Four Winns has released some information on its new V305 model, a mid-cabin, wide-beam cruiser that will go into production soon for the 2011 model year. A prototype of the 30-foot, 5-inch V305 was on display at the Ft. Lauderdale show in late October, and it’s a nice counterpoint to the H180 Outboard runabout I reviewed last week ("Four Winns H180 OB: Back to the Future"), a sign that Four Winns is ready to forge ahead in a tough market.

A very tall windshield will make the new Four Winns V305 an easy boat to identify on the water.

A very tall windshield will make the new Four Winns V305 an easy boat to identify on the water.

The most distinguishing feature of the V305 is its huge windshield, which rises 43 inches above the consoles and is braced by curved side supports that flow aft to an arch and hardtop. The idea here is that, instead of erecting a cumbersome canvas top that somehow attaches to the hardtop, the cockpit of the V305 can be enclosed by simply adding a canvas section between the frame of the windshield and the arch. The rear of the cockpit can be enclosed with another piece that attaches to the supports as they extend from the hardtop. The system eliminates most bows and other loose, rattling hardware associated with the top. The gap between the hard top and the windshield give the boat a breezy personality on nice days. Four Winns says it intends to make this tall windshield/top idea a feature of its entire cruiser liner going forward. (Use the "Leave a Reply" feature, below, to let us know what you think about the tall windshield.)

Another interesting design idea is the relocation of the entire galley – an electric range, refrigerator and sink, and an optional grill – from the cabin to the cockpit. There’s still a breakfast nook in the cabin, with a microwave and coffee maker, but also a lot more lounging room below. This boat may have the most-spacious cabin in this class. And let’s be honest, it’s not much fun to cook in the cramped galley/cabin of a mid-size cruiser. This cockpit galley is a going to be a great idea for most owners. In fact, I think there should be an option to delete the galley completely for those who doubt they’ll use it anyway.

The cabin has a full head and a queen-size mid-berth. In the cockpit, the pedestal of a central table can be lowered to create a large sun lounge. With twin 5.0-liter Volvo Penta Duoprop sterndrives, the boat will reportedly reach 43 mph. That’s about all I know about this boat. Four Winns has not even released all the specs for the V305, so I can’t tell you what the beam is. And as of today, there’s no info on the Four Winns web site. We’ll check back when boat show season starts.