They Say: Need a big-water bowrider you can put on a trailer? Here it is.
We Say: With its deep cockpit, deep-V hull, and hip-deep array of stainless-steel accessories, the 218 LXi is ideal for coastal boaters who want a family runabout. Its SofRide hull delivers center-console performance thanks to full-length strakes, reversed chines, and 22 degrees of transom deadrise. The unitized stringer grid and robust mounting of hardware and fixtures minimizes rattles and creaks. The fiberglass cockpit sole is self-bailing, and hatches boast deep gutters to keep gear dry. Finished on both sides, the hatch lids are through-bolted with regular nuts rather than the locknuts I prefer. With a 260-hp MerCruiser 5.0L MPI Bravo Three providing the push, I skipped quickly and lightly over chop and motored through swells with authoritative power. Top speed? Fully fueled and outfitted with the optional wakeboard tower ($7,429), I hit 48.1 mph. In flat water the 218 LXi planed in 3.8 seconds, taking 10.6 seconds to hit 30 mph. Good news all around. The square-cornered windshield enhances space and is supported by stainless struts. Stainless cupholders, scalloped and tufted upholstery, and a cool island aft lounge with dual boarding walkways make the 218 LXi even more desirable.
Who'd Want One: Bowrider boaters averse to maintenance and bone-jarring rides.
Another Choice: Sea Ray's 210 Fission ($64,180 with a 300-hp 350 MAG stern drive and wakeboard tower).
MSRP: As tested - $46,606
Contact: 320.632.1427 www.larsonboats.com