Captain's ReportA New Entry-Level Skiboat-- Larson 180 Sport I/O By Capt. Bob SmithLarson charged onto the market with a new competitor in the entry level skiboat models. The 180 Sport I/O entry-level skiboat, is bound to be another feather in the Larson design team’s hat with a one piece hull, stringer and transom that formulates a solid, quiet running boat. While this is an entry level boat, Larson decided to up the ante with amenities which are typically reserved as options. Bow FeaturesStandard features on the 180 include a bow gunwale step with bow center step into the sporty interior. Bow seating has two lounger seats with drink holders, grab rails, and bench storage. Our test boat had an optional tinted sport windshield with center walk-through. CockpitIn the cockpit there are two bucket seats with flip-up bolster, slide and swivel adjustments, and ventilated backs. Standard instrumentation, rocker power control switches, and a three-spoke tilt wheel are featured at the helm. Between the helm and companion seats is a large in-sole storage locker for skis, wakeboards, life jackets, and other large items. Snap-in carpet is available as an option to keep you feet cool.The gunwale to gunwale rear bench seat completes the cockpit seating and has open storage with a handy lip to keep things from sliding out. On the side walls are grab safety rails and stereo speakers for the standard Clarion Marine Stereo with CD player. The easy lift engine hatch doubles as a sun pad and beneath the hatch is a large engine space.Another feature you typically don’t get in this size boat is a functional integrated swim platform. This platform is large enough for an adult to relax with your legs in the water. Optional FeaturesSome popular optional equipment includes a bimini top, canvas bow cover as well as a canvas cockpit cover, and mooring cover. If you have wakeboarders in the family, opt for the deck reinforcement for the Roswell Wakeboard Tower. Another great option is the automatic bilge pump.SpecificationsThe new 180 Sport measures 17’7” in centerline length with a 7’4’’ beam and is nimble due in part to her 21 degree deadrise with a 14 degree transom angle. She weighs 2,375 pounds and has a maximum weight capacity of 1,150 pounds. She requires 31” for draft and has a 23 gallon fuel capacity. Engine options on the 180 include the 135-hp MerCruiser 3.0L, MerCruiser 190-hp 4.3L, 135-hp Volvo Penta 3.0GL, in addition to the 190-hp Volvo Penta 4.3GL that the test model came equipped with.Performance and HandlingI tested the 180 just off the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo Florida on a relatively calm afternoon with one other person on board. She was spry and responsive making her a good boat for skiing and other water sport adventures.She is on plane in 3.8 seconds and up to 30mph in a short 6.9 seconds. The 180 Sport was at cruise around 3000 rpm doing 32.3 mph. At cruise, the 23 gallon fuel tank has a range of approximately 95 miles. She reached a top speed turning 4500 rpm at 49.7 mph. While she registered a maximum sound reading of 97 dBa, the majority of that was wind noise rather than engine and hull.If you are looking to enter the new boat market and want to get more for your money, Larson delivers a great choice in the 180 Sport I/O. She has a stem to stern 5 Plus 5 warranty that gives you one number to call for any warranty item on the boat, regardless of who made it. Worry-free boating and great value. What more can you want?
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Larson 180 Sport (2007-) is 49.7 mph (80 kph), burning 18.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 68.51 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Larson 180 Sport (2007-) is 32.3 mph (52 kph), and the boat gets 4.61 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.96 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 95 miles (152.89 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 190-hp Volvo Penta 4.3GL.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Optional Snap-in|
|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: $19,421.00Prices, 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.