Boat Reviews By Owners
1998 -- 18' 6" FOUR WINNS
Model: Horizon 180 RS
Cockpit: In all fairness the Horizon was superior to all the boats that I looked at in its size, trust me I looked at everyone. Good instrument cluster, butit took two of them shorting out to get it right and then it was tempermental if it would work properly. My suggestion is to go to Faria individual gauges and forget the VDO circuit board setup it is problematic at best and is there just for cost saving.
Cabin: Eventhough there was no cabin, friends and I were able to sleep aboard due to a huge bench at the rear of the boat that when pulled out was like a double bed, also the fillers in the bow made a nice sleep area for kids. Unfortunately the rear bench was plagued with loosening hardwear and the tendency of rubbing the grab handles on the gunwales of the boat which tore the vinyl over time(< the 1 year)
Construction: Solid hull is the Horizons good point, it took rough water like a Sherman Tank. Friends of mine with other brands couldn't take waves like this boat, largely inpart to it weighing 400 to 800Lbs more then all the rest.
As for the construction of the rest of the boat, as I said at the outset of this "good for Fresh Water" Salt water ate the mediocre quality parts used in no time. I wasn't out on the water 20 hours before the radio, instrument cluster and horn failed. All of which Five Star Marine in Pompano Florida fixed, but this was the warning of things to come. Most of the Engine problem with this boat stemmed from a defectively designed engine cover that came with the sport interior. A seam that went from gunwale to gunwale, which allowed for limited access to the engine, would allow seawater to drip on the engine from people entering the boat from the swim ladder. This seam was directly overtop of the starter and ignition circuits. No small wonder the boat ate up 3 starters, 2 alternators, a timing cover and Ignition coil. All of which Five Star Marine of Pompano Florida, pushed off on the customer as salt water corrosion. As well the people at Four Winns were as unuseful as the dealer, telling me ways to fix their screw up at my cost.
Handling: Handling was beautiful and the boat accelerated to plane quickly with the 4.3 Volvo/penta SX. Fuel economy could have been better with and Fuel injection instead of the carb. that was on mine. The boat had a 32 gallon tank which was great for long weekends. As i mentioned at the beginning the boat was great in rough water, 2-3 foot seas were cake to cruise in and it did see 4-5 seas on occasion
Engine Room: The Volvo/Penta SX was a dream. Shifting was velvet smooth without all the clunking like the mercruiser outdrive. The power was great and I heard they up'd it to 220hp the year after I got mine.
General Comments: My boat was used often 3-4 days a week in the summer and at least once a week in the winter months. It was meticulously maintained and rinsed flushed and dried stored. Did I like my Boat? In the beginning, until I started to see the poor customer support that I received from Five Star Marine of Pompano Fl. and Four Winns Corp home office, that and the quality issues left me with a definite dislike for the manufacture. I used the boat for everthing from water skiing to diving and just cruising. It saddened me that the final thoughts that I have of the boat are, it leaving me stranded with a 3rd fried starter and my girlfriend saying, she had no faith in its reliablity. When I signed the papers for the new Wellcraft I purchased all I could think in my head was "Thank God I go Rid of IT, and I pity the next person that gets stuck with this lemon.
Email Address: ZaskarRRT@aol.com
Date Submitted: 2002-03-06
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