Captain's ReportMany boaters are tempted to buy a sportboat for use in saltwater for watersports, but unless the body of water intended to be navigated is protected, that could be problematical. Sportboats, and certainly most deck boats, are generally designed to be used in freshwater on lakes and rivers, i.e. places where the fetch is short and waves are not too high. While some of the more robust models can handle saltwater and big-water conditions, it is usually not the primary focus of most sportboats.
Bowriders for Offshore
There are other saltwater bowriders on the market that are variously described as crossovers, dual consoles, hybrids or something of the sort. In most cases they are built by center console companies and usually have the same hull as a like-sized CC in their line. While they are not as ubiquitous as center consoles, they are still nearly a dozen on the market. We call these craft "utility boats" because they can do most anything, and that's why we like them.
The Dorado Line of Offshore Bowriders
These models are built on the same semi-deep-V hulls that Scout uses for its rugged fishing boats intended to go offshore. The 19-degree deadrise combined with the boat's sharp entry, high freeboard and hard chines make the 210 comfortable and dry in a moderate chop.Some boaters we know prefer them over conventional, offshore-ready sportboats, simply because they look fishy and more salty that the run-of-the-mill runabout. And -- unlike large sportboats -- they are powered by outboard motors, not sterndrives.
What Sets the 210 Dorado Apart?
In our view no one or two things jump out at us screaming a big difference. This field is competitive and it is hard to get a big innovation onto a boat without other builders copying it within a few weeks or so.
Rather, we think that what separates this boat from others in class designed for the same purpose, is the 210 package taken as a whole. There are a lot of little things that in themselves are not a huge difference, but when you add them together they do create a distinctive personality for the boat.
The reverse transom and tumble home
in the 210's stern quarters are what most people immediately see, two design attributes that are hard not to like. That together with it boat's graceful sheer, and colored hull (optional) of Heritage Green or Aqua Mist, sticks in our memory. The boat's rounded windshield and rake top off the profile.Scout has wisely selected an
unusual color and texture vinyl
for its seating which also sets it apart from other American-built boats of this type. While we have seen this thick brown and tan upholstery on some foreign-made boats we have not seen it in this type boat. We like it because it looks upscale and plush. Indeed, under the rugged vinyl exterior is
80-lb. polyurethane foam
that gives firm support.
The deck layout is conventional with a couple of interesting tweaks. The helm seat is a bucket seat on a pedestal and swivels. The port seat is fixed facing forward and is backed by a spotter seat that folds down into a bench or a sunpad, just as boat builders have done in sportboats for nearly 50 years. Across the transom there are four rod holders behind the bench seat. The middle of the seat comes out and its back is called a
because it can be folded down to aid bringing aboard fish, or it can be place up to dam off the cut out in the transom. The seat also converts into a fold down table with a place for a cooler under. This is a clever feature and we can see it removed for scuba tanks, or to aid the exit of wakeboarders to the small port and starboard swim platforms. Forward, in the bow, are the standard seats intended to sit upon with legs stretched out forward. Where this area departs from its peers is at the bow, where there is no seat but rather a
step that serves double duty as a hatch.
The step makes it easy to get up to the bow. The hatch, when opened makes an ideal place to keep the much-needed 5 gallon bucket. There is also a second hatch that gives access to the anchor locker so lines or chain can be properly stowed.
As we survey other boats in this class we see a couple that were built for sterndrives, but have been converted to outboard power. We also notice that some have self-draining cockpits while other drain into the bilge. Most noteworthy, however, is the fact that the Dorado 210 at 2,040 lbs. (925 kg.), dry and without the engines, is virtually the lightest boat in class -- most by over 1,000 lbs. (454 kg.) That means the 210 Dorado is as much as 30% lighter than others in class. By carefully watching weight Scout is able to build a boat that is lighter and easier to push than most of its peers. That can translate into a lower horsepower engine which saves money on the purchase price, and better fuel economy, which means lower operating costs.
Scout uses conventional hand layup of its hulls and decks and says that it does not use any chopped strand in it's boats manufacture. That is an important factor and may be the single most important reason why the 210 Dorado is lighter than most of its competitors. While there is nothing inherently wrong with blowing fiberglass strands and resin out of a chopper gun, it usually does not allow builders to get a high glass to resin ratio. On the contrary, it relies on the resin to fill gaps, voids, and creases in the hull, and the strands of reinforcing glass are omni-directional. It is also a good "barrier coat" to prevent pattern read-through. Scout relies on other materials that are more labor intensive, and when properly applied requires less resin, to accomplish the same purpose.
Virtually all boat builders have some sort of active QC procedures and over the years the industry has gotten much better at reducing errors in installations. Nevertheless, it is good to see that Scout has a formalized regimen that records not only time and materials, but also the shop workers involved with each step of the building process. Scout says that they have a "rigorous" program of QC and based on what we have seen in the field we would say it looks to be a success from our observations.
We have not tested the boat so we can not affirm its performance or handling. The folks at Scout have done speed trials on the 210 on an 81-degree day in a unit that weighed 3,137 lbs. (1,568.5 kgs.) Powered by a Yamaha F150 4-stroke, Scout says the boat has a WOT speed of 47.0 mph and a best cruise at 3500 rpm of 25.4 mph getting 5.29 miles per gallon. In our opinion this is exceedingly good performance both in terms of WOT speed and fuel consumption at best cruise, particularly for a boat with a 19-degree deadrise at the transom. We look forward to testing the boat ourselves to confirm these numbers in everyday conditions and to evaluate handling.
Scout's warranty program is said to be a "comprehensive manufacturer-backed 3-year limited stem-to-stern warranty…" Labor is covered for the first year. Components made by third parties carry their own warranties which are not covered by Scout, and corrosion of electrical components is not covered. Gel coat is not covered for cracking, crazing, or blistering. The company says that its hulls have a 10-year limited structural hull warranty. As with all warranties we urge buyers to read the fine print.
For the casual fisherman the 210 Dorado does have a few important fishing features such as an aerated bait well with high-speed pick-up, 8" pull-up cleats, a fish box, and four rod holders. For the casual watersports members of the family the boat has a tow pylon over the outboard and two swim platforms. These are the basics with few or no frills, but evidently fine performance, and that is the mission of the boat.We think boaters looking for an attractive bowrider utility boat to use in open water, be it saltwater or freshwater, should check out the Scout 210 Dorado. It is a boat that covers the important bases, looks good in the process, and carries an attractive MSRP of $49,200 with a 150-hp Yamaha 4-stroke.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
(It's quick and FREE!)