Calling any boat model iconic risks hyperbole, but Horizon bowriders have defined the Four Winns brand for a generation. So it’s with some caution that Groupe Beneteau Americas charts a new course for its runabout line, seeking to elevate the series with some fresh design while retaining the Four Winns DNA.
The name is changing to H Series, and the 2022 line will include a 20-foot H1, a 22-foot H2, and this 23-foot-11-inch H4 model, each offered with sterndrive or outboard power. The current Horizon 260, 290 and 350 models will stay in the line for now.
The H4 rides a newly designed hull with an 18-degree deadrise at the transom, significantly shallower than the 20-degree deadrise of the Horizon 230 model it is replacing. The new vertical stem gives the boat a strong, contemporary look in the water. Stand astern and observe that the beam pinches slightly abaft its widest point in a smooth line through the boarding platform.
The hull retains the Four Winns Stable-Vee performance and functionality—to plane off quickly and with minimal bow rise. Powered by a 280 hp Volvo Penta Duoprop sterndrive propulsion system, our test boat planed in less than 6 seconds with a full tank of fuel and four people aboard, and we never lost sight of the horizon. The ride through a stiff lake chop was fine, but we did note some drumming of this hull through that chop. Handling is outstanding, and with twin contra-rotating props, we could execute an aggressive 180-degree maneuver without trimming down.
The signature bucket seats are retained, and the cockpit has a typical wraparound bench seat with sun pad over the engine. We like the secure 17 inches of depth in the bow seats. The upholstery is executed mostly in a single color, with new textures including a honeycomb stitch pattern in the contrasting inwale pockets.
A Simrad GO7XS touchscreen presents all instrumentation, with a duplicate Simrad for navigation as an option ($1,420). Rather than a shocking revolution, this is a well-considered evolution of a favorite family runabout.