Evo Yachts R4: Island Time

Plenty of express and fast cruiser boats have different configuration options that allow an owner to semi-customize the boat when they buy it. Once you take that boat home, however, its rigid hull and integrated furniture are what they are. Unless, that is, you’re getting an Evo Yachts R4. Pull out your tablet or phone, start swiping, and this boat begins to change — in very big ways.

evo yachts r4
The Evo Yachts R4 has a lot of surprises in store. Photo via Evo Yachts.

Evo Yachts R4 Design

We’ve seen transformer-style models before, sometimes in the form of clever convertible furniture (like the triple-function seat/transom on the Cutwater C-288 Coupe), and other times changing shape with drop-down gunwales that turn the entire cockpit into a swim platform (as on the Scout 670 LX). We’ve even seen amphibious boats that sprout legs with tires to drive up the beach. But we’ve never seen a creation quite like the Evo Yachts R4, which in essence turns into a floating island of sorts.

This boat is designed to look more or less like a modern, wedge-shaped Euro-cruiser with a plumb bow and minimalist lines, until you decide you want more room aboard. In that case, the gunwales aft of the helm-deck slide out as two deck panels slide into place. Then the center panel of the oversized swim platform rises up, swings aft, and lowers down to water level several feet behind the boat with a four-step staircase connecting it to the cockpit. Bonus option: you can also opt for their “Transformer” platform, which rotates 270-degrees.

evo r4 static
The Evo Yachts R4 in cruising mode. Photo via Evo Yachts.
evo r4 transforming
The R4 with the hullsides expanded, stage one of the transformation. Photo via Evo Yachts.
evo r4 fully deployed
The R4 with its transformation complete. Photo via Evo Yachts.

The magic all takes place via hydraulics, boosting the boat’s outdoor footprint by over 40 percent to 270 square feet. And if you want the area shaded, in another slick transformer trick portions of the sidedecks and foredeck rise up to expose a self-contained, electrically actuated Bimini top.

The helm-deck, meanwhile, is configured with seating for five around a retractable table plus the captain’s chair to starboard, and an outdoor galley to port. Available perks include a grill, Teppanyaki plate, and a sunbed abutting the step down to the cockpit area. The helm itself is quite unique, too, with a curvaceous teak panel sporting dual 12” flush-mounted MFDs, an Italian-styled custom wheel, and joystick controls. Forward of the helm there’s a cabin down below, and a flush foredeck with an anchor locker (opened hydraulically with a finger-swipe, of course) at the bow.

evo yachts r4 helm
The helm-deck of the Evo Yachts R4. Photo via Evo Yachts.

You’ll never so much as break a sweat — neither physically nor mentally — turning your boat into a bobbing tropical island. The concept behind the R4’s control system was to make using these features as easy and familiar as using your phone. Every system operates with a swipe or a touch and safety is enhanced as the system ceases activation if you pull your finger off the screen.

Evo Yachts R4 Comfort Features

Naturally all the abovedeck seating is luxurious, the aft deck can be arranged with either the sunpad or integrated retractable loungers, a Fusion stereo system provides the tunes, and there’s an integrated cooler (47.5-gallons) to keep beverages properly chilled. No surprises, there. What may be a bit startling, however, is just how much cabin you get with a boat that seems so dedicated to outdoor space.

Head belowdecks and step down the chic steel and Plexiglass stairs, and forward you’ll see a long, wide, V-shaped settee with an adjustable table that can be dropped to form a double berth. Forward, there’s a 46” LED TV integrated into the bulkhead. And overhead, valences to either side of the three overhead skylight hatches spill out a cool breeze. Then turn to port, and open the door. There’s a private stateroom with a queen berth, carved out under the helm-deck. And to starboard there’s a full-sized stand-up head compartment with a shower. So, while from the outside this looks like a cruising dayboat, its two-couple or full-family weekending abilities are complete.

cabin of the evo yachts r4
The teak sole rises to seating level to form a berth, or higher to become a dinette. Photo via Evo Yachts.

Evo Yachts R4 Performance

The R4 runs on an 18-degree deadrise hullform and is powered with twin Volvo Penta IPS pod drives. Options include the IPS 600 (435-hp) and IPS 500 (370-hp). Equipped with max power top-end is in the mid 40 mph range, which is pretty spiffy for an 11-ton boat. Cruising speeds are in the low- to mid-30s. And it’s a pleasant cruise, too, because those inboards coupled to IPS units are hidden away down below. Sound levels at the helm are below 80 dB-A at cruise and never climb out of the mid-80s. As a point of reference, a brace of outboards producing over 800 hp would likely be in the mid-80s at cruise and top 90 dB-A at wide-open throttle.

Evo Yachts R4 Specifications

  • Length Overall: 43’0”
  • Beam: 14’8”
  • Weight: 24,250 lbs.
  • Transom Deadrise: 18 degrees
  • Draft (min.): 3’6”
  • Max HP: 870
  • Fuel Capacity: 264 gal.
  • Water Capacity: 105 gal.

Is the Evo Yachts R4 the most transformable boat on the water today? We could easily make that case. And the fact of the matter is that if you want a boat that can slice through the waves at 40-plus mph one moment and become your own personal floating island the next, we can’t imagine what other boat you might choose.

See Evo Yachts R4 boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Written by: Lenny Rudow

With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.