Capt. Steve Says...
You come to expect a high level of fit and finish on Doral Yachts and in the 295 Prestancia, I was not disappointed. Everywhere I looked Doral went a little further and made details that were as pleasing on the eyes as they were functional. I’ll get into these details shortly, but first, this is a boat, so let’s discuss how she performs on the water.
We tested the Doral 295 Prestancia on the Virginia ICW so rough water was not to be found, but you can tell a lot about a boat by how it handles wakes. Bow rise on a hole-shot was about 15-degrees so don’t be shy about hitting the throttles and regaining your sightlines if you’re not standing or sitting up on the bolster.
Trim is straightforward on the 295 Prestancia. You can use the spray coming from the sides of the helm as a judge of correct trim level. Add trim and that spray moves back to the quarters, the boat speeds up, and gets quieter. You’ll also notice a change in the handling as it gets more responsive to the steering. When you put the 295 into a turn, she first rolls into the turn and then comes around. Once the turn is established, you’ll need to turn back to stabilize/neutralize the turn because she is so responsive. The power steering is really effective and fingertips are all you need to crank and bank.
The 295 Prestancia has a pivot point right at the helm. This is a good thing. When you crank the wheel and put the outboard engine in gear, the boat will pivot around your seat. Getting into the dock was a non event, even with a cross current. With the dock over to starboard, I steered hard to port and put the port engine in forward. This naturally moved the stern to starboard. Centering the helm and reversing the starboard engine pulled the bow to starboard and, with the stern’s momentum continuing, the boat slid gently sideways right up to the dock. With a few minutes to get the timing right, you can lay her up nicely.
You have to give Doral high marks for the helm layout on the 295 Prestancia. Tachs and speedo take up the center stage, with the ancillary engine gauges mounted off to the sides. Rocker switches underline the engine gauges and the whole panel is a combination of faux wood and brushed silver aluminum that brighten the panel without causing glare. A Raymarine A65 was right in the center of the panel. The compass is lined up in the center of the dash and the wood accented steering wheel was a nice compliment to the wood gauge panels.
A roomy swim platform has teak decking and a center mounted boarding ladder. Grab rails are everywhere and there’s ample storage. I didn’t care for the entry door to the cockpit as a simple rod is all that holds it closed, and prevents accidental opening should you stumble into it. I’d rather see it open inward.
Even with side decks there is ample room in both the cockpit and cabin areas. This is a feature that others seem to avoid, but Doral manages to pull it off. Doral went with a bit of an interesting layout to the cockpit and it works quite well. Instead of the usual “C” or “U” shaped seating, Doral went to the middle of the alphabet, to an “L” that starts at the portside lounger and continues all the way aft and across the transom. Opposite is a smaller seat that makes a small conversation spot. The addition of a cozy cockpit table makes for a nice entertainment platform on the hook. A starboard side wetbar has a sink and icemaker. All seats have a raised lumbar supports that are remarkably comfortable and all upholstery is double stitched. The snap-in carpet has a faux teak look that adds to the boat’s class.
The windshield walkthrough to the bow was one of the smallest I’ve seen, but somehow Doral managed to make it work. It’s not much wider than your foot, and for that matter it doesn’t really need to be. The foredeck is enhanced by two chaise lounges that will block visibility from the helm so this may be a feature to enjoy only while at anchor. Grab rails run the length of the lounges. The bow rails are 24" (61 cm) high and tension adjustments are running the length of the middle half of the rails.
I think there’ll be a love/hate relationship with the cabin entry door. It’s a tinted plexi door that allows gobs of light to enter the cabin, but does not give much in the way of privacy. This will probably work if you don’t spend nights onboard backed into a slip. If you really need to run around the salon naked, (ans who doesn't) then perhaps docking with the bow in might be the trick for you.
The amount of light that the entry door allows in pales in comparison to the 6 portlights, one overhead hatch, and twin 6’ (1.83m) long side windows. You’re just shy of needing sunglasses in this salon. The portlights all have a roll-up shade that seems to be unique to Doral as I’ve never seen this before. The portlights all open and accommodate bug screens to keep the no-see-um’s at bay.
Fully forward is a berth measuring 5’6” (1.68 m) x 7’ (2.13 m), so sleeping athwartships would be the norm here. Storage shelves run the full length of both sides of this berth. Sitting on the edge of the bed will be no problem with 2’7” (.79 m) of headroom. The natural light of the salon continues to this berth with two portlights, the overhead hatch, and part of the long side windows. Privacy is achieved by sliding the curtains closed.
Salon and Mid Berth
The salon itself has headroom of 6’2” (1.88 m). To starboard is the galley featuring a sink, single burner electric stove, microwave, and a flat screen TV mounted on a swivel so it’s viewable from the salon or forward berth. Abaft of the galley is a wet head with sink and the shower curtain pulls across the door. To port on the salon is a settee with a triangular table that I couldn’t help but notice is finished to perfection. The mid cabin is likely the master as it gives more privacy and is roomier. The berth measures 6’4” (1.93 m) x 4'5” (1.35 m) across. Storage cabinets open from the top and are quite deep.
It was easy to be impressed with the Doral 295 Prestancia. Not only was this a good handling boat, but comfortable. I hate to overuse that word “comfortable” but Doral really nailed it. Just sitting in the seats tells you that they weren’t just thrown together and, as with the rest of the boat, were designed around the human element. For you, all that’s left is a test ride and Doral will be happy to accommodate.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Doral 295 Prestancia (2010-) is 47.0 mph (75.6 kph), burning 43.3 gallons per hour (gph) or 163.89 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Doral 295 Prestancia (2010-) is 30.2 mph (48.6 kph), and the boat gets 1.73 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.74 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 172 miles (276.81 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 OSi.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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