Boat Test: 2010 Larson LXi 218

Boat Tested2010 Larson LXi 218
Price As Tested$49,995 CAD
Category Bowrider
Manufacturer Larson
Length21ft 6in / 6.55 m
Beam8ft 3in / 2.51 m
Fuel Capacity34

By: Mike Milne

With any boat, comfort is about more than plush upholstery or an accommodating seating layout. It’s also about feeling secure in a ride that seems to smooth out waves and settle down weather.

The Larson LXi 218 is a big, capable bowrider that provides just that kind of comfort and will be at home on any large inland lake or in-coastal ocean waters. The LXi 218 is part of a line of luxury models that also add top-drawer fit and finish plus up-to-the-minute design.

Test day was rainy with just enough choppy water to test the 218’s mettle. Powered by a 300-hp 5.7 Gi Volvo Penta sterndrive with single-prop SX drive, the boat was on plane and up to 20 mph in about five seconds, reaching 30 mph in 7.32 seconds. The full-length strakes, broad reverse chines and set-back I/O - what Larson calls its SofRide hull - help make that happen. The chines and strakes also contribute to tight cornering, while the 22-degree deadrise (close to a classic deep-V) tames the waves easily.

Top speed was 54 mph at 5200 rpm, but, unlike many deep-V boats, the LXi 218 is still solidly on plane and running 23.3 mph at 2500 rpm - a testament to an easily driven hull.

Appearance wise, the 218 has sharp European-inspired lines, with a windscreen that has flat-panelled rather than curving sections. The angular lines are carried over into the helm and cockpit designs, giving the boat an up-to-the-minute appearance. The test boat gets an additional boost in youth appeal with its optional fold-down watersports tower, equipped with two tower speakers. The upgraded Sony stereo drives plenty of high-quality sound through seven speakers.

The boat’s walkway aft from the cockpit will give watersports fans easy access to the swim platform. For board, ski and gear storage, there’s a huge locker beneath the aft walkway. A fibreglass-lined drained locker to starboard will hold wet lines and wetsuits, while a smaller drained locker under the starboard- side aft seat is ideal for beverages. There’s a portable cooler under the mid-section of the aft seat. There’s more drained storage in fully lined lockers under the bow seats. Boarding ladders allow easy access both at the bow and the stern.

Boaters may want to leave the LXi 218 from time to time, but they’ll always come back for more

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