,070 kg
Draft 42” 107 cm
Fuel 300 gal 1,134 L
Water 66 gal 249 L
Waste 42 gal 159 L

Four Winns 378 Vista - convertible dinetteEngines: Twin Volvo Penta 8.1 GI inboard engines, 375 hp fuel injected with ZF 63 IV transmissions.
RPM speed GPS
Idle in gear –800 4 mph
1000 6.5
1500 8.8
2000 10.5
2500 12
3000 18.6
3500 25.5
4000 29
4500 35
4,900 MAX 37

Test boat provided by: The Boat Warehouse and RV, 2157 Bath Road, Kingston, Ontario K7M 4Y3 613-634-3416
Price as tested quoted by: The Boat Warehouse and RV

Speed testing by: Garmin GPS

Photo Captions:
Photo 1 - Contemporary styling - traditional qualities
Photo 2 – The spacious and very complete helm is impressive but also effective with all controls including lit switches within an arms reach. Even with the top up, you have good visibility for about 270 degrees and a commanding view forward.
Photo 3 – Coming down the companionway to the galley, there’s a central vacuum system under the steps, the dark panels hide the electrical panel and controls for the heat/AC systems and the stereo and DVD. Two refridges are a great feature.
Photo 4 – Engine room access is through this large hatch in the cockpit sole. It lifts the dining table and even the aft bench seat all on an electric ram so you don’t have to lift it or dismantle the seats.
Photo 5 – The starboard side convertible dinette is very open, seats seven or more, comes with two movable bar stool seats, hi/lo table and the aft section slides out to make a queen berth. It is very accommodating and finished with touches like wooden blinds, several opening screened hatches and a full liner interior floor.

Destinations

  • Prev
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.
The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) invites all sailors to join a cruising rally from the ...
Long popular with New England and St. John area boaters, Passamaquoddy Bay is too often overlooked ...

CYOB Destinations: We Visit the Hilton Beach Marina

Hilton BeachBy Amelia Morris

Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population 200!), which I am lucky enough to call my cottage country, is located on the north-east coast of St. Joseph Island. The Hilton Beach Marina is one of the largest and most major ports of call in the Western North Channel. It also has a long and rich history dating back to the 1850’s.

I spoke with Marina Manager, Laura McRae and got the full scoop on what goes on in this inconspicuous but busy marina.

Read more about Hilton Beach Marina....

 

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his ...
The Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That ...
The demographics of sailing are changing, and more women are getting involved and are often rooted ...
Whether he’s sailing celebrities around the BVI’s or sailing an Etchell back home at his native ...
POTW input is irresistible, so this time you get a couple. And don’t forget to send your own Photo ...
After a good night’s sleep, it was a lot easier to work my way through checking into the US. I ...
This photo from a CPS member shows how talented boaters are. Brenda Cochrane from Kelowna BC, a ...
The first part of this blog will show that not every day is blue sky and sunshine in the Bahamas!
This beauty came our way from Reel Deal Yachts in Bahia Mar, Florida. Why not charter for the ...
This new legislation from Washington State Department of Fisheries applies to boats launched in ...

 

Scarab 255 Open

Scarab 255 OpenBy Andy Adams and John Armstrong

You can imagine,at the GroupeBeneteau dealer meeting in Michigan last fall where all the Four Winns, Scarab, Wellcraft, and Glastrondealers had come to see the latest new models, the docks were lined up with gleaming brand-new boats to show the dealers and media – and they certainly put on a show! But for me, the Scarab 255 Open was an immediate stand out. This is a boat that breaks new ground and brings fresh thinking and interpretation of the boating experience to a wide range of buyers.

We had a quick look around but the test drives would have to wait until the next day.

Read more about the Scarab 255 Open....

 

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
CYOB readers often ask questions about their boats and system. For this issue, I’ve answered a ...
Modern marine engines run at very high temperatures and rely on a few methods to keep their ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
In the early spring, just after launch, with the hustle and bustle of engine checks, antifouling, ...
All engines, including marine engines (inboards, outboards and stern drives) have many moving parts ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
I once heard an argument at a yacht club. Two old salts, patiently itching to let go lines and ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.
The 2018 Northwest Boat Travel Guide just arrived. This time of the year is the perfect time for ...