|Deadrise/Transom||18 deg.||Water Cap||none|
|Max Headroom||open||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||1 x 135-hp MerCruiser 3.0 TKS|
Captain's Report by Captain John Wenz
Doral started building fiberglass boats back in the fifties, so this isn’t some newcomer. They’ve focused primarily on the Canadian market, but more recently the word has been getting around about how exceptional its boats are. And while it is a boutique builder, these days Doral is selling boats in something like 25 countries.
Let’s face it: the eighteen to twenty foot bowrider class has been around for a while. So as a builder, you can’t expect to sell much in the way of a “breakthrough” here if you expect to be competitive in terms of price point. Things like the ride, the fit and finish, and the feel you get when you’re aboard are what distinguish one builder from the other. That’s where the Doral 185 Sunquest makes its mark.
A full complement of quality instruments is topped off by a classy mahogany wheel.
The 185 Sunquest sports a standard bowrider layout. The details are where Doral shines.
Full width storage under the aft cockpit bench seat.
Bow seating is comfortable, with room to stretch your legs. The upholstery is well executed.
Doral’s 185 Sunquest delivers a solid ride.
The optional swim platform allows lots of room for lounging or getting set up for water sports.
A Pad for Speed
Weighing in at 2,250 lbs, the hull features an 18- degree deadrise, with a pad on the centerline aft.
Our test location was on a freshwater lake in central Florida. There was a light breeze blowing, so there was a little chop. With two of us on board, she took off out of the hole in 4.5 seconds.
Visibility from the helm is at least as good as anything I’ve seen in this class, and even with the 3.0L 135 hp Merc Alpha we were rocketing right along at a top speed of just over 42 mph. I could feel the boat accelerate when I trimmed the drive up. We calculated an optimal cruise speed to be 33.6 mph burning 9.1 gph for a range of 76 miles.
Our test model reached over 40 mph with the 135 Merc Alpha.
One word of caution here: If you look at this class as “entry level” in respect to price or size, remember that no boat in this class with this size engine will be able to handle the entire family, grandma, grandpa, and two cousins and then climb out of the hole pulling a waterskier. If that’s what you’re looking for, think bigger and more horsepower. If you are looking for a safe and secure boat for the family, the cockpit depth here is enough to make you feel well surrounded.
In the high speed turn test, I did notice the effect of the flat pad. I tend to be a bit more aggressive when it comes to putting the boat through her paces, and this day was no exception. There’s no keel to bite, so we did seem to skip a bit through the turns when I cranked it over. However, the flat also seemed to provide an advantage in speed up on plane. In reality, you probably won’t be doing much high-speed maneuvering. Given the way most boaters run a boat in this class, I’d conclude that the gain in speed seems worth the small sacrifice in high-speed turning ability.
An impressive little package with an MSRP under $30,000 as tested.
When it comes to those intangibles, like the feel you get on board, the 185 Sunquest has got it in spades. Construction is well executed, and I didn’t notice any jiggles and rattles when I was running hard out in the chop. All in all, Doral’s 185 Sunquest bowrider is a good value that will make you proud wherever you do your boating.
= Standard = Optional
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!