|Max Headroom||Open||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Tested Power||1 x 200-hp Yamaha F200XB|
The mission of the Premier 235 Solaris is all about family fun. The upper deck not only provides nearly 3/4-length of room for sunning, but also a launch pad off the wet slide into the water. Below, good times can continue under the shaded protection of the upper deck on comfortable furniture arranged in a layout that promotes good times and good conversations.
Certainly the profile of the Premier 235 Solaris takes on a unique characteristic with the addition of the optional upper deck and waterslide.
Optional Upper Deck with Slide. A huge feature given the family fun mission of this boat. It not only provides three-quarter length sun space but an elevated platform for attaching the waterslide, while providing much needed protection from the sun for those below deck.
Quality Furnishings. The quality of the furnishings really needs to be felt to be appreciated but it is clearly premium grade with a Durasoft 7 upholstery vinyl.
Beacon Touch Screen Panel. This innovative touch screen allows complete control of the boat systems as well as a moving map display and video display.
Signature Helm Chair. One of the most comfortable helm chairs we've seen. It swivels, slides and reclines with self-leveling armrests.
Rubber nose cone guards and polished corner castings that include nav lights and docking lights are on the standard equipment list.
ISO 9001:2008 Certified Construction. Premier is proud of the fact that it was the first pontoon boat builder to receive ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification. ISO certification means that Premier's boats meet international standards and that the company has systems in place to insure each unit made conforms to those standards.
Durasoft 7 vinyl. The vinyl used on all upholstery has the highest stain-resistance in the industry, according to the builder. This is due to the chemical composition of the material at the molecular level. It has a UV inhibitor and protects against mildew and preserves color longer than conventional vinyls.
5-Step Ladder. Most pontoon boats have 3 or 4 steps on their re-boarding swim ladder, but the 250 Solaris has 5 on its ss ladder. It also has two high hand-holds to help bathers get up on deck, much like those seen in a swimming pool.
Positive Airlock System. Premier's PALS (Positive Airlock System) is a proprietary system designed to keep the chambers in its tubes buoyant even if punctured. As water rises to the level of the PALS air vent inside the chamber a valve becomes sealed preventing more water from entering the tube.
Premier's PALS device is a venting system that both reduces condensation in the tubes as well as becoming sealed shut if a chamber is punctured.
5-Year Stem-to-Stern Warranty. Premier's warranty is one of the most comprehensive in the industry for any type of recreational boat. Its warranty states that "Every screw, staple, cleat, bracket, couch, helm, wire, etc. is warranty covered" for 5 years from the date of purchase. In addition there is a limited lifetime warranty on roto-cast furniture frames, Bimini top frames and brackets, welds on tubes, rails and gates, a 5-year limited warranty on carpet, and a 7-year limited warranty on its Durasoft 7 vinyl.
The Premier 235 Solaris has an LOA of 23'5"(7.14 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 2,650 lbs. (1.202 kg), full fuel and two people onboard we had an estimated test weight of 3.981 lbs. (1.806 kg).
With a single Yamaha F 200 XB turning a 14.5 x 15 Reliance SDS prop we reached a top speed at 6000 rpm of 42.2 mph. At that speed fuel burn was 21.5 gph giving us a range of 94 miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 18.4 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 4.8 gph giving the 235 Solaris a range of 182 miles and an endurance of nearly 10 hours while still maintaining a 10% reserve.
Premier offers a number of tube configurations in its boats, and this boat was equipped with the optional 30” (76.2 cm) PTX tubes that include a U-shaped center log with a flat planing surface providing better lift and quick planing times. We reached planing speed on our test in only 3.1 seconds and did so from a nearly level attitude.
The PTX tube also allows the 235 Solaris to display a handling characteristic that separates it from most pontoon boats on the market. During heavy maneuvers it leans into the turns rather than remaining flat or leaning to the outside of the turns. This gives her the feeling more in line with a V-hull boat rather than a pontoon or a catamaran. We would have expected the weight of the upper deck to exaggerate the rolling movment, but if it did it was not noticed. At low speeds, and more docile maneuvers, she will remain flat or lean slightly to the outboard of the turn.
As the 235 Solaris begins a port turn it cannot really be seen how she exhibits a gentle roll into the turn.
The Seastar hydraulic steering had a firm feel as the wheel is rotated through its four turns from lock to lock. While this provided a comfortable, no feedback feel during cruise it wasn't the type of feel that lends itself to cranking and banking through quick maneuvers and that will probably suit all those aboard just fine.
She's also a surprisingly dry boat, taking little to no spray aboard as we tacked back and forth across the wake of the camera boat.
The bow of the 250 Solaris is the familiar configuration of the center gate leading in between two couches with curved fronts. The base of the couches are roto-cast molded plastic eliminating the maintenance and concerns about rot of wood construction. Usual accommodations for storage are underneath with clever hinges that allow the cushions to remain open without having to hold them up.
Aesthetically, the couches look as comfortable as they feel. Gentle curves are sewn into the patterns with dual density foam providing added cushioning in all the necessary areas. Thanks to the addition of the center tube, an in-deck storage compartment was added with a ventilated hatch to allow moisture to escape. This compartment is huge, running back to an area level with the helm. The hatch is not lockable, but that is in response to customer requests. Too many people kept losing the key.
Two couches at the bow provide opposing conversational areas as well as comfortable relaxation points. The starboard side not only includes a speaker to the premium stereo system, but an additional sub woofer as well.
The padding is so soft on the couches a person just sinks right into it and is ensconced in comfort.
The seat cushion bases are constructed from waffle boards and lateral structural supports have holes drilled into the bottoms to allow water to drain away.
Premier refers to its helm as the Liberty I design and it includes a Beacon touch screen display in the center giving intuitive access to all of the boat's systems as well as a moving map display. To the sides are Calypso gauges with white oval faces and chrome bezels. The three spoke steering wheel has a curly maple rim that matches the faux wood accents on the helm and side panel. Inputs to the starboard side will accommodate an MP3 player as well as a video player that can be displayed on the touch screen panel.
The entire helm consists of soft tones and darker shades that completely eliminate any concerns for glare.
The theme of sweeping curves continues at the helm. Premier seems to be content with making a departure from the rest of the pontoon industry and mounting their engine controls at the horizontal position rather than at a 45-degree angle. It is a trend we're happy to see. Notice the removable panel underneath that provides access to the inside of the console for wiring access while not impeding legroom.
With the Beacon touch screen display providing controls for all of the boat's systems, only two rocker switches remain necessary.… one to power up the helm panel, and another for the horn. As usual, we like to see the horn switch in red. Notice the faux carbon fiber against the curly maple accents.
This premium Signature helm seat is easily one of the most comfortable we've come across. Just look at the amount of padding on the seat.
The helm seat is on an elevated platform to allow the operator a clear sightline over the heads of the occupants in the forward couch. Notice the conveniently located fire extinguisher.
Moving aft, a single couch wraps around the portside providing a second entertainment area, or a place to relax while watching the wake shrinking in the distance. The same storage accommodations are underneath, as well as the comfort level afforded by double density foam.
The aft couch features the same level of comfort as the dual couches in the bow. Notice the recessed speaker and accommodations for drink holders.
Storage is not only underneath the seat cushions, but under the seatbacks as well. Here the roto- cast molded construction can clearly be seen.
Convenient wastebasket access is located behind the aft seat. The wastebasket can be removed by lifting the seatback.
An inverted paper towel holder is just behind the seat. We think this is the perfect place for it, handy to clean up a mess someone (the kids, of course!) has made on the table.
Behind the aft seating is a sun pad to the port side but also accommodates the changing room and optional head. A walkway leading from the main deck to the reboarding swim ladder is to the starboard side.
The aft sun pad as seen from the upper deck. Also notice the Turbo bar for towing operations surrounding the outboard.
The sun pad lies next to the walkthrough to the swim platform deck.
The changing room is underneath the sun pad. There is also room here for an optional head.
Access to the storage under the aft sun pad is by lifting the pad from the front, or the back. In either position gas assist struts will hold it open.
The upper deck is one of the coolest options available for this boat, or for that matter any pontoon boat. It added a level of functionality that is just hard to beat. The fences surrounding the upper deck maintain the classic curves of the lower deck along with the color scheme. U-shaped cross members add strength while the bracketed supports not only maintain stability but also seemed to eliminate any sway.
Functions Above. From the inside of the enclosed deck, there was wide open space ready to accommodate deck chairs, lounges, or simply beach towels. Premier correctly went against adding any accoutrements to the upper deck such as a grill or entertainment center as those would add weight and reduce the capacity of the upper deck which is currently listed as five persons or 700 lbs. (318 kg). It's better off utilized as a sunning area and for a launching point to the included waterslide. The shade protection provided to the lower deck will clearly make the difference between enjoying a day on the water and enduring one.
A Special Place. Sun worshipers should take note that the upper deck is an ideal place to work on a tan. First, because of the fencing, toasting bodies will be protected from the wind which sometimes can cause a chill even on a hot day. Second, again because of the fencing and the height of the upper deck, there is quite a bit of privacy for those who would like to get a Brazilian tan.
The upper deck is well supported with tubular uprights that were well-suited to the published weight while at the same time reducing any sway effect.
The aft end of the upper deck consists of the ladder, a U-shaped fence, and the standard wet slide. The safety chain can be deployed while the engine is running to keep the kids safely onboard.
A switch under the sun pad activates the water pump to the wet slide.
Reboarding the 235 Solaris is by stepping aboard this 5 step ladder. Note the solid grab rails to either side, and note the wide treads.
The optional Turbo bar ($922) allows the towline to swing back and forth across the engine on a roller.
The PTX Hull System
This drawing from the Premier website shows the relative sizes and shapes of the toons used by many pontoon builders compared to the ones used in the Premier PTX system. Standard pontoon diameters used by most builders range from 23" to 27" (58 to 68 cm) with the center toon being larger in some cases, but not in all.
The standard 235 Solaris Hull Configuration has logs that are each 25" in diameter and the boat comes in both two log and three log (optional) configurations. With two tubes, the 235 Solaris has a person capacity of 12 people and is rated for a maximum of 125-hp. The three-tube version is rated for 15 people and a max of 200-hp.
The PTX hull system used in the 235 Solaris that we tested has a rated capacity of 16 people and a maximum horsepower rating of 225. This pontoon has a 12" (30 cm) flat bottom. It is not cylindrical but rather is U-shaped, more like that of a log canoe. The 36" center log is 15% larger than conventional elliptical tubes and 27" round ones. This means the PTX system has more buoyancy.
Lifting Strakes. The PTX system has two lifting strakes, one placed on the inside of the two outer tubes. The company says this increases the boat's top speed by 10%, helps in turning and allows the boat to plane quicker.
The PTX system's lifting strakes are large and dramatically improve the boat's performance, according to the builder.
Weight is Important. As noted above the upper deck has a capacity of 700 lbs. (318 kgs.). That can account for a whole neighborhood of little kids scampering up the ladder and sliding into the water.
The 235 Solaris carries a base price of $30,714 without engine. Our Yamaha F 200 added $17,990, and with additional options (including the upper deck and slide) the price as tested is $72,246. A lot of good times can be had on this boat for that price and as the good times have family squarely targeted, some would consider that return on the investment priceless.
The upper deck has a lot of appeal for children and grandchildren. In fact, we never cease to be amazed at how many times youngsters can go down a waterslide and never tire of it. Each trip is a new adventure.
We have mentioned some of the benefits of the upper deck for serious sun bathers, but it is also a very special place to host a few friends during a evening cruising in places such as Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm, the west coast of Florida, some Southern California locations, and on lakes and rivers all over the country. In fact, one of Premier's owners with an upper deck is one of the nation's most famous member of the upper crust.
Premier is well-known for doing customized work and we would suggest that anyone wanting to carry more than 700 lbs. on the upper deck to simply ask a Premier dealer what can be done. The company tells us that some of their best innovations have come from customer requests.
|Washdown: Fresh Water|
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!