I prepared for the worst while heading out into the afternoon wind-chop of California’s massive San Diego Bay to test the new Larson FX 1850 DC. Three other healthy adult males and I were all seated comfortably in the cockpit, thanks to four pedestal-style, swiveling bucket seats. The front two featured wide seats and armrests, while the back two were slightly smaller, designed to also serve as fishing chairs, once relocated to bases on the fore and aft casting platforms.
I advanced the throttle on the Mercury Verado Pro 200 FourStroke outboard to attack the rolling 2- to 3-footers, and braced for a thumping, but instead was treated to a surprisingly cushy ride. Not once did we land hard, even when firewalling it into the wind. Cornering at speed proved a blast. Integral Mercury Verado power steering made maneuvering super easy.
Built using Larson’s proprietary VEC fiberglass construction technology to fish walleye in big northern lakes, the FX 1850 DC features 16 degrees of deadrise at the transom. The full windshield has a walk-through panel offering quick access to the step-up bow deck. With the panel closed, it provides protection from the chill while underway.
The 8 1/2-foot beam served up great stability. That’s important when your portly buddy is helping you net a big walleye or musky.
Our test boat featured optional snap-in carpeting, but underneath you’ll find oval nonskid. The spacious forward deck has a pad on the forepeak for mounting an electric trolling motor, four stowage compartments and locking center stowage for fishing rods and water skis. There’s also rod stowage in the port inwale and tackle tray stowage in the starboard inwale. A 25-gallon aerated livewell resides under the aft deck, and a four-gallon aerated livewell is available ($491) to replace one of the lockers in the bow.
This boat might also see water-sports duties, and so it’s available with a ski pylon ($1,000). The FX 1850 DC also features a fold-out telescoping boarding ladder on the starboard transom. You can stow skis and boards in a 7-foot-long insole ski locker.
If you’re looking for a fishing boat that can handle the big lakes of the North and also take your family out on a glassy summer day, then you should look closely at the Larson FX 1850 DC.
Comparable Model: Nitro ZV 18