The Solara S-310 Sport Coupe: A New Era of Open-Air Boating

The Solara S-310 Sport Coupe: A New Era of Open-Air Boating
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The new Solara S-310 Sport Coupe lets you feel the breeze and have fun.

Solara is a brand that helps boaters connect to the water with new open-air designs that let in the breeze. Developed by the same company, Fluid Motion, that builds the popular Ranger Tugs and Cutwater cruisers, the new Solara lineup delivers more fun in the sun with an emphasis on the outdoors. The newest Solara, the S-310 SC (Sport Coupe), packs a host of useful lounges, spaces, and accommodations into a 31-foot twin outboard-powered trailerable boat. The level of built-in versatility makes the boat well-suited for all kinds of on-water activities like day cruising, water sports, diving, fishing, entertaining, and overnighting. Even more appealing is the boat’s ability to easily transition from one activity to another without compromise. The open single-level layout and multiple seating areas can be seamlessly converted for cruising, fishing, or playing whether with friends, couples, or family.

Draw the Line

Approaching the boat at the dock, the styling immediately intrigues me. Angular split cut windshields and side windows connect to a hardtop complete with a sporty red radar/antenna mount. The contours of the optional light gray hull exude an aura of strength and speed even while sitting still. A pronounced bow flare transitions aft along the gunwale which hosts twin elliptical portholes before the shearline gently lowers and flattens along the cockpit. The lines and layout of the Solara draw me aboard.

I step onto the swim platform, which is neatly padded with Raptor deck. A stainless steel rail is positioned perfectly to help whether side boarding, Med mooring, or entering a tender. The platform wraps completely around the twin F300 Yamahas with small fenders attached horizontally for boarding aft, behind the engines. The space between the transom and engines is completely uncluttered with engine cables and fuel lines conveniently routed through the “Clear-Path” swim platform. This creates usable platform space enhanced by a concealed swim ladder, shower washdown, an electric barbecue, and a livewell. There is room to walk across, even with the engines raised.

S-310 SC Deck

A door leads through the transom into the cockpit, but the really cool part is that the transom hosts an innovative retractable seat. When closed, the cockpit and swim platform are free for fishing, dancing, or entertaining. Unclip it and the seat, complete with arm rests, opens facing either aft onto the platform or forward into the cockpit. This setup increases the versatility of this area and allows the cockpit to be easily transformed to best suit activities from water sports to socializing and lounging. Additional fold-down seating and a reversible aft seat from the main dining table allow the cockpit to be instantly converted from an open space to a cozy conversation spot.

Working Together

I really like how the flow of the main deck areas work together but also allow for different gathering spaces. The open-air galley with a refrigerator/freezer, stainless steel sink, and built-in wine cooler is easily accessed from the cockpit or the seating/dining area under the hardtop. The flip-top dining table has comfortable seating all around, and the companion seat opposite the helm can be spun around to face the table. Between this seating area, the helm seat, cockpit seating, and the bow lounge, I count an amazing 18 useable seats, although I wouldn’t run with that many aboard. A Bluetooth-enabled Fusion multi-zone stereo system with multiple speakers, a subwoofer, LCD flat-screen TV, LED lighting, and a retractable sunroof all add ambience.

The bow lounge features comfortable seating, a table, multiple drink holders, its own set of stereo speakers, and an overhead sun awning on poles. Filler cushions can create a sunpad, or the floor left open to facilitate fishing or for beach access using a boarding ladder that flips off the bow. A retractable anchor chock allows for easy anchoring, or the ground tackle and windlass can be neatly stowed eliminating snags when forward boarding or fishing. I find the bow lounge pleasant even when underway as the hull creates a wind-reducing Venturi effect.

Solara's Bow Lounge

At the Helm 

Sitting on a comfortable, bolstered, bucket seat at the helm, visibility is excellent all around. Close enough to speak with friends and family in the companion seat and table, I can also keep an eye on anyone in the bow lounge and with a glance back see what is going on in the cockpit. I like the sense of connectivity and ability to ensure everyone is secure as we ease off the dock. With twin engines and bow thruster maneuvering is easy but since our boat is equipped with an optional joystick, I feel obligated to try it. I tend to have a heavy hand with joysticks, but this Yamaha system is simple. I slide sideways from the dock and then reverse slowly past the boat behind us before spinning around to move forward.

Twin Garmin 8612xsv MFDs with engine monitors between are butterflied in a moveable pod at the helm. This allows me to set the angle perfectly to eliminate glare. The screens provide access and control of the GPS chartplotter, sonar, Helm Master level 3 autopilot, and even bow and stern cameras, all standard; radar is optional. Electronic shift and throttle handles are to starboard, which I prefer, and within easy reach whether standing or sitting. Switches for lights, wipers, the VHF, and more conveniently surround the stylish black and chrome tilt wheel, along with a DC (phone) charging outlet and a couple of drink holders.

Solara S-310 SC Helm

The Solara S-310 SC comes up on plane easily due in part to her double-stepped hull. Even at high speeds, the boat remains stable with auto-leveling Lenco trim tabs adjusting to different conditions and any side-to-side movements of passengers. I push the boat to a top speed close to 6,000 rpm, and we fly along above 50 mph. Some boats get jumpy at their maximum speed because not enough of the hull is in the water, but the Solara feels remarkably controlled even at eye-watering speeds. Easing down to a more moderate cruise of 34.5 mph, I take some tight turns and the S-310 SC tracks like a champ. A combination of the stepped hull, the 10-foot beam, and the divots they put in the forward hull surface they call “Laminar Flow Interrupters” keep turns controlled with little speed reduction. Conditions are calm during the test but when cutting across a wake at speed, the hull slices right through and feels solid. The Solara is incredibly fun to drive and is nimble and lively when maneuvering.

Private Space

To enhance the usability of this versatile open boat, the Solara S-310 SC has a private cabin with opening portholes, a hatch, air conditioning, plenty of room for changing, and a double berth ideal for overnighting or napping. The ensuite has a macerating toilet, sink with vanity, and a shower. This nice cabin that is hardly noticeable adds cruising capabilities to a boat already packed with features.

Solara has done a great job producing a boat that delivers speed, performance, and multiple living spaces that can be used for a wide variety of sports and activities. The S-310 Sport Coupe also comes ready to go with a host of standard equipment. If you like to fish, dive, cruise, or just want to feel the breeze as you zip along, the Solara S-310 SC is a great way to get out on the water and have some fun. 

-by Arnie Hammerman

Solara S-310 Sport Coupe Specifications:

LOA: 30′ 10″

Beam: 10″

Draft: 2′ 1″

Fuel/Water: 200/41 U.S. gals.

Power: 2x Yamaha F300 @ 330-hp

Price: $383,937 (base)

Contact: Solara Boats

(253) 839-5213

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