REVIEW: LARSON FX 1850 DC

By: JOHN FORD, Photography by: JOHN FORD


LARSON FX 1850 LARSON FX 1850
LARSON FX 1850 DC BOAT LARSON FX 1850 DC BOAT
LARSON FX 1850 DC FISHING BOAT LARSON FX 1850 DC FISHING BOAT
LARSON FX 1850 DC ROD STORAGE LARSON FX 1850 DC ROD STORAGE
LARSON FX 1850 LIVEWELLS LARSON FX 1850 LIVEWELLS

The Larson FX 1850 is the company’s best-selling fishing boat, even if our tester didn't fall in love at first sight.

Upon first viewing the Larson 1850 FX DC I was struck with a bit of a dilemma. Suddenly I was faced with not just a beauty-challenged boat, but one which was the personal choice of Robin Knaggs – Boats and More owner and my host for the day.

How not to offend him? I needed to put the Larson in context somehow.

Could a Sherman tank be described as pretty? Does anyone find a Freightliner truck stylish? And what was Robin thinking when he chose to import one of these ugly ducklings for himself?

It was then I had my light bulb moment. This is the boat you can pass off to everyone as a family fun boat. You wanted a fishing boat for years but you don’t want to appear a selfish so-and-so. Buy this and you can convince everyone what a selfless person you truly are — providing a fun and versatile boating platform for the whole family.

 

FISHING BOAT

LARSON FX 1850 DC TURNING

Apart from the stylish Cannon rodholders on the gunwales and the Minn Kota electric motor on the bow there isn’t too much to give away the 1850’s fishing personality because with all the hatches closed it looks shipshape and homely. Tan and charcoal upholstery and practical charcoal carpet blend well with the gleaming white gelcoat for a modern feel. Skipper and co-pilot are equipped with stylish pedestal helm chairs and there is extra seating in the transom corners and along the sides, where padded coamings offer a place for youngsters to rest. 

Any family would be happy to take a cruise or tow water toys around all day and a folding stainless steel ladder assists entry back on board. Everyone is also protected from the wind by a tall screen and safely enclosed inside the generous freeboard.

 

MULTIFACETED APPEAL

LARSON FX 1850 DC ON LAKE EILDON

At the bow, that wide carpeted sun pad that everyone lazed around on yesterday, opens up to reveal perfectly moulded iceboxes that are also killtanks. That handy glove box is really a livebait tank for anglers on the forward casting deck. The electric motor is not really used for docking but for sneaking into likely structure to ambush unwary fish.

Open the hatch in the bow walkway and discover a well-crafted rod locker with a lower cover for the Minn Kota battery, right over the keel where it should be. The rear section folds down to easily slide rods up to 6’6" into place without damaging the ferrules. At floor level along the side decks are two more rod lockers for shorter rods to 5’6" and they are sturdy enough to stand on for extra casting distance but it’s at the stern where things get really serious for fishing.

What originally looked like a pair of corner seats with a central icebox now converts to a wide rear casting deck above four previously-unseen storage bins.

 

DUAL CONSOLE BOAT

LARSON FX 1850 DC ON THE PLANE

Larson and several other American brands call their boat a dual console, thus the DC in the 1850’s designation. It essentially means that both driver and passenger get moulded consoles each side of the bow walkway.

The driver’s console is austere but stylish with round Faria gauges set into a narrow binnacle with readouts for revs, speed and fuel but no trim gauge and a separate moulding on the side to mount a Lowrance HDS5 sounder/GPS.

 

POWER, HANDLING AND RIDE

LARSON FX BOAT

Power for the test boat came from a Mercury 125hp OptiMax but Robin also invited us to experience his own boat — fitted with the same brand’s 150hp four stroke.

The two-stroke OptiMax had us on the plane at 10kts and maintained a fast cruise of 25kts (45kph). Handling is sporty and certain, turning flat through wide bends and digging the outside rails into turns sharply without cavitation.

Top speed was 35kts with the OptiMax and 38kts with the four-stroke. Our ride the following day across a very choppy Lake Eildon was smooth with no rattles from the hull and in even colder conditions we were grateful again for the big screen.

The big difference between the two engines is the noise level with the 150hp almost silent in comparison the older technology OptiMax.

 

THE VERDICT

LARSON FX 1850 DC FISHING

The more time I spent with the FX 1850 DC the more it grew on me and I even began to soften to its looks. Having delved deeper into its character it became clear that Larson’s design team really listened when they were told to present plans for an all-rounder. It might not be the prettiest puppy in the litter but its charm won me over and I’d have to admit that it’s worth a second look.

The price as tested is $42,990 with the OptiMax and a fishing setup that includes electric motor, livewells and the Lowrance sounder.

That’s not bad for a boat with dual personalities which is able to comfortably fish big saltwater bays and back that up on our inland waters chasing elusive yellas in amongst the fallen timber.

 

LARSON FX 1850 DC SPECIFICATIONS

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $44,390

Options fitted: Minn Kota, charger, HDS5, carpet, baitwell, hydraulic steering.

Priced from: $40,690


GENERAL

Type: Monohull fishing/sports boat

Material: Fibreglass VEC

Length: 5.64

Beam: 2.39

Weight: 819kg (hull only)

Deadrise: 21°


CAPACITIES

People: 7

Rec. HP: 115-175

Max. HP: 175

Fuel: 113lt

 

ENGINE

Make/model: Mercury OptiMax 125hp

Type: Three-cylinder direct-injected two-stroke

Weight: 170kg

Displacement: 1526cc

Gear ratio: 2.07:1

Propeller: 17in

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Larson Boats

Little Falls Minnesota USA

Web: www.larsonboats.com

 

SUPPLIED BY

Boats and More (Shepparton)

207 Numurkah Road, Shepparton, Vic. 3630

Tel: (03) 6111 4883

Web: Boats and More

 

See the full version in TrailerBoat #302, December 2013

Find Larson boats for sale.

 


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