You say you can’t decide between a center console for its fishability, a walkaround for weekending aboard, and a bowrider for the additional social area? You’re not alone, because many boaters would like to enjoy the benefits of all these different designs. Some of us even own two or three different boats, one for each purpose. And while few boats can successfully fill all these niches at once, a new one that hit the market this year proves that one hull can, in fact, do the job of three: the Solara S-310 CW.
Before we delve into how this boat’s so darn adaptive, start by knowing that Solara is a new brand rolled out at the end of 2022 by Fluid Motion. That’s the parent company behind Cutwater Boats and Ranger Tugs. And if you’ve ever stepped aboard boats carrying either of these nameplates, you already know that they feature a huge element of creative design ranging from hidden berths under a dinette to gunwales that fold into seats. With the Solara, they take such creative thinking to a new level.
The deck layout is the initial indication. The cockpit can be kept open for fishing (six flush rodholders, eight hardtop rocket launchers, a transom livewell, and an in-deck fishbox round out the angling accouterments) or provide seating aplenty with fold-out benches on the transom and inwale. Swim platforms flank the twin Yamaha F250 outboards and a cockpit sunshade can be put up for afternoon lounging on the water. It’s more or less right out of the Cutwater playbook.
When you move forward to the helm station, however, you’ll find it’s in a class of its own. Rather than incorporating a center console design with a centered helm, or a walkaround with sidedecks, you’ll find a centered helm with a console that stretches all the way to the portside gunwale and has a sidedeck leading forward on the starboard side, only. As one might imagine, stretching the console to the side in this fashion creates one heck of a lot more room inside than a center console cabin can provide.
Remember, this boat is under 31 feet in length. Yet when you go belowdecks you’ll find a cabin fully equipped for long weekends aboard and then some, with a V-berth that converts into a lounge, a refrigerator/freezer, a microwave oven, an LCD flatscreen TV, and a fully enclosed stand-up head. Boosting the comfort factor for cruisers, air conditioning with reverse-cycle heat and a hot water heater are both on the standard features list.
Now follow that starboard-side walkaround to the bow. Neither Cutwater nor Ranger Tugs offer bowrider-like forward cockpits, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that the designers did their homework—and then added a dash of creativity—when they came up with the S-310 CW. A pair of spacious lounge chairs with fold-down arm rests face forward from the front cabin bulkhead, and large center-facing lounges with thick coaming bolster padding provide seating for four more people or kick-back lounging for two. When it’s time for lunch on the hook, set up the adjustable pedestal dinette table and bow sunshade.
Take a close look around in that bow cockpit and you’ll also discover there’s a folding bow boarding ladder for days at the beach, and cup holders and stereo speakers are integrated into the inwales. Then check out the standard features list and you’ll discover that each and every feature we’ve discussed here—along with more big-ticket items like a pair of Garmin 8612 xsv MFDs, a cockpit refrigerator, an anchor windlass, and a bow thruster—are all included on the stock boat.
You say you just can’t make up your mind when it comes to which boat design would be perfect for you and your family? Check out the Solara S-310 CW, and this boat might just make it up for you.
By Lenny Rudow
Solara S-310 CW Specifications:
Displacement: 10,500 lbs.
Transom deadrise: NA
Max HP: 500
Fuel Capacity: 200 gal.
Water Capacity: 41 gal.
Price (base MSRP): $349,937
Local Dealer: Pocket Yacht Company in Grasonville, MD - (888) 519-9120