Captain's ReportMultiple Personality, or Just Ingenious Design?The SEI 180 is as Versatile as You Wish.By Capt. Bob SmithTest CaptainLarson consistently builds new boats that are well thought out and offer more standard features with each model year. Often with new models, we find that we’re just seeing another example of a familiar hull with a new name on it. With Larson, this story is different as we always seem to be hit with a new graphics package, new helm layout, or simply new innovative features. The SEi 180 Ski-Fish boat is no slouch. It is one version of a multiple personality rig that takes the best of both worlds to bring a cross-over to you, that can satisfy the family that really likes the action of a skiboat, but usually has at least one member that wants to wet the hook and bring in dinner. Convert Bow into Casting DeckLooking at the bow, our test boat was obviously set up for fishing with a trolling motor hanging off the port side of the bow. Outside of that, you wouldn’t have really noticed its fishability in ski set-up mode. The bow has bench seating like most, but the cushions are not as thick. The neat thing is you can quickly create a casting deck by flipping these guys over and adding a filler board in the middle. Then just grab a pedestal seat from the cockpit and you’re ready to relax and wait for the fish.Beneath the seats, you have plenty of room to stash all your fishing gear or to hide any other fun gear that comes on board. Another change to this package was raising the angle of the windshield a bit, which helps direct more of the air away from the cockpit. That doesn’t seem all that important to a ski family, but early morning runs across a lake to a fishing hole will make you appreciate it a lot.Cockpit LayoutThe cockpit has pedestal chairs and offers multiple arrangements. These are typical folding seats you find on a fishboat, but are quite comfortable, even for skiing. Larson takes full advantage of the space under your feet with a huge storage compartment in the floor. Now I would probably add a rubber mat or something in here to protect the gear and the finished floor, but you can cram a lot in this locker. Functional Helm The helm is designed like many skiboats, and offers a Lowrance X-51 fishfinder/depth finder in the fishing package. Simulated wood trim add a touch of class and a 12 volt socket is here to power portable gear or to charge up the cell phone. The stereo is located next to the wheel on the right side.Sun Pad or Second Casting DeckMoving back to the stern is a livewell/baitwell located under the seat, with a fully gasketed lid to protect sloshing water from entering the cockpit. The seat back and sun pad flip up easily on gas assisted shocks so you can get to the engine on the I/O versions. You can easily reach the check points everyone should take a look at before leaving the dock. The sun pad slides into place or can be removed to convert the entire area into another casting deck. Our test model had an optional swim platform that I am sure most everyone will want for playing around at anchor.SpecsThe sporty SEi 180 Ski and fish weighs in at only 2650 lbs. She is 17’6” length overall and 7’9” in the beam. She has a fuel capacity of 23 gallons so you will be able to spend most of the day without worrying about the next fuel stop.Test RideWe tested the SEi 180 on Little Gull Lake in Brainerd, MN in some fair conditions with two people on board and ½ tank of fuel. She was a solid performer with great handling, jumping the moderate chop and wakes of other boats without a problem. The seats also proved to be well cushioned for this type of ride. This 180 leaped up on plane in just 3.8 seconds and was cruising along at 30 mph in only 8.7 seconds. Her best cruise speed was around 28.4 mph turning 3000 rpm for a range of 109 miles on a full tank of fuel. She topped out at over 48 mph burning 13.8 gph for a range of 73 miles.If you are like most families, fishing and skiing are important to you. With Larson’s SEi 180, you get the best of both worlds with a boat that also fits into a garage and your budget.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Larson SEi 180 Ski Fish I/O(2006-2009)(Not in Production) is 48.7 mph (78.4 kph), burning 13.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 52.23 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Larson SEi 180 Ski Fish I/O(2006-2009)(Not in Production) is 28.4 mph (45.7 kph), and the boat gets 5.26 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.24 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 109 miles (175.42 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 190-hp MerCruiser 4.3L.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
|Lifetime Limited Yes http://www.larsonboats.com/warranty/default.asp|
||5-Years (outboard and diesel not included) http://www.larsonboats.com/warranty/default.asp|
|5-Year Yes http://www.larsonboats.com/warranty/default.asp|
|ISO Certification NMMA Certification||Yes Yes|
Pricing Range: $22,599.00Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.