SeveBoat Test #1413
The Larson LX 185 is a Compact and Easily Trailerable Package
It’s been over 100 years since Paul Larson laid down the hull for his first boat. A century later, the company that bares his name is still building boats in the small Minnesota town where it all started. The Larson LX 185 OB is one of a dozen models in Larson’s current lineup.
Measuring 18-feet, 8-inches from bow to stern, the LX 185 OB’s hull is built using the patented VEC manufacturing process. VEC uses a computerized molding system to produce a one-piece hull, with stringers and buoyancy chambers built-in. The result is a solid hull with tight tolerances that Larson backs up with a transferable limited lifetime warranty.
Beam: 7’ 4” / 2.24 m
Draft: 31″/78.7 cm
Dry Weight: 2040 lbs/925 kg
Deadrise (degrees): 21
Fuel Capacity: 19 gal/21 L
Person Capacity: 7
Max Horsepower: 150 HP
Larson Boats, LLC
700 Paul Larson Memorial Drive
Little Falls, MN 56345-1100
One of my favorite features of Larson is the array of power options available for their boats. With many manufacturers choosing to limit their vessels to one or two engine builders, usually due to corporate ownership or other marketing partnerships, it’s refreshing to have the option to rig your Larson with an outboard from either Yamaha, Mercury, Suzuki, Honda or Evinrude. The LX 185 OB can handle a maximum of 150 horsepower. I wouldn’t recommend opting for anything less or performance will suffer when fully loaded.This boat features a clean and simple helm station. A speedometer and tachometer with stainless bezels are standard, along with a fuel gauge and a digital depth sounder is available. The polished helm wheel features tilt and is wrapped to improve grip. Hydraulic steering is standard when the LX 185 OB has a 150-horsepower outboard.
Our test model is equipped with the optional Rockford Fosgate sound system and its control panel is mounted to the left of the steering wheel. The upgraded sound system also includes four speakers and supports Bluetooth streaming, MP3 playback and a connection for an iPod.
The Larson LX 185 OB can carry a maximum of seven passengers. With a 7-foot, 4-inch beam and wrap-around seating in the bow and cockpit, everyone has a place to sit.
The U-shape seating area begins right behind the captain’s chair and wraps around the aft of the cockpit before extending right up to the port-side console. The unique feature of this seating arrangement is the padded backrest built into the console. It creates a rear-facing lounger, ideal for enjoying the sun, or spotting during watersports.
The Larson LX 185 OB is designed to be an easily trailerable boat, so it’s no surprise that a painted Shoreland’r trailer is included as a standard feature. The trailer comes with disk brakes and a swing tongue. The latter helps this package fit into a standard suburban garage.
LED lights are also standard, along with convenient retractable tie-downs and chrome wheel. A galvanized trailer is available as an option, which is worth considering if you regularly launch in brackish or saltwater.
Other options include a bimini top, fish finder and several different variations of glue-in and snap-in marine mats for the deck and swim platform. You can order Hydraulic steering for engines under 140hp. If you’re trailering regularly for long distances, the optional spare tire and carrier should be on your build sheet.
This is an excellent boat for the money. With seating for the whole family, and maybe even a couple of friends, the LX 185 OB is an affordable way to get out on the water.
By Steve Sansford