Boat Test: 2011 Harris FloteBote Solstice 230

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Boat Tested2011 Harris FloteBote Solstice 230
Price As Tested$40,370 USD
Category Pontoon Boat
Manufacturer Harris FloteBote
Length24ft 8in / 7.52 m
Beam8ft 6in / 2.59 m
Weight2465
Max HP150
Engines1
Drive TypeOutboard
FuelGas
Fuel Capacity20

By: Matt Spencer
Words like innovative and stylish are not always associated with pontoon boats, but for Harris FloteBote they’re benchmarks the company sets for all its models. The smallest of three new Solstice models, the 230 is a refreshing blend of classic pontoon styling with modern touches and flowing lines.

The real stand out in terms of innovation is this boat’s layout with its optional bow grouping of a chaise lounge to starboard and two “lux” seats to port. The result of which is a first-class bow layout that is versatile, functional and creates an open, roomy floor plan that keeps everyone comfortable... and I mean comfortable.

The raised helmstand is contemporary, quaint and very inviting. The rounded instrument panel is clean and simple and the mix of toggle switches, cup holders, stereo options and glove compartments are well balanced and not at all cluttered.

At the stern lounge is where the real magic happens. Harris’s all new transformer Loungers may look like a typical chaise lounge bench, but then the sidewalls drop and an armrest is revealed and you now have a personal recliner. And it gets better. Someone needs something from the under seat storage, but you don’t want to get up? Well, the storage drawers keep both people happy.

The 230 also has an extended rear deck with 18 inches of walking room, swim ladder and ski tow bar with safety bars.

Powering this model is a 115-hpMercury four-stroke outboard. A sucker for speedy ’toons, I would have liked to see this with themaximum150, but the 115 performed well. The 0-15 acceleration was a modest 4.38 seconds and the comfortable mid-range was around 20mph at 5000 rpm. You’re not going to get white-knuckle performance out of the 230 Solstice, but you are going to be able to take someone tubing or wakeboarding. You won’t be able to turn on a dime, but you will have increased manoeuvrability.

This was my first time with a Harris FloteBote and I can honestly say first time’s a charm in this case. The new Solstice 230 handled itself with confidence on the water and its innovative interior layout is just pure magic. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some lounging to do.

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