By Captain Steve Larivee
The mission of the Premier 250 Solaris is to provide a luxury pontoon boat with sportboat handling. She offers ultra-comfortable seats and a roomy layout. Her PTX package gives her a ride that the builder hopes will set the standard for performance pontoons boats. Further, the boat should provide a dry ride on all points of sail in most conditions.
PTX Package -
The PTX performance package was designed to provide sportboat handling to larger pontoons that are able to accommodate higher horsepower. Famed marine design engineer Fred Cotey was tasked to bring his years of experience with Hydrostream Racing Boats to create center pontoon tube that would enable sportboat-like handling. The result is the PTX Performance Package.
. The twin outer tubes are 25” (63.5 cm) in diameter and are secured to the deck with M-brackets. Lifting strakes are added only to the insides of the outer tubes. The center tube is 36” (91.4 cm) across with a 12” (30.5 cm) pad at the bottom that acts as a lifting surface to give quick times to plane. The edges of the center tube are beveled to allow the 250 Solaris the ability to roll into the turns. •
Two-piece tubes –
Normally tubes are constructed out of several sections, all welded together. Premier uses two pieces with a single seam in the center of the length. Skirts at the top provide a clean, finished look.
Curved Bimini supports –
This adds a bit of style to what would otherwise be just squared off rails. The frame is also quite beefy with 2” (5 cm) square channels. •
Reinforced deck corners-
Errant captains who tag the dock need not worry about damage, for the most part. The corners of the deck, as well as the front of the tubes, are protected against impact by rubber protecting strips and reinforced corners. •
NANO Block Upholstery.
Premier claims to be the only pontoon manufacturer to offer soft and durable NANO Block Technology (NBT) vinyl. NBT has a NANO UV inhibitor that protects vinyl upholstery from mildew and other microbials up to three times longer than industry-standard finishes while maintaining and preserving the color longer, says the builder. It also protects against marks from ball point pens, grease, oil, etc.
ISO 9001:2008 certified.
Premier was the first pontoon boat builder to receive this certification. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) recognizes best industry practices and documents conformity and repeatability mechanisms in construction.•
5-Year Stem-to-Stern warranty.
Only a handful of boat builders of all types of boats offer a 5-year limited warranty for virtually all aspects of the boat. Premier's warranty includes Bimini top frames and brackets as well as rails and gates. •
Lifetime warranty on basic structure.
Premier offers a lifetime warranty on the deck, tubes, and furniture frames.
With an Evinrude E-TEC 250 HO turning a 15.5" x 17" Rebel prop our 250 Solaris reached a top speed at 5800 rpm of 45.2 mph. At that speed fuel burn was 25.7 gph giving us a range of 79 miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 18.6 mph. That reduced the fuel burn to only 6.9 gph which the Solaris could keep up for 6-1/2 hours and 121 miles.With that flat running surface on the center tube she gets on top of the water from a level attitude and accelerates quickly reaching planing speed in just 2.5 seconds. We accelerated through 20 mph in 3.5 seconds and continued accelerating to 30 mph in 5.5 seconds. These are truly impressive times and they will make it easier for wakeboarders and skiers to get up.
The PTX performance package really shined on the 250 Solaris. She leans roughly 5-degrees into the turns and remained rock solid stable throughout all of our maneuvers across the choppy lake. Most surprisingly, the ride was remarkably dry considering the windy and choppy conditions, particularly when beam to the seas. I have been in similar-sized tri-toons in the same conditions and have been completely soaked. These choppy conditions gave me a good chance to see if there was any flexing of the deck as we rode over the waves and there was none. The only place that I noticed any flexing and wobbling from was the Bimini top, which is to be expected in this type of boat.
Starting at the bow
Premier thoughtfully added rubber trim to the front of the pontoons and reinforcing to the corners of the deck to add longevity to these impact points against the dock. The carpeted deck extends out to the foredeck beyond the fences. 6" (15.3 cm) cleats are to either side and our test boat was also equipped with LED docking lights. The forward gate affords an opening 2'6" wide (.76 m) making the 250 Solaris wheelchair accessible. The gate is held in the open and closed positions by brackets secured to the deck and, while closed, was able to sufficiently remain secure while pushing my weight against it.
Upon entering the 250 Solaris
dual loungers to port and starboard are 3'6" (1.1 m) apart and storage can be found not only under the seat cushions but also in the aft reclined seat backs. Between the two seats is a sole storage locker that is huge thanks to the size of the center toon. The seat bases are Roto-cast plastic, vinyl is weather-resistant, padding is ultra-soft allowing you to sit into the seats rather than on top of them.
A second boarding gate
is midships to port directly adjacent to an admiral seat that reclines, swivels, has self-leveling armrests and a pop-out footrest. Right next to that is a small table with two drink holders.
is located to starboard and features a similar admiral's seat, only without the pop-up footrest. The panel is neat and orderly with basic Faria gauges with chrome bezels and white faces flanking a Humminbird GPS/fishfinder. A windscreen deflected the wind nicely over my head. There's storage underneath the console accessed by a side panel that I would like to see hinged and additional storage is located behind the captain’s seat.
Seating at the stern
wraps all the way from side-to-side making the loungers 3'2" (.97 m) apart. As with the bow, storage is underneath the seats and in the reclining seat backs. The main difference with these seats, however, is the aft seat is removable and can be relocated to the bow to make the forward seats wraparound.
The aft platform
is covered with a rubberized nonskid surface and a 5-step reboarding ladder is to starboard. Now while this is probably one of the deepest ladders I've seen, and the treads measured 2 ½” (6.4 cm) making them comfortable on bare feet, with the ladder being hinged in the middle I found it very difficult to retract from the deployed position.
Premier's 250 Solaris definitely brings sportboat handling to a comfortable luxury pontoon. Clearly the combination of her center toon with its pad and the Evinrude E-TEC 250 HO enables this vessel to have remarkable hole-shot times, something particularly important to beginning skiers and wakeboarders.Perhaps most noteworthy is her 5-year stem-to-stern warranty and lifetime warranty on the deck (made of 7-ply marine-grade wood), aluminum tubes and the frames of the furniture. This speaks to the quality of materials and construction practices used in the 250 Solaris. Virtually any metal-working shop can turn out a pontoon boat, but none will stand behind them as Premier does, nor will their boats have the performance of the 250 Solaris. Finally, Premier pontoon boats are not cheap and the 250 Solaris is no exception. But that is usually the case with premium-built products and when it comes to pontoon boats Premier is one of the very top builders.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Premier 250 Solaris (2013-) is 45.2 mph (72.7 kph), burning 25.70 gallons per hour (gph) or 97.27 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Premier 250 Solaris (2013-) is 18.6 mph (29.9 kph), and the boat gets 2.70 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.15 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 121 miles (194.73 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O..
Standard and Optional Features