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Brief Summary

Doral builds boats differently than most builders. We have visited their plant in Canada and were impressed by the fact that most of their employees have been working there for 20 years or more. This kind of employee longevity, it seems, is almost a requirement for fine fit-and-finish in sportboats. For the men and women building Dorals in Grand Mere, Quebec their job is not only their livelihood, but they take pride in the sportboats they build. And Doral sportboat owners can feel pride in their boat because they can customize it with over 70 different options.

Key Features

  • CE NMMA certified
  • Composite structural hull grid stringer system
  • Doral core hull & deck
  • Fiberglass air vent covers
  • Fiberglass structural hull liner with gel coat finish
  • Integrated extended swim platform
  • Stainless steel custom ski tow eye
  • U-shaped cockpit seat
  • Cockpit courtesy lights
  • Diamond textured antiskid
  • Extra large cockpit ski locker
  • Full fiberglass self draining cockpit
  • Clarion AM/FM CD water proof sound system


Length Overall 23' 7'' / 7.19 m
Beam 8' 6''
2.6 m
Dry Weight 4,600 lbs.
2,090 kg
Draft N/A
Deadrise/Transom 20 deg.
Max Headroom N/A
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 70 gal.
265 L
Water Capacity 13 gal.
49 L

Engine Options

Tested Engine Currently no test numbers
Std. Power Not Available
Opt. Power Not Available

Captain's Report

Doral Elite 235 Cuddy

The Doral 235 Cuddy is designed for all-weather conditions. A bowrider version is also available. Note skipper can stand at the helm because the seat slides back.

Doral realizes that every owner wants something different in a boat – even one that is only 23’. For that reason, it offers a standard boat at a relatively low price compared to other boats in its class (read: Cobalt, Formula, Sessa). In that way, buyers can pick and choose the options they want and customize the boat specifically to their family and its needs, without having to pay for amenities and equipment they don’t need or want.
In this way, a savvy consumer, or veteran boater, can get the advantage of the exciting design and the superior fit-and-finish of a Doral, yet have only the equipment needed, and thereby not have to pay as much. It is sort of like buying a Mercedes for the price of an Audi, because you didn’t go for all of the gimcracks and cool stuff that you never end up using.

Doral Elite 235 Cuddy

Don’t say anything but we think the dude is about ready to make a move on the lass in black. We could be wrong...

Dorals Have Sex Appeal

We don’t know if Dorals are so popular in Europe because of their international design flare, the weak loony, or because there is something incredibly sexy about these boats inside and out. Most American boats just don’t have it with their 15 shades of blue with white or off-white. Dorals are, to us, much more Continental than anything else built in North America.
Doral builds boats with dashing design, fresh colors, high-style fabrics and vinyls and lavish use of wood accents. As an example of what we mean, a wood steering wheel is optional on the 235, complete with an elastic covering to protect it when not in use. There are port lights in a 23’ cuddy! The Elite 235 has a curved windshield that comes with an optional ss frame, cockpit upholstery in five colors, and cockpit courtesy lights that add a romantic glow at night.

Beneath the Gloss

But there is more to the Doral 235 than a lusty countenance. It is also built exceedingly strong. Doral cores both the 235’s deck and hull. While many sportboat builders core their decks, few core their hulls as well. By coring, Doral separates the skin and the interior laminates which makes the structure stronger. Laid into the hull is a grid stringer system and on top of that goes a structural glass liner which is bonded in. Now you have at least four layers of structure keeping the water out and you in.

Doral Elite 235 Cuddy

Riders will be snug and secure in this deep cockpit. There is lots of storage under the “L”-seating with finished fiberglass inside.

What is Different?

In looking over the boat we see that virtually everything is finished as one might expect of a boat in this class. A few things stand out as noteworthy, however. The swim platform is integral to the hull and not a bolted on afterthought. There are four steps in the swim ladder, instead of the usual three. Its six cleats are larger than you normally find on this size boat. The steering system is extra strong.
We like the rounded shape and green tint of the companionway hatch which slides from the center to the port side. There is another rounded, green tint window into the cuddy on the port side in front of the companion seat that is unlike anything we have seen on other boats. Together, the window and the companionway door flood the cuddy with light keeping it from being the cave that it is on most peoples’ boats.
And perhaps – just perhaps – all of this visibility into the cuddy will keep it from being a handy stowage compartment for a jumble of moldy stuff that we see all too often in cuddy boats. What a clever device Doral has invented to keep the cuddy tidy and ready for its intended purpose!
We like the comfortable wrap-around barrel helm and companion seats. They are made at the Doral factory and there is no wood in them. We especially like the stainless steel “roll bar” on the back of each seat. They remind us of riding in a Shelby road and track sports car.

Doral Elite 235 Cuddy

Only analog gauges on this speedster. Note the classy burled wood on the sash and the aircraft-like opposing needles in the center instrument. We’d mount the compass on the centerline of the steering hub.

A Cuddy For All Seasons

Only about 10% of sportboat buyers choose a cuddy. The rest buy bow riders. And while bow riders can get more people aboard, to us there is nothing like the beauty and sporty feel of a cuddy runabout. They are also much dryer in sloppy conditions when no one can sit in the bow anyway. Cuddys also provide a place to get out of the rain as well as having a larger compartment for the Porta-Potty.
While there is room in a cuddy for a couple to overnight, on the occasions we have tried it, we have not gotten a very good night’s sleep. On the other hand, we have found it is a great place to take a nap. Go figure, we don’t understand it, either.

Doral Elite 235 Cuddy

Here is probably the brightest cuddy you will ever see. The head is to the right and a latched cabinet to the left. The filler cushion comes out. There is sitting head room which many boats in the class do not have and a wood table is optional. Note the back rests all around. Looks like fun to us. Cue Shaday on the MP3 player, light the candles, and decant the Burgundy.

The folks at Doral have thought of all of this and they know how the boat will be used in the evening. There is a wood cabinet to port for whatever, and rolled cushions as back rests thoughtfully placed all around so there is comfortable seating. The center cushion you see in the picture comes out and there is an optional pedestal wood table, which we would spring for.
What a great place for lunch or for the kids to play board games if it is rainy. The fully enclosed head compartment makes a long day on the water something that even mom will look forward to. FYI, there are reading lights at both ends of the cuddy, so if you want to read at night you’ll have plenty of light. (Better go for the optional second battery.)

Pay for Only What You Want

We think that Doral is smart by giving the buyer as many options as possible. In looking over the option list, we would go for about 20 of the options out of the 44 that are available. We can’t think of any builder of a sportboat of any price point that has made as many options available. Just take a look and build your own custom-built Doral 235.

  • Bimini top
  • Bimini top with curtain
  • CD changer (6 discs)
  • CE package
  • Cabriolet style upholstery finish
  • Captain seat roll bar
  • Cockpit cover
  • DVD with LED screen
  • Danforth compass
  • Depth gauge with Temp
  • Electric toilet
  • Euro Electrical system (220V)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Forward sunpad
  • Fresh water tank with head vanity & cockpit shower (13 gallons)
  • Full hull sides gel coat finish
  • Grey water tank
  • High gloss inserts (radar rest, stairs, wetbar countertop)
  • High gloss wood cabin table
  • High gloss wood cockpit table
  • Macerator
  • Pillows (toss cushions)
  • Premium speakers
  • Shipping cradle
  • Shore power electrical system (110V)
  • Sirius radio
  • Stainless steel anchor
  • Stainless steel fridge
  • Stainless steel prop upgrade (Mercury & Volvo)
  • Stainless steel windshield
  • Storage table bag
  • Subwoofer with amplifier
  • Swim platform teak insert
  • Teak swim platform inserts
  • Transhield reusable cover
  • Transom remote control
  • Trim switch
  • Trim tabs
  • Two tones gel coat finish
  • Ultimate luxury steering wheel
  • VHF radio with antenna
  • Vacuflush toilet
  • Vanity cabinet
  • Wood swim platform inserts
    In addition to these 44 options there are 16 different engine configurations available from either MerCruiser or Volvo Penta from 260-hp to 320-hp. Then there are all of the optional colors you have for the hull, upholstery and canvas. Talk about choice!
    Doral Elite 235 Cuddy
    The Doral Elite 235 turns heads wherever she goes.

    Doral’s Little Secret

    How can Doral make all of these options available? It is simple. Doral builds boats the old fashioned way – one at a time. It is not a slam, bam, thank you Ma’am operation in Gran Mere. It is old world up there in the beautiful wooded countryside of Quebec. Craftsmen lovingly work on one boat until it is finished. This is another reason why Doral’s employees take such pride in the boats that go out the door – once it leaves the mold shop and has the engine installed, a single crew of the same people is involved with finishing the boat. It becomes "their" boat.
    Doral doesn’t build thousands of boats each year, rather it builds a just few hundred. That makes all of the difference – and that along with its crew system, and the longevity of its employees is why the fit-and-finish is so good.
    Some people like being the only ones in a marina with a particular model boat. Others -- those who might feel a bit insecure, nautical-wise -- will be happier with a brand that many people own. That’s what makes the world go around.

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