It didn’t take long to get the feel for the 365’s handling characteristics. She weighs in excess of 20,000 lbs (9,072 kg) so a lightweight she is not. In fact, we found her weight to be a significant plus, that boat in this class often lack, and it’s attributed to the thicker hull. Canadian builders are well aware that other things float in water besides boats -- things such as deadheads and logs.
Cutting back and forth across a wake can be very telling and such was the case with the 365. Where I expected to be throwing water up and into the windshield, we instead, threw it out to the sides which translates into a very dry ride. Additionally, when coming down a wave at an angle, I expected to experience a significant deviation in course, which never materialized. We stayed straight and true, passing through the wave rather than up and over it. The bottom line is that this was a solid and stable handling boat. Lastly, her 18-degree deadrise at the transom is flat enough to keep her very level. There was no need for trim tabs to keep the boat on an even keel with either uneven distribution of weight or for control in a following sea. Again, solid is the term that best describes her handling and you and your guests will feel very comfortable.
Entry to the Cockpit
The swim platform is large enough on which to carry a PWC or tender, and convenient fender storage is off to either side. It measures 5’ front to rear, and 10'9” side to side. The concealed four-step swim ladder is in the center. Two storage compartments are to either side of the two swinging double doors that allow entry to the aft cockpit.
When pulling off power quickly, the following wave will wash over the swim platform, but it’s prevented from entering the cockpit by a step up though the double doors. The cockpit layout is nothing short of phenomenal. Two C-shaped settees lie to port and starboard that will easily accommodate up to eight adults and a center walkthrough allows for traversing the deck. All seatbacks have lumbar supports and a table mounts to the center of the starboard settee. To port is an entertainment center with bottle storage, a sliding cover over the stainless steel sink, and a refrigerator/freezer underneath.
A Doral Trademark
Not unique in the industry, but seen on every Doral… side decks leading up to the bow. You can also access the bow via the windshield walkthrough and once on the foredeck, you are treated to a double wide chaise lounge with drink holders and wrap-around stainless steel handrails. The four hatches to the cabin can be seen here, and protecting you on the side decks are bow rails coming up 26”, and I noticed that there was a cable running through the rails for tension adjustment.
The 356 Boca Grande helm has an unusual layout. It’s functional but seems busy at first glance. Engine gauges are off to the sides of the panel and tachs and engine hours are in a large burl wood center section with the depth gauge right in the center. Given that there is a Volvo Penta engine display screen, the gauges might seem redundant, but the screen is located out of sight against the starboard bulwarks. In a little bit of a departure from the norm, the compass is mounted down low just above the steering wheel, and in the upper section, where a compass usually lives, is the Raymarine C80 display. The position of the C80 is raised, and while angled towards the driver, it blocks a fair amount of visibility through the windshield. Coupled with the windshield wiper motor, this creates an increased lack of visibility that could be easily remedied. When launching off on a hole shot, there’s a 12-degree bow rise, and since there’s a lot of bow ahead of the helm you will lose sight of the horizon unless you’re standing, so don’t be shy about adding power to get on plane quickly.
The engine controls are off to starboard right next to the IPS joystick, so maneuvering around the dock is a non-issue as far as functionality and visibility are concerned. The helm layout is the only place where I had real issues with the 365 Boca Grande and it didn’t affect the functionality or handling of the boat, both of which were excellent. The helm seat was double wide which is always appreciated as rarely is the captain alone when driving. The lounger off to starboard adds to the 365’s ability to entertain while underway.
Roomy and open are the two buzzwords that come to mind on approach to the cabin of the Boca Grande.
The forward berth measured 6’ x 5’ and natural light is pouring in from side portlights and an overhead Bomar hatch. Interestingly, the portlights are shaded with real wood venetian blinds. An attractive storage shelf circles around the berth with sea rails protecting any items from falling off. There are also several cabinets all around the berth. This boat does not lack storage. If we had to be sexist and pick a “his and her” side, then the port side would be “hers” as there is a flip up vanity with a lighted mirror inside. Where other companies would simply plant a flat screen TV against a bulkhead, Doral went ahead and fabricated a beautiful cabinet to hold the TV that rotates to allow viewing from either the forward berth or the main salon. The wall mounted lights are not only elegant, they swivel to serve as reading light, direct lights, or rotate upwards for indirect lighting.
The galley lies off to port and features a microwave concealed in a gloss wood sliding panel. There’s a single basin stainless steel sink with a soap dispenser mounted next to the faucet. A double burner electric stove is to the left, and we appreciate how the stove is recessed so as to contain the pots and pans without the need for sea rails. Also, the cover to the stove is double hinged with a layer of stainless underneath to avoid melting the Corian lid should you close it while the burners are still cooling. I’d still like to see a micro switch installed in the cover to deactivate the stove when closing. A spice rack is to the left of the stove. The deck has a teak and holly insert in the carpeting to separate the galley area from the salon. A large refrigerator/ freezer combination unit is at the aft end of the galley.
The head is abaft of the galley. It’s a wet head so a curtain pulls across the doorway to protect it from moisture. The head is roomy enough to not feel cramped, but only one occupant at a time will fit. A portlight allows light to enter as well as ventilation.
There’s a lot of natural light entering the salon, and that can sometimes generate heat. That can be offset by ventilating the cabin, or firing up the 16,000BTU air conditioner that is powered by either the 5kw genset or shore power. A C-shaped sofa lies to starboard with a pedestal table mounted just in front. The settee converts into a berth by adding a lower pedestal. Removing the table adds more room to the salon, and convenient storage is right under the forward berth. Just behind the settee is an entertainment center with stereo, CD, and DVD payer. Doral is well known for headroom in their salon and this one is 6’4”.
Abaft the salon is a comfortable seating area that is open to the salon and makes a great sitting area. It also converts to a berth and a privacy curtain slides across to separate the area from the salon. A mirror on the side bulkhead adds light and the feeling of roominess. The stairs are open that also allow the mid cabin to remain open. Overall the layout of the 365 is impressive. Every aspect of this boat just gives off an aura of comfort. As if that weren’t enough, once you get behind the wheel and experience the comfort of her heavy stability coupled with superb close-quarters handling, then you’ll be as enamored with this boat as I was.
Doral is a small, high-quality builder in Canada. Its outlook, styling and decor are all definitely European. And its price-point reflects the added materials and labor that has gone into the build. If you would like a boat that is the same brand as many other boats in your marina, then the Doral 365 Boca Grande is not for you. On the other hand, if you like a boat that is a cut or two above the mass-marketed brands, and take pride in owning a stylish, well-found boat that is a bit different than most of the rest, then you should put the Doral 365 Boca Grande on your short list.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Doral 365 Boca Grande (2010-) is 39.2 mph (63.1 kph), burning 27.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 103.33 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Doral 365 Boca Grande (2010-) is 30.4 mph (48.9 kph), and the boat gets 1.75 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.74 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 404 miles (650.17 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 260-hp Volvo Penta IPS350.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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