Captain's ReportNew Escape 245 CuddyBy Capt. Rob SmithDoral continues to expand their line by offering choices that make family boating more enjoyable for young active families with children. The 245 Escape cuddy will certainly be a hit with the active family that wants to enjoy watersports all day, yet has small ones that still need a place to catch a nap. They also are continuing to add technology such as the three piece uni-structural windshield and LED courtesy lights.Hull and Exterior FeaturesYou can choose from four striking colors to match your favorite look on the water. Deep blue, Midnight Black, Merlot or Aztec yellow. I recommend the optional bow scuff plate particularly if you plan to trailer your boat a lot. It will keep the nose clean and gouge-free. If you plan late night or early morning boating often, I also recommend the optional docking lights for that extra secure feeling as you approach a darkened slip or launching ramp.Aft Party DeckSince much of your time will be spent launching water sports, a proper swim platform is important. The 245 Escape sports an integral platform large enough to relax on while dangling your feet at anchor, lay out your skis or wakeboard or let the kids launch themselves out into the lake for a cool dip. Stainless accent like the custom Doral Engine Vents add a classy touch. If you really enjoy relaxing in the water, I also recommend the handy transom stereo remote so you can control the tunes without having to go all the way to the dash to change the channels or tracks. The 245 uses a center walkthrough design with lift off filler cushion. I like this arrangement as it offers a driver excellent views to insure the skier is on board before getting back underway. With the fillers in place, you have a large lounging pad to lay out and catch a few rays. Lifting the sunpad, you gain access to the engine; a 375-hp 496 Mag HO from MerCruiser in our case. There is adequate space for pre-launch checks and to store damp life jackets to the sides.The Gathering SpotUnderway you want enough room to spread out and the 245 gives the family room enough to stake out their personal space. With the walk-through cushions in place you have a large U-shaped lounger with stainless steel drink holders to corral the beverages. For easy clean-up and cooler decks, I recommend the optional snap-in carpet. If music is really part of your equation for a great day, opt up for the 6-CD changer, or even better, the iPod interface and set up your own mix for the day. Blast it out with the optional premium speakers with amplifier and base woofer; it really does produce a sweet sound! The companion dash has a small sink that will come in handy to clean up the little one’s face and hands after a snack and the glove box can keep your wallets and registration dry. Additional storage is under the bench seats and in the side pockets for your gear. The bucket seats were very comfortable and had bolsters to boost up for better views.From the HelmI found the helm layout good with gauges easy to see, even in bright daylight due to the dash eyebrow extension over them. My test boat had Bennett trim tabs, yet I really didn’t find I needed them. Beneath the helm is a handy tray with stainless steel drink holder for the driver.On the BowThe three piece uni-structural windshield has a nice center walk-through. The bow rails give a good hand-hold while working with the ground tackle. If you like, you can add a forward sunpad to the bow to relax on at anchor.Interior AccommodationsWhile understandably there isn’t standing room, you can sit on the benches and relax inside. Doral uses all the available space well, including under the cockpit. Flip the entry step up and pull out a drawer mounted ceramic toilet when you need it. The V-berth drawer pulls out to support the fillers completing the bed. Doral even offers an optional NorCold refrigerator. The optional refrigerator is located near the entry door and is accessible from the cabin or the cockpit.MeasurementsThis new cuddy measures 25’6” and has a beam width of 8’6”. She tips the scales at around 4950lbs and has a 64 gallon fuel tank.TestingThe Ottawa River offered nearly perfect conditions for testing with calm winds and smooth waters. Unfortunately, the gremlins ran through our party and robbed us of the fuel readings. I did find her to leap out of the hole in about 3 seconds and power through 30 mph in about 6. At 3000 rpm, somewhere near cruise, she was running at 28 mph and at top speed, she was turning 5000 rpm at 56.4 mph.In summary, the new Escape 245 Cuddy gives the growing young family room to play with space to relax or let the kids take a nap out of the sun. She seems to handle and perform well for both cruising and water sports.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
||10 year http://www.doralboat.com/warranty.aspx|
||5 year http://www.doralboat.com/warranty.aspx|
|NMMA Certification Other Certification||Yes CE (Export only)|