1999 Four Winns Sundowner 225 Cuddy Cabin

This was the last boat I bought new. As I continued to upsize boats, it made more sense to buy a boat a few years old as they really depreciate in the first few years. But we had fun with this boat, and at 22ft, we took it on Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Michigan's Inland Waterway, the North Channel, St. Marys River, and other places as it was really easy to transport and get into out-of-the-way places. Our boat had the Sport seating package as shown here (front bucket seats and rear bench).

At 6,000 lbs, the 22ft boat towed pretty well behind my pickup. But the boat did weigh more, so at times, you had to be careful, as the truck was going whatever direction the boat decided to go.

When we pulled into a State Park, when the registration form required what kind of camper I had, I would always put down "Boat-Camper". Fact is, we slept in the boat at night, just the wife and I, and we used the tent to store our bags; change clothes, and so on. The tent also was a place-holder for our campsite for when we took the boat out for the day.

In those days, we only spent maybe two weeks with the boat each summer - on our vacations. Most of the time, the boat sit on the trailer in our driveway. Then in 2002, we decided to put the boat in an IN-AND-OUT service in Grand Haven, MI, on Lake Michigan. Although it was a 100 mile drive, we thought we'd end up using the boat more.

Since we had a 100 mile trip, on several occasions, we would rent a slip in Grand Haven for the weekend. The boat was pretty cozy to say the least, however, the camper top at least made it manageable.

One feature of the boat I disliked was the automotive-style gauges Four Winns used in the late '90s. They had a lot of failures, and if an instrument failed, the whole cluster had to be replaced; a rather expensive repair.

I did a few projects on this boat; one being this VHF radio mount. I also installed Shorepower, and a small GPS unit (non-chartplotter).

There was not a lot of room in the cuddy. A porta-pottie fit under the cuddy, with wood slats covering it to make up the v-berth bed. If you had to go to the bathroom at night, it was going to take awhile to get to the porta-pottie.

On a funny note, we still have those Lighthouse pillows on our current boat.

Lack of space... one good reason why we soon outgrew the cuddy. The boat at least did have "sport seating" with two bucket seats and a full length rear bench seat, rather than the typical back-to-back seats, so that did at least give us a bit more room.

With the camper top up, and our shorepower plugged in, we had all of the conveniences of... a tent!

Once, we attempted to stay a week on the boat; but a fan, TV, and ice chest and a week of constant rain only convinced us this was not going to work, so we went boat shopping, and bought our Vista 268 by the end of the week.

As a side note, I remember sitting in this boat in the rain, watching the Detroit Red Wings win the 2002 Stanley Cup on that little TV!

(oh well, I had a full cooler next to the TV)

The old saying goes that the two best days a boater has is the day they buy a boat, and the day they sell a boat. Here I am dropping our boat off at the dealership after selling it for our Vista 268. It was kind of bittersweet really as we had a lot of fun with that boat, and we sure went all over the place with it.

Summary of updates we have done on the boat - which are shown on www.Boat-Project.Com: