Larson Cabrio 310 Express CruiserBy CY Staff

Brother, can you spare $200,000? OK, what about $1,300 a month?

Now we're talking. Current interest rates and the time honoured tradition of a boat mortgage make an express cruiser like the Larson 310 Cabrio seem more like a great idea than a reckless extravagance.

With a berth in a location such as Swan's Marine in Frenchman's Bay, in Pickering Ontario, and the Larson's comfortable cruising speed of 25 mph at 3,000 rpm, you, your significant other and a second couple can get to Ontario Place or Harbourfront for dinner and back in an evening. It sure beats fighting the 401 across the top of Toronto!

For couples with fast-lane, dual incomes, this could be a no-brainer investment. Keep the boat in the water near your suburban home. It goes into the water in early May and doesn't come out until Hallowe'en providing you six months of use annually. Your "cottage-on-the-water" is always nearby for a spontaneous romantic evening cruise, a client outing or a weekend getaway on the lake without the 4-hour, cottage commute!

That's the thinking behind today's express cruisers and Larson's Cabrio 310 is a solid choice in this market segment. The size is ideal for two at 31 feet in length on a IO foot 6 inch beam.

Larson Cabrio 310 - helmTo get 6 foot 3 inch interior headroom throughout most of the cabin in this length, Larson has needed to make the boat deep and the deck shape high. A sweeping gunwale line and horizontal feature stripe help to visually lower the boat's appearance. But it is fairly high, especially to the top of the standard radar arch.

Although the lines are a bit ungainly, it does give good helm visibility and spacious accommodations. Let's begin at the swim platform as that's where you usually step aboard at the dockside; it's best to back these boats into their slips.

The swim platform has a boarding ladder, large transom locker for stowing fenders and lines, the shore power cable and there's a hot and cold shower as well. Great for a warm rinse after a swim - especially in salt water.

The transom door is a fairly light affair with a strap to hold it open and a deadbolt to keep it closed. It's OK, but very basic. Once into the aft cockpit, things improve. On the port side, the test boat had a U-Line ice maker under a molded-in sink with pressure water. Across the transom to starboard is U-shaped seating for up to 4, around an optional, removable table. Under one seat section is a carry-on dockbox; the side section is removable and the forward section is fixed. The engines lie below so things need to be removable.

Larson Cabrio 310 - HeadUp a step and forward is a lounge seat to port with storage underneath; the helm is to starboard. The double width helm seat adjusts fore and aft and has a flip up bolster and tilt steering. It was very comfortable and all the instruments were easily viewed. Short comings were that the circuit breaker panel faces the floor, so it's hard to access; the VHF and some other accessories were at knee height and protruding a bit; but the thing we like least is the stylish windshield.

To make the lines look as sleek as possible, the windshield is so low that we looked right over it in the normal seated position. It makes the standard windshield wiper a bit of a joke. The skipper will generally be exposed to the breeze or will want the bimini top and curtains up most of the time.

The companionway hatch is a fancy, curved affair with a full screen that all slides to port. Beside it are a series of three small steps so you can access the forward decks when mooring, but there's little to use as a handhold and you won't want to fall on the windshield. This design aspect could be better given that there are no side decks and it complicates docking on windy days.

Larson Cabrio 310 - DinetteEntering the cabin is easy though. There are four, floating type steps down a wide companionway with plenty of places to grab on. The sole is carpeted except around the galley unit and in the head. Immediately to port is the fully enclosed head with a curtained shower, hot and cold pressure water, mirror, marine MSD and cosmetics locker behind sliding doors. We didn't notice a latch on these, so they may slide open in rough waters and some things may end up on the floor. It's a reasonable head for this size of boat, but not exceptional.

The aft cabin, however, is exceptional - not big, but very useful. It's basically wide open for safety and has adult sitting height as a lounge area, for card games and conversation; it makes into a queen berth at night for guests. It's curtained off, so not very sound-proof, but easy to escape from and has lots of air circulation at night.

The salon area has a dinette to port with storage underneath. That's handy so you can leave the vee berth area (open to the salon) made up as a bed. The galley is to starboard with built-in microwave and coffeemaker, two-burner, solid top stove, large sink molded into the counter top and a large refrigerator. This galley will be useful and workable for cruising, has space for provisions, three drawers and two lockers plus large sliding storage above the refrigerator.

Larson Cabrio 310 - BerthWe liked the cabin with its plush upholstery, light carpeting and wood trim. Three deck hatches and four port and air conditioning for extended season comfort.

So, with all that equipment aboard, how did the twin MerCruiser 5.0 MPI's perform? The twin screws make dockside maneuvering steady and sure. The Larson tracks well even in windy conditions as you make your way out of the marina, needing little steering input. As you get into the open and advance the throttles, the bow lift is minimal and the Cabrio 310 is on a plane without help frorri the tabs, at about 2500 rpm. That translates into 185 mph on our GPS. You need a little more engine speed to be solidly up and at maximum fuel efficiency. Depending on load and props, 2,800 or 3,000 will end up as your favourite cruising speed. Things pick up quickly from there, as the "air-entrapment" stepped hull design delivers its best benefits at higher speeds. Advance to 3500 rpm and you're up to 31mph.Wide open, the test boat hit 4,500 rpm and ran 41mph.

Larson Cabrio 310 - Shore powerlineWe suspect the bottom had become fouled with marine growth because these great little V8 Merc's should spin to 4,600 or 4,800 happily and we should see a top speed of up to 44 mph. That didn't detract from the ride though. It's smooth, felt very solid and was sure-footed in high speed turns.

For an express cruiser in this size and price range, the Larson Cabrio 310 could return a lot of pleasure for the money.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting's August 2004 issue.

SPECIFICATIONS
Boat Make, Model and Year: 2004 Larson Cabrio 310 Express Eruiser
Location of test: Pickering, Ontario
Body of water: Frenchman's Bay and Lake Ontario
Length: 31 ft
Beam: 10.6 ft
Draft: 2.11 ft
Weight: 9500 lbs
Engine (s): Twin Mercruiser 5.0 MPI VB engines, 260 hp each, Ultra Low Emissions GARB 3-Star rating , with Bravo Ill Drives.
Test boat provided by: Swan's Marine, Pickering, Ontario
Speed testing by: Garmin GPS

Photo Captions:
Photo 1 – Running
Photo 2 – Helm
Photo 3 – Head
Photo 4 & 5 – Dinette converts to a berth.
Photo 6 – Shore powerline

Related Articles

Monday, 11 March 2013 15:06

It’s really astonishing. In Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, there are six million or so of us, crowded into bustling neighbourhoods and driving on packed roads. As Canadians we see the...

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 15:44

The formation of Glacial Lake Iroquois, at the end of the last ice age, was to have a lasting effect on the boating activity on Lake Ontario. Many years ago, as the lake eroded, it left geological...

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 14:48

Each summer, in a Canadian cruising tradition, thousands of Western Lake Ontario sailors join the annual summer migration to the Bay of Quinte and the Thousand Islands.  The route,  for most of us,...

Friday, 10 May 2013 16:07

Let’s be honest. In terms of Canadian small cities Belleville is just another one. However, as a boating destination and as a historically important sailing force, it punches well above its weight....

Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:38

Gord Downie shares his water story to kick off an energetic performance with The Sadies at the 2014 Waterkeeper Gala presented by RBC. (Photo by George Pimental Photography)

Thursday, 07 March 2013 09:45

The Lake Ontario 300 Challenge is the premier offshore race on Lake Ontario, and it provides a challenging circumnavigation of the lake. A group of double handed racers originally developed the...

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.

Design

Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
Commemorating 100 (+1) years of through-navigation on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Last issue we featured a story about the engagement proposal aboard Via-Mara, a 1969 Trojan 42 Aft ...
With thanks to Sail Canada, here’s a collection of photos that are Olympic quality. Clearly our ...
Wow. That was a lot of fun reading the collection of boat names that came in from all over the ...
No individual had a greater impact on the modern sport of sailing than Bruce Kirby. Known and ...
Just off The Ocean Race European Tour, Daniel is setting his sights on competing in The Ocean Race ...
After being our fearless leader and publisher since CYOB kicked off, Greg Nicoll, handed over the ...
Swim Drink Fish is spearheading the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and ...
With but four weeks to go, Sarah is in Japan, staying safe while acclimatizing to the heat at ...
MJM is a different kind of boat builder, second generation family owned and operated, we design and ...
Stuart Hendrie, a pro photographer sent along this photo of the pirate ship in Jordan Ontario. Many ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
It’s a scary thought - whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s ...
It’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – ...
Last summer there was tremendous interest in buying a boat to have fun in the restricted world ...
The boat buying or selling market is hot now and has been since the late spring of 2020. Sean ...
Last issue we got up with Montreal sailor Marc Robic who has accumulated a lot of tips and tricks ...
While some parts of the country are lucky enough to have year-round boating, there are plenty of ...
A Transducer is a device that is installed below the waterline that provides underwater data to a ...
Spring has finally sprung! At least it has weather wise here in Montreal, so it is with great ...
For most of us, the thrill of being aboard is associated with the motion of the water, wind in our ...
An important, but often overlooked maintenance item on any type of boat is it’s steering system. ...

Galvanic CorrosionIt’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s slowly deteriorating under you. Part of this is the nature of the marine environment: Sun, moisture, waves, wind, movement and vibration all contribute to components breaking down.

But there are other factors that are much more concerning and act at a significantly faster rate that the environment can take credit for. One of these is commonly spoken of, but not terribly well understood: Corrosion. As boaters, we’re concerned with two main types of corrosion: Galvanic and Stray-Current. This edition will focus on galvanic corrosion – in two weeks, stay tuned for info on stray-current.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings has introduced a new, easier to apply topside system with two new products ...
Whether for news, weather or just to watch the game, onboard television reception is important. But ...
Kanvaslight® was specifically engineered for a long life in a salty, sun-drenched environment. The ...
Watermakers take ocean water and create perfect drinking water using reverse osmosis. A Schenker ...
If you’re headed out for a weekend afloat or on a week-long cruise you often must park your vehicle ...
Ten years ago, St. Margaret’s Bay (Halifax), Nova Scotia-based SailTimer Inc. made the first ...
Between the odor and working in confined spaces, replacing an onboard sanitation line is never a ...
For many boat owners who have gear to tote and the occasional stretch of bumpy road to negotiate, a ...
The 2022 Sea-Doo Switch is a re-imagined pontoon that makes hitting the water more accessible than ...
On the water audiophile-quality sound is attainable with the new JBL-R3500 source unit. The latest ...

News

  • Prev
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the ...
On September 6, Groupe Beneteau laid out its course to develop new boating experiences, new ...
Last Friday, the first ever Canada’s Celebration of Sailing honoured the season for Sailing in ...
Boating Ontario is very proud to have Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety jump on ...
Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies, Inc. is headed to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to ...
Summer is in full swing with Canadians enjoying time outside and on the water. So, while enjoying ...
On July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor ...
HanseYachts AG presents RYCK, its third motorboat brand carrying the "Made in Germany" label. The ...
“We are all proud of our athletes and coaches who have dedicated themselves to push Canadian ...
Collingwood, ON hq’d Limestone Boat Company – owner and builder of Aquasport Boats, Limestone Boats ...

Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More