You've probably never heard of Solara, but this hybrid design of two popular powerboat styles might be the right blend for the casual angling boater.
We hear about new boat models all the time, but entirely new brands? Not so much. For the 2023 model year, manufacturer Fluid Motion (builder of Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats) has introduced the Solara brand, which includes 25- and 31-foot trailerable models. We spotted the queen of the fleet, the S-310 CW, at the Annapolis Boat Show this fall.
The S-310 CW is an unusual design that Solara calls a "center walkaround." The name is fitting, as this boat is essentially a combination of a center console and a walkaround boat. Rather than having symmetrical sidedecks to either side, the console extends to the port-side gunwale and there's a recessed walkaround sidedeck to starboard of the helm.
Walk up to the bow cockpit, and you'll discover forward- and center-facing seating for a half-dozen passengers and a removable cocktail table.
Expanding the console allows Solara to incorporate a significant amount of room inside for a bona fide cabin, as opposed to a typically tight head compartment and stowage area. In addition to the V-berth, there's a fully enclosed head plus a galley area with goodies like a refrigerator/freezer and microwave oven.
Standard equipment on the S-310 CW also includes air conditioning with reverse-cycle heat, an LCD TV, and a hot water heater, so despite having a center console attitude it's fully outfitted for weekending aboard.
The aft cockpit is fishy in nature, with an integrated fishbox, a livewell, a raw water washdown, and fishing rod holders both in the gunwales and spanning the back of the hard top. It's clearly outfitted for cruising and family fun, too, with touches like a freshwater transom shower, fold-down seating for six, and a refrigerator.
Check out this video that delivers a great look at the boat put through its paces.
When we climbed aboard we noted that fit and finish were thoroughly slick, and all of the seating is surprisingly comfortable. We also liked that the swim platforms are easily accessible with a full-height walkthrough and tall grab rail at the transom. Pricing starts at $199,937.