Classic Express Cruiser.
Boat Test #1483
Four Winns Vista 355 is a fabulous example of the classic mid-thirty foot express cruiser. It hits all the high points. The thirty-five foot length and high freeboard can and will easily take on the roughest water. The 11’ 6” beam provides a large planing surface to ride on keeping engine rpms lower and improving fuel economy, as well as a very wide stable hull at rest in the anchorage or marina. It’s just 10 feet high to the forward-facing radar arch and hardtop cabana so it easily fits under many bridges and overpasses for delay-free boating, compared to flybridge yachts that have to wait for the bridge to open.
Yet the specs alone don’t tell the whole story. You have to climb aboard and see for yourself that the Four Winns designers laid this boat out to earn high marks in all the categories: comfort, storage space, ease of use and aesthetics.
As you step onto the swim platform – that’s full beam wide and integrated into the hull so there’s no worry of whether it can handle your choice of tender – you can feel the quality of construction. Enter the cockpit through a port-side door and you’ll find a beautifully large u-shaped sofa wrapping around a two-pedestal table that’ll easily seat five to six for dinner. Opposite, a wet bar keeps all the things you want close at hand.
One step up in the cockpit floor (to give just a little more head room in the aft cabin), you’ll find a two seat sofa to port with an aft-facing sunlounger, and a double-wide helm seat with separate adjustable seats and flip-up bolsters. Perfect for you and your sweetie to go cruising off into the sunset together! The Vista 355 carries her deck width far outboard to both sides to maximize interior cockpit space, so the entry to the foredeck is via an integrated staircase just to the left of the helm and through the stainless steel framed windshield. On deck you’ll find a large sunpad and the anchor locker with windlass and remotes.
Stepping down into the cabin, you’ll find a large sofa to port. Forward, twin hanging lockers provide ample storage space, and a single seat/step help you get up into the centreline v-berth that features an inner-spring mattress and custom fitted sheets. The bed easily disappears behind a privacy curtain. The very well-equipped galley is to starboard. The cabin features your choice of neutral or midnight finishes. While the head lacks a completely separate shower, it offers great headroom plus counter and storage space. Finally, under the cockpit sole you’ll find a near full-beam aft cabin that by day is a u-shaped sofa with adequate headroom and by night is a large second bed behind a privacy curtain.
But it’s not until you leave the dock that you realize that the designers also laid this boat out to hit all the performance marks as well. The Stable-Vee® hull, an industry innovation in 1993 and still one of the best running surfaces on the market today, allows your choice of gas or diesel power from Mercury or Volvo-Penta to get you up and going quickly. Joystick control is also an available option.
Four Winns offers a three-tier warranty: three years on all components, 5 years against osmosis, and a lifetime structural hull and deck warranty.
By Brad Roberts