Marine News from the Great Lakes

How Harris Pioneers Design Innovation In Pontoons

Published: Monday, July 9, 2018

Harris pontoons are known for setting the standard for innovative design in the marine industry. The design process starts well in advance to guarantee that it will exceed the most discerning boat owner’s expectations. Following an established method accomplishes this by scrutinizing every detail and ensuring everything has been considered. This process allows them to create products that are completely new and unique to Harris, while maintaining popular trends and colors.

Observation Drives Design

Beginning the design process with research brings the needs of the customer to the forefront. By first observing the customer in their environment - to see how they interact with their boat - the design team is better informed about what the customer values, and how their expectations can be better met. This qualitative research revealed that boat owners used their boats to lounge both fore and aft, and this became the catalyst for Harris developing the Single Rear Facing Lounger layout on the Grand Mariner in 2009. This piece of furniture allowed for dual-use seating arrangements and, although it is approaching the 10-year mark, it is still one of the most popular layouts on almost all models. Design that is based on data and observations will create boats that can be timeless.

Determining how to solve a customer need can be the most difficult part of the design process. The research that is gathered needs to be organized and analyzed to define what areas of the boat need attention. Brainstorming with people from multiple backgrounds creates a wealth of potential ideas, ranging from the achievable to the outrageous. However, all concepts are refined into more exact drawings until only the strongest remain. One such example is the V270, which was introduced to remedy consumer demand for a full marine head on a pontoon boat. The patented marine head design sank it into the middle pontoon, creating more room to stand and move around on deck. Creating a solution that addresses the real issues faced by the customer ensures that it will be a useful design.

Design Refinement Returns Eye-Catching Results 

Next, the aesthetics of the new design are taken into consideration. Even the automotive and interior design industries are studied to see emerging trends. Multiple design iterations are prototyped to make certain the new design is cohesive in color, material, and finish. Everything on a Harris boat is beautiful as well as functional, as highlighted by the Crowne series. With an elegant fiberglass body that comes in multiple color combinations, this model looks like a jewel on the lake. Form follows function, and only an intelligent design process can create a pontoon boat that can have beauty based in practicality.

For over 60 years, Harris has maintained their uncompromising reputation for luxury, quality, and customer satisfaction. Winning the Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index Award 15 years in a row is a testament to their commitment to meeting customer needs. When you buy a Harris, you are investing in a lifetime of industry knowledge and the pursuit of perfection. Harris continually strives for excellence in both the design and the care of the future pontoons they craft. With premium construction, elegant detailing, and agile handling for uncompromised performance on the water, a Harris pontoon will become your new standard for boating luxury.

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This article first appeared in the Summer Issue (Jul/Aug) 2018 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.

tags: New Boat Models

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