When Doral introduced its Elite series of sport boats, they left no mysteries about the direction of the new line. The 235 Cuddy that we tested takes an in-your-face approach to class. It sports teak deck trim and unique Cabriolet-colored upholstery. These are among the Doral-only features that make the boat appealing to picky buyers -- the type who tend to gain almost as much satisfaction polishing the boat in the off-season as they will using it in summer.
The cuddy is essentially a napping area, though a couple could use the convertible V-berth for a short getaway if the weather were just right. A translucent sliding door matches the overall look of the boat, and allows light through for a more open cabin environment. Above head is a light-drawing hatch.
There's as much stainless steel here as on any 23.5-foot cuddy we've tested. Aft, on the platform, there's a telescopic stainless ladder so swimmers can easily reboard. When tying a line to the bow cleats, we found a stainless-steel step on the helm station bulkhead. The boarding steps are stainless-steel nonskid plates, and the back of each bucket seat has a security grab handle, and here Doral took another opportunity to add more polished stainless steel. This commitment to quality components will only make owners of the Elite 235 Cuddy more eager to use the boat, and in a variety of water applications.
During our trial run, we reached a top speed of 51.3 mph with a modest (and appropriate) 320 hp MerCruiser MPI. Our most comfortable cruise speed was 27 mph at 3,500 rpm. Doral likes to prop for speed, not acceleration, but this rig had a stately balance of both, reaching 30 mph in nine seconds. And the hull rode so solidly, luxury held its head high as the 235 Cuddy sliced through chop and wakes.
- Cabriolet Upholstery has a look as close to leather as you'll find in the cockpit of a boat.
- Teak flooring includes inlays along the transom walk-through behind the driver.
- Molded-in swim platform carries on the integrity of the hull and deck.
- Bucket seats have a unique design, as aerodynamic as they are ergonomic.
- Port console includes an extra window to feed natural light into the cabin.
At A Glance...
The Elite 235 Cuddy is a luxury sport boat first, and a quick getaway boat second -- with high-end materials throughout.
- Length Overall: 23'7"
- Beam: 8'6"
- Dry Weight: 4,600 lb.
- Seating/Weight Capacity: 9/1,485 lb.
- Fuel Capacity: 70 gal.
- Maximum HP: 320
- MSRP (w/ Mercury 6.2 MPI Bravo 1): $84,867 (U.S. Dollars)
- Test Engine: Mercury 6.2 MPI Bravo 1, 320 hp
- Test Prop: 21-pitch stainless steel
- Test Load: People (350 lb.): Fuel (70 gal.)
- Top Speed: 51.3 @ 5,400 RPM
- Time to Plane: 7.2 sec.
- Time to 30 MPH: 9.2 sec.
- Minimum Planing Speed: 18 MPH @ 2,500 RPM