Four Winns HD 180Volvo V6 200 SX

By Andy Adams

The Four Winns HD 180 is the kind of family boat I love to drive and enjoy. It’s very approachable, even for less experienced drivers and the accommodations and scale are like a comfortable family car or SUV. It all feels familiar and part of that is the Volvo Penta V6 200 SX stern drive. The engine is inboard; built into the boat and unobtrusive in use.

That is unless you shove the throttles open. Then the performance side of the Volvo Penta V6 200 appears with instant throttle response, partly a result of the variable valve timing and partly because of the direct injection system. It can be smooth and quiet, but it’s always ready to run.

Bow Mounted Ladder
The bow-mounted boarding ladder is a great feature for boarding the boat

The interior is laid out like a car with two forward bucket seats, (that swivel and include flip up bolsters) and a generous bench seat across the back; altogether, perfect for four or five people sitting out of the wind behind the windshield. More passengers can be accommodated up front in the spacious, slightly squared off bow area. The extra width could accommodate two per side and makes a nice sun-lounging area too.

There are drink holders conveniently placed throughout the interior, storage under most seats and in the middle of the aft bench, is a big built-in cooler. Up the centerline is an under floor ski locker that will be really handy.

The Stern Sun Lounge
The stern sun lounge and walk-through are great features

The driver gets tilt steering, well-located side-mount control lever with trim button and engine instruments straight ahead in a black dashboard.

A high point and a benefit of the stern drive with its inboard mounted engine, is the clear and full width swim platform and sun pad. There is a starboard side walk-through for easy access and Four Winns includes a tow eye for skiing or towing a tube. If you are into wakeboarding or other towed sports, Four Winns has different models with towers.

The Squared Off Bow
The squared-off bow adds a lot of passenger space

In terms of on the water performance, we did think that the bow got up a bit high when planing off, but just give the throttle a jab and in seconds you are planed off and riding level. The HD 180 wanted about 3,200 RPM to level off at a cruising speed of 20 to 22 mph.

Lots Of Storage
Plenty of storage is under the seats and in the ski locker

With a maximum of 5,800 RPM, the boat was traveling 43 mph delivering a fast and exciting ride. Tight turns do not upset the boat and it always felt easy to steer and control. It's best to trim the bow up for high speeds and the HD 180 responds quickly to the trim giving the boat a very playful personality. It feels like it's having as much fun as you are.

The Helm
The helm will be very comfortable and familiar to even new boaters

The sterndrive is quiet and smooth, the ride is comfortable. Sound levels seem comparable to the new outboards and although having the engine inside the boat takes up some interior space the trade-off is that you have a much bigger and more useful swim platform.

Four Winns HD 180 is an ideal family cottage boat with all the features you would want and an attractive fit and finish. While this is subjective, we felt the design and styling were handsome now and would stand the test of time as well. The overall size and the interior accommodation will be comfortable for most families and you will never tire of the sparkling performance.


















Engine: Volvo-Penta V6-200/SX single prop drive. V 6 design, 4.5 L displacement, 200 hp.

1500 6
2000 7
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3000 11
3500 20
4000 26
4500 31
5000 36
5500 40
WOT 43

Length: 18' 6"/ 5.6 m
Beam: 8' 4"/ 2.54 m
Fuel Capacity: 32 gal 121 L
Maximum Capacity: 1375 lbs / 624 kg
Persons Capacity: 9
Approx. Weight: 3000 lbs/ 1361 kg
Max HP: 250 HP / 186 kW
Price: MSRP $40,000 USD

Boat and price supplied by: Four Winns,