Captain's ReportLarson Cabrio 220
By Capt. Rob Smith
Larson’s Cabrio series has been performing very well, and for 2009 they’ve made a few enhancements in the line. I tested the Cabrio 220 recently and was impressed with its versatility. The 220 fits well in both the northern market here in America, where you have more cold weather and shorter seasons, as well as in the European market. It looks and feels bigger than it is. While looking and feeling much like a cruiser it has more of a bowrider price.Dockside view and cockpit
From dockside you can appreciate things such as the oversized and beefy rails around the bow as well as a remote controlled spotlight that is chrome covered rather than white plastic, high on top of the bow rail. The 19-inch Bomar hatch adds light inside as well an escape hatch in case of trouble. On the stern there is an integrated swim platform as well as an optional extended swim platform with 3-step telescoping ladder. The Cabrio 220 has a center transom walkthrough which I like as a driver because I can keep an eye on anyone coming onboard or stepping off. From the cockpit you only have one cushion to remove to step over the transom and it has an aggressive grip surface below for sure footing.The cockpit
The engine cover is much like the older runabouts with a cover you must lift out for access. This may be a little heavy for some people and not as convenient. Once opened you have good access to check points on the engine and in this case a 5.7 Gi from Volvo Penta. Seating in the cockpit is a nice U-shaped bench set up that can be removed, opening the space up for fishing. Now the seat backs will serve as thigh bolsters. The gunwale tops are wide enough that you can actually add downriggers for fishing. For enjoying the sun you can add a filler cushion to the bench seats making a large sunpad. I did notice that with part of the benches in place the battery switches are more difficult to reach. The cockpit has a full fiberglass liner but I really enjoyed the optional snap-in carpet which makes clean up easy. A cool feature in the cockpit that also speaks to her camping ability is the concealed single burner stove and small sink. Add the optional camper canvas and enjoy a night under the stars.The helm
The helm seat is thickly cushioned and proved quite comfortable while testing. The helm has a three spoke fixed position wheel, wood accents with gauges mounted up high for good visibility. I was impressed with a large compass on top of the helm, something most builders skimp on. Larson uses upgraded shifters from MerCruiser and Volvo Penta with upgraded cables for smooth shifting. The helm has plenty of space to add flat panel displays forward of the wheel. Larson uses a Sony sound system which has a larger dial that’s easier for more people to read. The stereo is Sirius satellite ready and there’s an MP3 jack so you can add your own mix of tunes.Inside
There’s a deep step in front of the companionway door but they do have a small filler that makes it safer. The door slides in behind the helm and also serves as center windshield walkthrough access to the bow when closed. The cabin has a stretch ceiling treatment rather than a glued on ceiling. Even around the hatch there are wood accents adding to the luxurious feel. I’m 6 feet tall and I would not be comfortable sitting at the table for a meal. I would probably have my meal top side. Arranged as a V-berth you have room for two adults or several children to relax (much more like a cuddy cabin). The plush marine carpeting is standard in the cabin adding to the comfort and ease of cleaning. Larson offers an optional portable head with pumpout as part of the weekend package that includes the compass depth finder, remote controlled spotlight, snap-in carpet, and transom shower.Measuring up
The 2009 Cabrio 220 measures 22 feet 1 inch on the centerline with the pulpit. Her beam measures 8 feet 5 inches and she weighs 4200 pounds dry. This model has a 60 gallon fuel capacity and a maximum draft of 32 inches, 22 inches with the outdrive trimmed up. This model is offered with optional engines from MerCruiser and Volvo Penta from 260 horsepower up to 320 horsepower.Testing results
During testing the Cabrio 220 handled quite well carving tight turns and still delivering a dry ride due to her 18° of deadrise and patented Duo Delta Conic hull design. She was up on plane in 3.8 seconds and up to 30 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds. At a comfortable cruising rate of 3500 rpm she was traveling at 35 miles per hour burning 10.6 gallons per hour for full tank range of 179 miles.
The Cabrio 220 seems to really fill a niche bridging the gap between the typical Cuddy and the entry level cruiser. It offers you the option to camp out for the weekend, yet is still is trailerable behind most family vehicles designed for towing.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Larson Cabrio 220 (2009-) is 48.0 mph (77.2 kph), burning 22.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 84.41 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Larson Cabrio 220 (2009-) is 30.0 mph (48.3 kph), and the boat gets 2.84 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.21 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 153 miles (246.23 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 280-hp Volvo Penta 5.7Gi gas sterndrive.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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