Review: Larson LX195SS

By: John Ford, Photography by: John Ford


LARSON LX195SS PORT SIDE LARSON LX195SS PORT SIDE
LARSON BOAT IN SYDNEY LARSON BOAT IN SYDNEY
LARSON LX195SS BOW LARSON LX195SS BOW
LARSON LX195SS DASH LARSON LX195SS DASH
LARSON LX195SS LOUNGE LARSON LX195SS LOUNGE
LARSON LX195SS RACKS LARSON LX195SS RACKS

Larson Boats has wowed us with fully loaded sporty rigs like the new family-friendly Larson LX195SS.

Built in Minnesota USA, with a history going back over 100 years, Larson Boats is amongst America’s longest running brands with a reputation and awards for innovative design and building techniques.

We were joined on our test by local Larson importer, Derek Rodway, his wife Keren and daughter Zoe for a run down Port Hacking and out into Bate Bay and the Tasman Ocean.

 

LARSON BOATS

LARSON LX195SS

Just like when we tested the Larson LX 225 S recently, Derek decided the best place to run the smaller boat was to head to sea. As I followed him out of Port Hacking it wasn’t a big surprise to see him jumping the small swell across the bar. He was clearly keen to demonstrate these boats are not one trick ponies, only capable of playing around in flat water.

Derek explained that the hulls have a deep deadrise and an underwater profile with deep chines and flat running surfaces that allow Larsons to perform well in the ocean and still maintain great stability at rest.

 

CONSTRUCTION AND BUILD

LARSON LX195SS ON THE PLANE

Larson’s VEC construction adds to the safety at sea with a strong integrated design able to handle rough conditions without damage. Hulls are formed in a robotic closed moulded process with precise amounts of resin and fibreglass injected at a constant temperature and pressure to form perfect hulls every time.

No timber is used in the construction – even the transom is from a thick composite sheet – so that hulls are built to be both strong and long lasting. The sections of hull, stringers and transom are bonded to the full floorliner to create a unitised monocoque shell with maximum strength and rigidity.

This VEC process carries over to a flawless gelcoat and to a neat interior finish. Upholstery and fittings around the boat are also of a high quality and I noted sparkling cup holders around the boat and pop-up cleats along the sides that are part of the stainless steel package usually optioned for local boats.

 

SKIBOAT

LARSON LX195SS RACKS

On a sapphire blue sea off Cronulla the dark blue and white hull looked stunning and the Roswell Classic 51 tower gave the boat a youthful focus and commands attention riding high over the hull. It’s prewired for speakers and lights and for storage it folds down, making it easier to fit in a standard garage. The tower comes with a high tow mount and was kitted out with a Team Wakeboard rack for wide boards that don’t fit in the boat’s ski locker.

There’s room in the bow for a couple to spread out and it’s a comfortable place to ride even over rougher water. I noted a non-skid pad at the bow for boarding and storage bins moulded into seat bases that are insulated to double as ice boxes. But like many American boats there’s no dedicated anchor locker, which seems to be an oversight for local conditions.

 

LAYOUT

LARSON LX195SS LAYOUT

Driver and observer seats are thickly padded and wrap around for comfort and support. Both have flip-up bolsters and swivel around to lock into place at each 90-degree position so there can be interaction with passengers on the rear lounge where there is seating for three. At rest the sun pad over the engine should be popular and the two-level swim platform with folding ladder makes easy work of getting in and out of the water.

With a capacity of seven adults, there needs to be good storage for a day out with a full crew and the 195 makes the most of the room available with low nets at the helm seats, three bins under the rear lounge and space either side of the motor. There is also a lockable glove box at the passenger dash for small valuables.

 

ENGINE

LARSON LX195SS MERCRUISER ENGINE

Like most American bowriders the engine lives under the sunpad but the level of finish in the hold is a cut above average down to the clean VEC finish and carpet lining of the storage area. The hatch lifts high on gas struts making it an easy task to work around the motor.

Power options for the 195 include a 3lt 135hp four-cylinder, a carby 4.3lt 190hp V6 and the fuel-injected 220hp version of the same engine. But the price difference isn’t that great and the 220hp donk fitted to the test boat would seem to be the perfect match, especially for those looking for more grunt to wakeboard and ski.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

LARSON LX195SS BOWRIDER

Once out in Bate Bay the conditions were ideal with a lazy swell on a glassy sea so we were able to give the sporty Larson a good run in the ocean.

Fuel-injected 4.3Mercury sterndrives are a popular choice for mid-range sports boats and hooked up to a standard 21" prop it performed well with good acceleration and top end.

It got out of the hole briskly and onto the plane at just under 13kts(24kph) without any marked lift from the bow and settled into a fast cruise of about 28kts where it cut through the water cleanly with a slight bow up stance, shedding spray well clear of the boat. Wide-open throttle showed 47kts (87kmh) on the GPS, breaking the magic 50mph mark for bragging rights with mates.

The boat needed only a small amount of trim to perform well and it’s possible to set it and leave it, perhaps only trimming back in to tow watertoys out of the hole or trimming out for better waves for wakeboarding.

 

THE VERDICT

LARSON BOWRIDER

The entry level Larson LX195SS does everything right and is a well built, properly finished all-rounder with a sporty heart capable of towing wakeboards and skiers with the added security of knowing it will get home safely when the weather rolls in.

You can get into one for as little as $33,000 on a Dunbier Super roller Trailer with a 135hp engine and less options than our test boat. But at $42,990 with the bigger fuel-injected V6 it comes with that quality tower, clip in carpet, bolster seats and tilt steering, all of which turn it into a great family watertoy that will hold its value well into the future. 

 

LARSON LX195SS SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$42,990

 

OPTIONS FITTED

220hp engine upgrade, tilt steering, stainless steel package, Roswell Tower, mirror, more

 

PRICED FROM

$33,000

 

GENERAL

Type Monohull bowrider

Material Composite laminate (wood-free)

Length 6.1m

Beam 2.35m

Weight(bmt) 1600kg

Deadrise 21°

 

CAPACITIES

People 7

Rec. HP 220

Max. HP 220

Fuel 72lt

 

ENGINE

Make/model MerCruiser 4.3MPI

Type V6 direct injected four-stroke, Alpha 1 Sterndrive

Weight 164kg

Displacement 4300cc

Propeller 21"

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Larson Boats

Little Falls Minnesota USA

Web: larsonboats.com

 

SUPPLIED BY

Good Times Marine

2 Toorak Ave, Taren Point 2229

Tel (02) 9524 6999

Web goodtimesmarine.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #450, March / April 450. Why not subscribe today?

Find Larson boats for sale.

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.