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Harris Grand Mariner 250 Pontoon Boats Review

Ian Fortey by Ian Fortey Updated on November 8, 2022. In Pontoon Boats

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Harris makes some of the highest end, top of the line pontoon boats in the industry. The Grand Mariner 250 is a performance machine with luxury and features to spare.

What Is it

The Harris Grand Mariner 250 is a pontoon built to merge performance and luxury with an all around well performing pontoon that can meets you needs no matter what they are. This is an ideal boat for cruising, water sports and entertaining. You can certainly enjoy fishing on it as well, but it’s built with more of an eye towards those luxury and other leisure activities. At over 27 feet long and room for anywhere from 10 to 15 people depending on which length and performance package you go with, this is ideal for family gatherings or parties on the lake.

Key Features

There are several versions of the Grand Mariner 250 available in the Grand Mariner model series (there’s also a Grand Mariner 230 and 270). There are a staggering amount of innovative features offered which can offer premium performance or just some top shelf luxury. Most of these are not standard features.

  • 4 panel colors and 9 accent colors
  • 4 different floor plans to choose from though they can increase base price depending on your options. These can include rear facing lounger with entertainment center, dual helm seats or a center walkthrough
  • 12’ Bimini top, double bimini or full enclosure available
  • Ultra tower
  • Lifting strakes
  • In-floor storage
  • Ski tow bar or ski tow pylon
  • Hydraulic steering
  • Extra baffle at nosecone
  • Aluminum skin kit
  • Salt water package
  • 25 separate engine options ranging from the Mercury 90 ELPT FourStroke EFI Command Thrust up to the Mercury 450R Verado White
  • Power assist steering
  • Tilt steering
  • Mercury single engine joystick piloting
  • JL Audio platinum sound system
  • Dual Simrad GO9 with VesselView Link
  • Lighting packages
  • Stainless steel cup holders
  • Quick release fenders
  • Rearview mirror
  • Numerous flooring options
  • Wood accents
  • Change room
  • Stainless steel refrigerator
  • Stainless steel grill
  • Pressurized faucet and freshwater tank
  • Telescopic folding boarding ladder or powered retractable ladder
  • Swim seat
  • Bow jump seat
  • Removable windscreen

Specs

  • 27’11” overall length
  • 8’6” beam
  • Overall dry weight of 3,306 lbs with 2 tubes or 4,045 with 3 tubes
  • Total passenger capacity of 10-13 people or 2,497 lbs
  • Capacity increase to 12 to 15 people with 3 27” tubes
  • Max total weight (3 27” tubes) 4,918 lbs
  • Maximum of 400 horsepower at performance level 2 and 450 hp at performance level 3
  • Fuel capacity of 28 gallons/37 gallons/63 gallons depending on performance level

Pros

  • There are no less than 25 engine options for this pontoon meaning you can definitely cater this to your individual needs. Whether you want a boat for casual cruising on a lazy summer day or you want to tear through the water with someone on a tube or water skis behind you, no one gives you as many engine options as Harris will.
  • You don’t often hear people discuss color options with boats because for many people it’s kind of an afterthought, but if you have comparison shopped for pontoons you know most manufacturers give you just two or three options. Some just have one. Harris has really opened things up with a lot of accents and other color options to help customize your boat.
  • The various performance levels and options packages mean you can build your own boat in dozens if not hundreds of different ways from small tweaks to very big performance or layout changes that can make your boat drastically different than someone else’s even if you both have the same model
  • That joystick piloting can offer effortless performance and precise control like nothing else.

Cons

  • I know I just said that the options were a big pro but I’m going to list them as a con as well for a different reason. There are so many options and some of them aren’t really well explained when you check out the Harris site. If you go in to build your own boat, a lot of the features are only vaguely described so it can be hard to know what you want. Worse, sometimes you can choose a certain performance package that may include a stereo system and later you can add that same stereo system again and the interface won’t stop you, so you’ll take on a few thousand dollars for something the boat already has included.
  • Some of the higher powered engine options seem like overkill and aren’t really necessary for a boat of this size. In my opinion the Verado 450 is too much engine for this boat, but I’m certain some boaters out there will still love it.
  • The price can be a real drawback here. The starting price is already at the high end but once you start adding on features you can quickly find yourself getting up over a quarter of a million dollars which is just really impractical for a lot of boaters out there. 

Price

The base price of the Harris Grand Mariner starts at $94,154 so you can see this is definitely a higher end pontoon boat. But, as you also saw, the features are really impressive as well to justify the price. Options greatly increase the price, and in particular the engine options can really put you over the top. For instance, the Mercury 450R Verado White outboard motor will add $104,051 to your price tag. We didn’t even list all the options in the features above but if you build your Harris Grand Mariner 250 to the max you can top out at over $300,000.

What You Need to Know

With plenty of luxury options you’ll have no trouble finding something that appeals to you about this boat. Whether you want the grill and fridge for entertaining on the water, or a ski tow pylon, the automatic ladder and the swim seat for making the most of water sports, you’ll probably be happy with the Harris Grand Mariner. There’s a reason the literature uses terms like “peerless performance define” when talking about this vessel

The performance is nothing you need to worry about assuming you know what you want out of the boat. Thanks to the numerous engine options you can tailor it pretty easily. For instance, if you opt for a Mercury Verado 300 FourStroke you’ll probably be topping out around 45 miles per hour to 48 miles per hour. If that’s not giving you the rush you need for tubing, then you’ll want to bump up to that Verado 450 or something in the ballpark to give yourself more power and more speed that’ll get the wind whipping through your hair. That could be more than you need as well so keep that in mind. You won’t be going a ton faster with that Verado 450, but it can squeeze out a few more clicks for you if it’s something you really need.

With three pontoons the balance and the control are better than some similar boats I’ve tried. It handles really well on the water, even when you have the throttle open. The lifting strakes and the skin underneath help you manage speed and wind pretty well. 

What People Are Saying About the Harris Grand Mariner 250

Most Harris owners seem to be pretty happy with their purchase but I have heard more than one point out that if you max out the engine and get that Verado 450 you may be giving in to a bit of overkill. Part of the problem here is the fact that pontoons and high speeds don’t always get along. Even with the third pontoon to help for control and stability, when you open the throttle what you may find is that the bow just wants to fly. 

Your solution is to trim the engine but it can take some practice to find the sweet spot that keeps the bow down at speeds and you’re going to have to get used to some bounce. Porpoising is par for the course in a pontoon when you get this kind of power and speed pushing you through the water.

Controls are responsive and Harris has also been complimented for having customer service that’s just as responsive. You’d think all high end pontoon manufacturers would be very responsive to their customers but sadly that’s not always the case. Harris, however, seems to have a pretty good reputation for how their customer service people can deal with any problems you may have to deal with. 

Do We Recommend It? 

Harris has made a great boat here and I wholeheartedly recommend it but you will have to pay to get the most out of it. There are so many options to take advantage of it can be hard to reign yourself in when you’re looking at builds and the hardest part may be just trying to be responsible with your money and not going all in for every great feature. 

If money is not an issue for you and you want a boat that can be super customized, luxurious, powerful and fun, this may be the best choice on the market today. Other boats may be a little more luxurious or have higher end features here and there, but as a total package not many manufacturers can touch Harris. 


About Ian

My grandfather first took me fishing when I was too young to actually hold up a rod on my own. As an avid camper, hiker, and nature enthusiast I'm always looking for a new adventure.

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