A good weekender like Salpa Laver 23x meets an Evinrude G2 and turns into an aggressive fast cruiser.
Sterndrive or outboard? It’s the main dilemma with Salpa Laver 23x, although the Evinrude G2 can be a partial solution: if you want a comfortable boat, but really performing, then the outboard is the choice. And in particular the mighty American 2-stroke unit. Of course there’s many options available, like 4-stroke outboards, gas sterndrives (soon we’ll test the Salpa Laver 23xl with MerCruiser 4.5L V6), to end with the diesel – again sterndriven.
Salpa Laver 23x, born to cruise
Despite the exuberant Evinrude, Salpa Laver 23x has been designed by the boatyard mainly for cruising. This means a wide beam in order to grant more steadiness in navigation and at anchor, and consequentially more room inside, with a belowdeck space unseen on a boat 7.60-meter long.
I step aboard the Laver 23x through one of the two platforms beside the engine. They stay higher than the waterline so not to get submerged in deceleration, and the water would easily come in as the left platform goes straight to the solarium/dinette. Two smart solutions in the area: the locker for storing the fenders, and the couch that changes into sunpad with an easy movement.
The outboard takes space away from the swim platform, but on the other hand leaves a huge lazarette under the said couch for all the gear you may need.
The dinette consists of a U-shaped couch, while the table in the middle can be unmounted and stored. On the port side a chaise longue hides the kitchenette with sink and stove. To complete the amenities, there’s a refrigerator and the fresh water shower.
The essential dashboard can be faced while sitting or standing, looking at the fully-digital gauges which include the Evinrude screen and the Lowrance display for a complete set of information.
The only limit I can find to Salpa Laver 23x is the look, which is quite impersonal, not proper of a brand new model. The roll-bar stands above the cockpit and hinders the lines, but is very useful to support the two awnings that give shade from the hottest sun.
The sides look sleek despite tall, and some more portholes would have helped. The construction is flawless: the resin is vacuum-infused, while the finish is cured and the color patterns are chosen with flair.
When moving belowdecks I must confess that the light is enough, despite the limited portholes. The companion door is transparent yet opaque, so sun and privacy both play their part. Two steps down lead me to four berths: two amidships under the cockpit, with enough headroom and a relatively good access, another two to the fore but in alternative to the V-shaped dinette. There’s no galley, which would have been a pointless repetition of the one outside, while the head offers plenty of space and supports the feeling of being on a larger boat.
I’m in Salerno, southern Italy (south of Naples). The sea is choppy, a condition that not only most boaters would avoid, but also doesn’t fit to a boat designed for comfy cruising. But with our powerful Evinrude we can face even tall waves, and the overall weight is quite limited so we are agile on them. Despite much fun, one could say that this engine is all but the best choice for a boat like Laver 23x. But the G2 is doing its best to change our mind. The fuel need is limited and the noise is perceptible but much lower than in the past, especially at constant speed, reaching high peaks only when getting to plane or to the maximum. The noise reads have been measured in the cabin with the companion door open.
The engine boasts 250 HP from 6 cylinders displacing 3441 cc (210 ci) and grants an excellent acceleration: 3.2 seconds to plane and 10.7 to 30 knots, while at 25 the revs are limited and the fuel consumption says 37 liters per hour. At 2200 rpm, or the minimum planing speed, the Evinrude needs less than 20 lph and pushes our Laver 23 at 8.4 knots. But try the other limit, and you easily get to 43 knots despite the adverse sea conditions.
So, despite a hull designed for cruising, the choppy water tells that Salpa Laver 23x can work well in any condition. The outboard propulsion enhances agility and the will to exaggerate, but the boat remains sincere and safe. We pierce waves with a good smoothness, despite the gusts that make them shorter and sharper. In the end we consider Salpa Laver 23x a perfect mini-cruiser, that becomes real fun with this choice of propulsion.
The numbers of Salpa Laver 23x
Length overall 7.60 m (24ft 11in)
Length hull 7.33 m (24 ft)
Beam 2.53 (8ft 3in)
Displacement, no engine 1750 Kg
Full load displacement 2500 Kg
Test engine Evinrude G2 250 HP
Max power 250 HP
Fuel tank 200 l (52 US gal)
Fresh water tank 70 l (18 US gal)
CE design category C
Moderate sea, temperature 24° C (75° F), clean hull, fuel 150 l (18 US gal), water 40 lt (10 US gal), passengers 3
White hull – stainless steel pulpit – 4 S/S cleats – steel bow fitting – S/S fuel tank – blower for tank bay – engine bay blower – fuel gauge – water pump – automatic bilge pump – manual bilge pump – self-draining cockpit – 12V electric system – thermal switchers – battery cutoff – navigation lights – anchor light – USB port – compass – horn – S/S and black leather wheel – steel pad eye on stem – 2 transom pad eyes – skylight – cabin port light – head port light – windshield – fiberglass roll-bar – fuel filter – transom shower – cockpit shower – cockpit table – LED cockpit light – adjustable pilot seat – cockpit bench – adjustable cockpit backseat – aft sunpad – cockpit kitchenette (optional propane stove) with sink and tap – sliding companion door – cabin lockers – inner LED lights – head door – manual potty – head lights – head mirror – cabin mirror – stowage lockers – 94/25/CE safety equipment – owner’s manual.
500W winch, 30m chain and 7.5 Kg anchor – bow sun cushion – propane stove – cockpit refrigerator – electric potty – double battery system – copies of CE certification and compliance certificate.
Price (VAT not included) Boat, no engine € 38,500