Four Winns TH36 Catamaran Test Drive by Dan’s Boat Life

“The Magic Carpet of Boats!”

Four Winns TH36 Catamaran Featured Image
Please click on the image to watch the YouTube video.


This feels like a magic carpet, like Aladdin bloke on his flying Magic Carpet, that’s what this boat is! Okay, guys, so she’s about 38.5 ft long. She’s almost 4.5m wide, and I’ll put that in feet as well for you Americans—14.7 ft wide.

So, we’ve got the capacity of 9 people offshore and 14 people inshore. I’m just pottering along because I’m going to try and explain a couple of things about this hull before we just zip out past a very cool place called Stiltsville. I’ll explain that when we get over there.

It really is hard to describe the sensation on this boat when it’s so smooth. That’s what I’m going to try and impart to you guys on this drive.The first thing I want to point out is the efficiency of this hull. So, I’m talking miles per hour and gallons consumption. I’m in America, so we’re going to speak American. So, we’re doing 11 mi right now GPS over ground, and I’ve got a total fuel flow of 12 gph. And I’m just going to wind that up through the rev range, and we’ll turn around pretty soon as well.

“She’s 38.5 ft long and about 14.7 ft wide, with a capacity of 9 people offshore and 14 people inshore.”

Okay, so my RPM is just coming to about 3,900 RPM. I’m running the Verado 350s. You can do the V10s, the new Mercury V10 350s, and you can also do the V8 300s if you wish. But at 3,900, the boat really sort of pops up on the plane there. You can give it a little bit of trim if you like. And I’m actually just going to dial the power back because as we came up with the plane, the revs wanted to increase up to 4,000. But, I’m sitting on 19.2 mph, super flat attitude, incredibly smooth.

And so now my revs are about 3,950 revs, and I’ve got a gallons consumption of 19.7 gph total at 18 to 19 mph. So, that’s super easy! We’ll just speed it up a little bit, and then I’m going to turn around.

So, as you come through the rev range, the attitude really just remains level. We’ve tackled quite a bit of boat wash today, you just don’t notice it. So, just calculate that into the sort of adventures you might have in mind for yourself because this boat’s going to be really capable for some of the places you might have in mind for it.

So, now at 4,400 revs, 23.9 mph, and a consumption of 28 gal total. So, I’m going to turn the boat at that speed and just go through a little bit of an angle, and now I’m going to speed right up to full speed before I turn around.

Okay, that’s foot to the floor—27, 28. The acceleration is slow and predictable—31, 32, 32.5, 33. Consumption is 61 gph—34, a little bit of a trim up—34.5. I think 35 mph is about what we’re going to see, still climbing a little bit—35.5 at 62 gph consumption.

Now, I’m going to go through a turn, gradual at first, and I want you to pay attention to the heel angle or lack of heel angle, which might be weird for some of you. So, I’m doing that at 25 mph. It just turns flat. It really is quite flat. No leaning out of the turn, but no leaning into the turn. So, if you had a drink on the bench there, if it wasn’t secured, it might slide away. So, just pay attention to that.

So now, when we return towards Stiltsville, I’m going to maintain or vary my cruise speed, and I’m just going to take the boat through some turns and notice how level she’s remaining.

Now, we’re going into some wind chop because we’re going to be getting more exposed to the offshore conditions when we exit this channel here. We’re not going to exit the channel, but we’re just going to run up the channel, and there’s a little bit of wind out there. But I’ve got some wind chop coming from the starboard side under the boat, and I can’t even feel it.

You know what this feels like? This feels like a Magic Carpet! That Aladdin bloke on his flying Magic Carpet, that’s what this boat is. So, if you’ve come from a smaller Four Winns, if you’ve come from a ski boat, if you’re used to just melting up the inshore waterways, and perhaps your heart skips a beat when you think about going offshore or maybe you’ve just never done it, this hull is going to open up new horizons for you. But it’s also going to do it in such a way that if you’ve got nervous nellies on board with you, maybe your wife, kids, or friends, they really won’t feel uncomfortable on this hull.

Now, let me just check my navigator because I’ve got shallow water to the right and shallow water to the left. I want to make sure I’ve got the markers lined up, which I do now. And we’ll just keep cruising.

So, the design of the windscreen, roof, and seating position is really comfortable. Although there’s a little bit of loss of visibility from this pillar here [starboard], but that’s expected in a design like this. All you have to do is lean your head and make sure you can be consistent with keeping a good lookout.

The throttle position is really comfortable, you can sit back from the wheel. For long periods of time, I would probably enjoy standing, but check out the sitting down  position in the walk-through video, I don’t see too many issues there.

We have this footrest if you want to increase your height. Pay attention to the amount of space I have above my head right here—I’ve got quite a lot. The wind visors are starting just here. So, I’m 5’7″ standing with my feet flat to the floor right now. If I was say 6’—I’m on my tippy toes, it’s actually still okay. If you were a bit taller, then yes, you’re going to have a little bit of wind in your face. There are some clears that you can infill this area forward of us if the wind chill is a problem. Maybe that’s a design update or an idea for Four Winns. Leave a comment below if you think. What do you reckon if they enclose this completely in glass? That might be an idea.

“She’s running on Verado 350s. There’s also an option to choose new Mercury V10 350s or V8 300s.”

Okay, mental calculation, everything’s back to front in America. Green on the right, red on the left, good! Always double-check yourself if you’re not sure.

Entering the channel now, coming in at a speed of 24 mph, and my consumption is sitting at 32 gal. Okay, green on the right, red on the left, and I’m going to cruise up to a cool place just for some pretty pictures.

So, this is called Stiltsville. I’m in Miami. Did I mention I’m in America? Hello! I’m having a great time! And I believe this is just where smugglers used to hide once upon a time. If you know the true story, please leave a comment below and explain in more detail. But my understanding is smugglers just came out here and set up these houses, and whatever they were smuggling, they brought it in here because it technically wasn’t part of the mainland. I just think that’s a great story. That’s hilarious!

Refocusing on the boat, I really do feel that your comfortable cruising speed—and the reason I say this is  because of the noise levels—is going to be somewhere around 23 mph with about 4400 or 4300 revs because if you bump it up with these Morados, you do notice a bit more noise.

With the V10s, it might be a different story, need to check that, but on this particular setup, now I’m backing it down to that 23 approximately. It’s much more acceptable from a noise perspective. Being a completely open boat, lots of your mates are going to be out the back here, and I think that’s probably the kind thing to do.

And then, if you pay attention, from 21 to 23, your fuel flow goes from 26 to 30 gph. So, on a boat of this size that can take up to 14 people, you are punching above it. Compared to a monohull, you’re really punching above your weight there. It’s quite an impressive thing to achieve.

So, let’s get in close. There is tide running, so I’m going to have to be sensible. I’ve got shallow water on the left here, and I’m just going to tuck in. Now, I want you to pay attention to the wake as well when we come off the plane, but also when we are going at speed. The wake on these two hulls—there’s a bit of activity right behind the boat, as you would expect with the motors doing their thing. It looks like a mini rooster tail, but then it really flattens out quite a way aft of us. It’s not super offensive. So, if you were in a very busy part of town and trying not to offend other people or a low wake zone, you’re probably going to be able to get away with keeping up a bit more speed compared to a similarly sized monohull. Remember, we’re like 38 plus foot LOA, so that’s just something to consider. When coming off the plane, you just do it like any boat, just manage your speed, and she’s all good.

“From the acceleration, the cruising speed, and the top speed, it feels like you’re gliding on a cushion of air.”

Next thing, we do have the Mercury joystick on this boat. I’ll have a little play with it, but I’m actually not 100% sure if you need it. If you are new to boats, by all means, go ahead and get the technology if you see a benefit in it. But let’s just remember, we’ve got 4.5m, something like 14 ft beam, so the engines are quite away apart. They’re not stacked up next to each other.

So, if we want to do some transverse thrust, and I’m just going to take you next to the old smugglers’ house. I’m going to turn this way so you can see it on the camera, and hopefully, that will be visible. So I’m just using that transverse thrust, I’m just doing it now, just giving a little bit of throttle because we are in a tidal zone, and I don’t want to get pulled into that pole. But look how quickly the boat’s moving right now, guys. Can you see that?

I feel like that is more manoeuvrable for most scenarios. I’ve got a ripping tide going at the moment, and I still feel quite well in control. I can see the starboard transom from the helm. I can’t see the port one, but because it’s quite a low-profile vessel, I can kind of work it out, especially if I had someone standing in the corner there, ready to pick up a line. That’s not going to be too much of an issue.

So, from a manoeuvring perspective, this full open design gives me easy communication to people on the bow and back to the transoms. I’ve got good visibility, I can see the side, and I can also leave the helm because it’s just a single helm seat here and make my way forward or aft. So if I was solo docking, it’s not going to be much of a drama. So, that’s quite interesting, that is very, very interesting.

But at the cruising speeds we were just doing, this really is family-friendly. We can do the fast runs but it’s not ocean conditions, this is just a big bay, and we’ve got what we’ve got. But from the chop that I’ve passed through, from the waves that we’ve made our way over, and from the wind-affected areas that we’ve just experienced, it feels like a magic carpet. It’s like nothing you have experienced before if you’re coming from a monohull. From the acceleration, the maintaining cruise, and the top speed, you are just gliding on a cushion of air. That’s what it feels like.

So if you’re wanting to create that experience of comfort for you and your guests, if you want to eat up some miles and go places—you can clearly eat up a few miles in this part of the world— This is a good boat to do it.

And then if you want to have a big massive platform to hang out and have fun or do whatever you want to do with accommodation, you can do that too but that’s in a separate video, that’s the walkthrough.


Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hope that was useful. Come and we’ll wrap this up on the bow lounge because it’s such a nice place to be. The magic carpet, that’s what I’m going to call this thing. She really is Aladdin’s flying magic carpet. She’s stable, she’s flat, she’s fast, she doesn’t burn a lot of fuel, and not too much slapping about in between the hulls when you’re going through waves. I would consider this an incredibly comfortable platform for you, your mates, your family, and extra guests. Remember, up to 14 people inshore, 9 offshore.

You really can have some limitless adventures on this boat. You’re not burning a lot of fuel. You’ve got the capability to go well over 30 mi. You know, we did 35 mi, but you can really cruise around comfortably and efficiently at that 23 mph speed setting all day long.

At that flat running attitude she assumes all the time, it might be something you have to get used to if you come from, say, smaller four-winns sports boat or sports cruiser. But I tell you what, going from the stern drive monohull sports cruisers of back in the day that had all of this stuff going on, this is an incredible platform, and I think it’s the future. I think it could be your future for many of you.

“She’s stable, she’s flat, she’s fast, and she doesn’t burn a lot of fuel.”

So I hope that was useful. You’ve been watching Dan’s Boat Life. My name’s Dan Jones. I’ll pop another video up on the screen now just for you to do some comparisons. Click on there if you’re interested. Don’t forget to support my Patreon. Thanks very much, guys. See you on the next one.

Editorial Team

Our Editorial team is made up of local expert practitioners in their respective fields, such as Brokers, Dealers, Surveyors, Transporters, Delivery Captains and Skipper Trainers.