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Harris Solstice 250  Review

Ian Fortey by Ian Fortey Updated on October 31, 2022. In Pontoon Boats

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Harris has been making boats for decades now and their Solstice models offer luxury and versatility for boaters with and without families. This feature rich pontoon boat can offer an unforgettable boating experience if you can choose the right package.

What are the Harris 250 Solstice Pontoon Boats 

The Solstice 250 is a solid family pontoon that offers versatility in terms of fishing, cruising and family fun. It can check off all the boxes for each individually without diving too deep into any one in a way that makes it specialized. So yes, you can use it for watersports but it may not be the best choice if you’re an expert water skier looking for that speed rush on the water. But then again, no one is expecting that out of a pontoon. That said, if you have a family, especially with kids who want to try out skiing and tubing and other sports, you’ll probably be happy with the performance of the Solstice.

One of the main strengths, but also potentially a drawback for those not sure of what exactly they want, is the endless options you can take advantage of to customize your Solstice. From numerous floor plans to colors to amenities to literally dozens of engine options, you can fine tune this boat to meet any needs. Just be careful not to get too overwhelmed. 

Harris has focused on making comfort, practicality and a touch of luxury the base for their Solstice 250 with the potential being wide open for how you want to expand on any or all of those aspects with customizable options.

Key Features of Solstice 250 Pontoon Boat

Harris currently offers two models for their Solstice 250, the base model and the DC or dual-console. Nearly every feature offered can be optional to the base model so the following features comprise many of the stand out options that Harris has available.

  • 6 different floor plans
  • Electric Bimini top
  • Upgradeable tube options
  • Ride enhancing performance packages
  • Reinforced nose cones
  • Lifting strakes
  • Fish/Depth finder
  • Drink holder/seat base/pontoon lighting package
  • Stitched cushion accents
  • CZONE digital switching for greater control of systems
  • Twin lounges
  • USB and cupholders throughout
  • Multi-position backrest
  • Electronic retractable ladder
  • Hinged helm console for easy access
  • Oversized swim platform
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Soft-sided cooler
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Pop-up change room
  • Tow bar for towing water skiers and tubers

Specs

  • 27’11” length
  • 25’ pontoon length
  • 8’6” beam
  • Max 400 HP
  • Multiple engine options ( 29 Mercury 4-stroke engine options, in fact)
  • Max occupancy of 11-14 people (2576 lbs / 2597 lbs)
  • Fuel capacity of 28 gallons/ 37 gallons/ 63 gallons depending on build
  • Weight of 2,903 lbs to 4,220 lbs depending on tube length and number
  • Fiberglass hull plus aluminum pontoons

Pros

  • Some of the best and most diverse options you’ll find for a pontoon boat.
  • Great variety of engines means you can more easily tailor your Solstice to what you want, not just what the manufacturer had in mind.
  • You never realized how great a flip top helm can be until you see it in action. Easy access to wiring and steering components is a great feature and more pontoon manufacturers should do this.
  • Build and stability seem really sold and reliable

Cons

  • As you go through the builds, the price can get up remarkably high with some features added on.
  • So many options for so many features can make settling on a specific build frustrating and confusing.
  • While you can obviously use this as a fishing pontoon, it seems odd that there are so few fishing-specific options available.
  • A problem that plagues a lot of pontoons is anchor storage and here you’ll need to dedicate one of the general storage areas as an anchor locker since there’s no dedicated anchor storage on board

What You Need to Know

Starting at just under $75,000, this is by no means an economy model pontoon boat, but Harris is known as a higher quality manufacturer so that’s no surprise. Compared to similar models it’s actually fairly well-priced and offers decent value overall, if you can nail down your specific build to what you want. The company has been around for over half a century and is now a subsidiary of Brunswick like so many other pontoon makers out there.

Head to the Harris website and check out the options to build your own Solstice 250 and you’ll be blown away by the choices. While many pontoons have a handful of engine options based on the size of the boat itself, Harris gives you 29 different Mercury engines to choose from ranging from the Mercury 9.9 ELPT Command Thrust Four Stroke outboard which is a relatively cheap $4,000 all the way to the impressive Mercury 400R Verado White which will set you back over $62,000 all by itself. Depending on your choice you can prioritize fuel economy or power.

Options are one of the main strengths of the Harris Solstice, however. It even blows the competition out of the water with color options, with 10 available. There are few parts of this boat that can’t be tweaked or customized and it would be nearly impossible to list every single option in a single review. You can decide for yourself if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

What People Are Saying

Harris is renowned for having some top shelf customer service and that’s been one of the company’s big strengths. The flip top helm is a huge selling point, especially for anyone who’s had issues with wiring or steering problems in the past and had a hassle getting ahold of things.

Reviews for the Solstice really focus on the simple luxuries it offers – the feel of the upholstery, the generous size of the back deck, and the overall comfort and flow of the entire boat. But, like us, a few buyers and potential buyers have expressed the sense of drowning in all of those options. There’s just so many and if you’re not a boating expert already, you just won’t have any idea what half of the options even are without Googling them separately to find out if they’ll be good for you or not. If you know there are 29 different engine options, could you say for sure which one you’d want off the top of your head when the choices are basically separated by horsepower and nothing else? If there are 5 engines that are each 200 hp, how do you know which is the best with no further info on hand? It’s a little daunting for sure and given that this seems to be marketed as a casual, family boat, it’s a bit much.

That aside, when you do get a handle on the options, many owners have expressed their pleasure at being able to really fine tune a model that meets their needs. Harris allows you to really make your own model rather than a predetermined design, and that appeals to a lot of the boaters we heard from.

In terms of overall performance, Harris makes a solid boat that offers a smooth and stable ride. Go for a tritoon option and a higher horsepower engine and you’ll really be able to make the most of that tow bar in back and cruising around with a crowd of friends and family on board that ensures you’ll still feel the wind in your hair and be enjoying yourself 

Do We Recommend It? 

Harris makes quality boats that are consistently some of the top recommended in the field, and the Solstice is no different. It’s a sleek design, a solid build, and it offers reliable performance. The nearly endless options make a great if somewhat daunting experience but the end result is a solid performing and great looking boat. Combine that with the Harris customer service which really does go above and beyond to help with any potential issues, and you have a good choice for a pontoon boat here.

If you’re familiar with what the options are and how they benefit you and your boating experience, I’d definitely recommend giving the Solstice 250 a look. If you’re a first time boater and you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs, especially in terms of boat technology and engines, I might consider putting the Solstice 250 on the shelf until you’re more familiar with what you need, or you can get a trusted and knowledgeable friend to help you sort through the sea of options. 

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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