Courtesy Solace Boats
Solace Boats is proud of what it calls the “Dougherty difference.” Bob Dougherty, head of Boston Whaler, moved its plant from Massachusetts to Florida in 1982. He raised his son Stephen “with resin on his hands,” and the pair launched Edgewater Boats in 1992, and Everglades Boats a decade later.
Stephen and Sarah Dougherty founded Dougherty Manufacturing in 2012 and by 2021 had launched three Solace boat models. The line now includes five boats from 30 to 41 feet in length.
Engineered to harness the heightened horsepower of today’s high-performance outboard engines, Solace’s center-console boat line offers options including either diesel or Mercury or Yamaha gasoline engines.
Solace produces its boats and most components at its 200,000-square-foot campus in Edgewater, Florida.
Courtesy Solace Boats
Solace 30 HCS
The smallest in the Solace line, the 30 HCS (hybrid center step) is nonetheless the industry’s largest hybrid bay boat, designed for both offshore fishing adventures and island days.
The 30 HCS’ gunwale height is medium, good for both inshore and offshore boating. The boat has a unique back-to-back transom seat and port and starboard doors that open to a large swim platform. Total cockpit area is a generous 34 square feet. Its full cabin has a bunk to welcome overnight stays and horizontal rod storage for nine rods. Cushions on the boat are secured with magnets, and the console windshield opens fully.
The stepped hull with its carbon-fiber construction and twin Mercury Verados (up to 400 hp V-10s) produce impressive speed, agility and efficiency.
The 30 HCS boasts two 35-gallon in-floor fish boxes, a pair of 30-gallon livewells and transom-mounted rod holders. Angler-pleasing options include Gemlux outriggers with 18-foot carbon-fiber poles, dual Power-Poles, a trolling motor and jack plates. A second station cobia tower is available to provide breathtaking views and fishing efficiency.
Other features include underwater lights and wraparound and cockpit front lounge seating.
Solace made good use of what is typically wasted space with a thoughtfully designed transom bench that sits atop the stern livewells. It features two cushioned seats with armrests and an innovative backrest that pivots to let crewmembers face fore or aft. -Joe Albanese, Executive Editor Salt Water Sportsman
Test Power: Twin Mercury 400 hp
Test Props: Rev4 14 5⁄8 x 19
Test Load: (w/632 lb. fuel, 80 gal. water, 600 people and gear, second station) 10,312 lb.
Test Speed: 35 mph at 4,000 rpm
Max Range: 260 mi.
LOA:29’10”Beam:9’10”Fuel Capacity:187 gal.Dry Weight With Power:10,000 lb.Max HP:1,000Certifications:NMMA
SŌLACE – Edgewater, Florida; solaceboats.com