In the world of fiberglass boat construction the use of a new high-tech construction material or technique is commonly pioneered by one or two boatbuilders, and if it’s advantageous and economically viable, is soon copied by many. The same is true of new designs and layouts. And new accessories also pop up, seemingly out of nowhere on a boat or two, and soon adorn entire fleets. It is exceptionally rare, however, to come across a boat that incorporates the very latest advances in construction, combines it with a unique design and layout, and adds in some accessories that have never before been seen. The Solace 30 HCS has all of the above — and then some.
Solace 30 HCS Construction
It’s basically a mistake to call the Solace 30 HCS a fiberglass boat in the first place. It’s constructed to produce the highest strength possible in a composite boat at minimum weight, using carbon fiber and Innegra. Carbon fiber’s weight is around 70-percent of fiberglass, but (depending on the specific product) is generally between 15- and 20-percent stronger. Innegra is a polyolefin polypropylene synthetic fiber which is hydrophobic, durable, lightweight, and said by many to be the strongest on the market today — it’s the stuff being used to build the latest high-impact helmets, ballistic protection gear, and F1 race cars.
These materials aren’t rolled out or even vacuum-bagged with resin, but instead, are vacuum-infused with epoxy. When the hull and deck are complete they’re outfitted with chrome-plated stainless-steel fittings, wiring is tinned-copper, connections are waterproof Deutsch connectors, windows are tempered glass, and countertops are Corian. Every piece and part found on this boat from stem to stern is utterly topnotch.
Solace 30 HCS Design
The techy construction is complemented with the latest in hull designs, in this case a twin-stepped variable-degree deep-V. The wave-slicing entry is a sharp 37 degrees, which tapers back to 21-degrees of deadrise at the transom. Put that hull together with a pair of 400-hp Mercury V10 Verado outboards and you’re looking at a cruising speed in the mid-40s and a top-end speed in the low 60s.
Advanced though the hull design may be, the boat’s topsides are even more eye-opening. The 30 HCS is billed as a hybrid, capable of straddling the line between a bay boat and an offshore-oriented center console fishing boat. A 30-footer is huge for a bay boat and even for a hybrid, and truth be told Solace does take some leeway with the hybrid bay boat norms — not a shocker coming from this type of pioneering boatbuilder. The gunwales are substantially higher than usual, the forward casting platform is limited to the elevated level of the U-shaped bow seating, and there isn’t the usual aft casting deck. Still, with a (minimum) draft of 19 inches the boat can get shallower than most deep-V center consoles its size. Plus, it’s fully rigged for all fishing eventualities.
Solace 30 HCS Fishing Features
The deep cockpit and svelte elevated casting areas incline the 30 HCS more towards offshore fishing than inshore, but with either form of angling you’ll appreciate perks like a pair of 30-gallon livewells in the transom; tackle stowage in the leaning post and a flip-open compartment in the forward gunwale with four tackleboxes; flush-mount rodholders in the gunwales; and a total of nine rocket launchers between the hard top and pipework. An upper station is offered for sight fishing aficionados, and when you haul in a catch destined for the dinner table you’ll make good use of the pair of 35-gallon fishboxes in the deck, which are evacuated via gulper pumps. One of the biggest fishing feature of all, however, is found at the helm. A pair of Garmin 8616 MFDs are included standard on this boat, as is a 500-watt CHIRP transducer with side-scanning abilities.
A special note on the raw water washdown, a feature just about every serious fishing boat has. And, a feature just about every serious angler has fumbled with, tripped over, and tried to improve on. We add housings, hang the spray handle on outrigger lines, and try to find a way to keep the washdown handy yet out of the way. Few manage to accomplish the feat and it’s normally left to the angler to figure out how he or she will handle it. Solace, however, designed in a nifty washdown system for both fresh and raw water, where the self-coiling hose is contained under the gunwale on a rod. It’s easy to grab and pull out, easy to slide back in place, and always out of the way.
Solace 30 HCS Family Features
Up to now we wouldn’t have been able to think of a hybrid bay boat with a console compartment worthy of being called a cabin, but Solace pulls it off. Not only is there a head compartment, the console houses a double berth, stowage compartments, and a countertop with a sink. Headroom is a spectacular 6’2”. To fit that berth, running forward from the console there’s an elevated section that Solace uses to create a double-wide lounger up top, like those found on many larger center console boats.
Seating is another high point. Cushions are held down to the foredeck seats with magnets, which are in the cushions themselves and are laminated into the fiberglass. This is actually a fishing high point as well as a comfort feature because it holds the cushions in place firmly, but when you want to pop them off and use the foredeck for casting, it’s easy to remove them for stowage. The aft transom seat, however, is even more impressive. It sits over the livewells and has a strut-assisted backrest that allows you to sit either facing forward or facing aft. And unlike most seat-over-livewell arrangements this one provides easy access to your baits, with seat bases that flip up and all the way open on gas-assist struts.
Solace 30 HCS Specifications
- Length Overall: 29’10”
- Beam: 9’10”
- Weight: 9,000 lbs. Est.
- Draft (min.): 1’7”
- Max HP: 900
- Transom Deadrise: 21 degrees
- Fuel Capacity: 187 gal.
- Water Capacity: 31 gal.
The latest in construction methods? Check. A unique design which we’re likely to see mimicked by others? Check, again. Accessories unlike those seen on the rest of today’s fishing fleet? Check and double-check. The 30 HCS isn’t just one of the newest fishing boats on the water, it’s the latest and greatest.
See Solace 30 HCS boats for sale on Boat Trader.