Captain's ReportFunctional Weekend Family CruiserBy Captain Keith Burton Test CaptainWhen an experienced boat owner begins his search for a bigger, more luxurious pleasure boat he usually wants a boat with a cabin, some amenities, power, in addition to plenty of room for family and friends. The challenge is to find a boat that can be trailered AND meet all those needs. This is where the designers at Larson have sweetly placed their 2006 Cabrio 274. This 28-foot express cruiser is packed with luxury, a roomy cabin, and the type of amenities usually found on bigger, more expensive boats.ReputationFor more than 92 years, Larson has been building high-quality boats for customers looking for quality and performance, so it comes as no surprise that the 2006 Cabrio 274 is packed with the type of features boat owners seeking this class of boat want to have, and designed in a way that is both stylish and durable. The key to all the room on board the Cabrio 274 is the boat’s high deck, which adds to the room below and on deck. BelowdeckAccess to the main cabin is through a sliding fiberglass hatch that is amazingly easy to open and close. The richly finished cabin of this boat would not be out of place in a much bigger and more expensive yacht. The cabin features more than 6’ 2” of headroom and is elegantly styled with beautifully finished cherry laminate cabinets for the galley and premium push-button latches. The galley includes a built-in microwave, single-burner stove, and refrigerator. Ample lighting from side screen-covered portholes and spotlights keep the cabin inviting both day and night. And, if you want to watch a movie, a built-in DVD player with flat screen monitor provides another reason to stay below.A large stand-up head compartment is finished inside with rounded edges to make cleanup easy. The Cabrio 274 comes with a portable toilet and holding tank. Our test boat was outfitted with the optional electric marine toilet with pump out.An additional sleeping berth with room for two is located toward the rear of the main cabin. The room is made possible by the raised main deck. The berth features a screened window that opens just below the passenger sun lounge on the main deck.The Cabrio model that we tested was outfitted with a central air conditioner system and gen-set for power. So comfort, regardless of how hot, will never be a problem. The climate controls and generator are controlled by an easy-to-use electrical control panel to the left of the galley.Cockpit Features On the main deck, Larson’s designers made sure comfort and style were not left to the cabin below. The passenger seat is an extended sun lounge, and while two people could sit there, its best use is for one person to lie in the sun. The helm is also a roomy place for the captain. Plenty of leg and seat room are matched by an expansive instrument panel. The black on white gauges are set in a burled wood-like panel. We particularly liked the wood sport steering wheel and remote controls for the Clarion AM/FM/CD radio, spotlight, and electric windlass.Thoughtful details abound on the Cabrio 274. An entertainment station was part of our boat. It featured a freshwater sink and refrigerator surrounded by a convenient wraparound handhold. A place for an ice chest is built-in beneath the captain’s chair, which also features a fold-up bolster.Stern seating includes a removable table at the center between rear and forward facing bench seats. The rear bench seat can be removed to add more deck space for when you are fishing.Handling and Overall Ride Performance is another reason why people buy sport cruisers. Our boat was equipped with a 320-hp MerCruiser MPI 6.2-Liter V8. This engine powered our Cabrio 274 to a top speed of 45.1 mph at 5390 rpm. Cruising speed was a brisk 30.3 mph turning 4000 rpm. Our boat was a bit slow to accelerate, mostly as a result of the equipment package, such as the generator and air conditioner system, which add weight. But once up to speed, the Cabrio 274 is a joy to pilot. Handling is predictable and smooth, and the ride even over rough water does not produce undue pounding. The boat feels very solid, which adds a lot to the confident feeling you get when piloting this craft.Overall, the Larson Cabrio 274 is a stylish, luxurious express cruiser with excellent fit and finish, impressive ride, all in a package that you can still reasonably trailer. That makes it a boat that should be on your must see list if you are in the market for this class of boat.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Larson Cabrio 274 (2006-) is 45.1 mph (72.6 kph), burning 23.7 gallons per hour (gph) or 89.7 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Larson Cabrio 274 (2006-) is 30.3 mph (48.8 kph), and the boat gets 2.39 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.02 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 183 miles (294.51 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 320-hp MerCruiser 6.2L MPI.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard Sirius Satellite Radio|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|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 Other Certification||Yes Yes Yacht Certification, CE Certified|