Captain's Report by Captain John WenzDoral 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 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.
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.
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.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Doral 185 Sunquest (2011-) is 42.7 mph (68.7 kph), burning 12.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 47.31 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Doral 185 Sunquest (2011-) is 33.6 mph (54.1 kph), and the boat gets 3.69 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.57 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 76 miles (122.31 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 135-hp MerCruiser 3.0 TKS.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!