Scout’s compact dual-console 175 Sport Dorado, rigged with a 90 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard, jumped on plane and reached 30 mph in 9.2 seconds. Our tester hit a maximum speed of 40 mph at 5,700 rpm twisting a 131/8-by-16-inch Yamaha Reliance stainless-steel three-blade propeller. That’s with two crew members aboard (400 pounds) plus about 14 gallons of fuel. Though powerful and responsive, the Sport Dorado-Yamaha combination sipped that fuel miserly. We noted the most economical and comfortable cruise speed for the 175 Sport Dorado was 29 mph at 4,500 rpm, where we barely ticked over the fuel consumption gauge at 5.2 gph, calculating to nearly 5.6 mpg. Even at full pedal, it achieved 4.4 mpg. At cruise speed, range in this little rig is over 225 miles, leaving 10 percent fuel in the 28-gallon tank for reserve. To put it in what may be more relevant terms, you can fill up on Friday and probably boat right through Sunday without refilling.
The choppy Charleston, South Carolina, harbor where we tested threw some windy conditions at the Dorado, but we persevered; the ride was a bit bouncy but clean and dry. The aft placement of the driver and passenger consoles smooths the ride and keeps spray off the crew — and it also affords the Dorado a huge bow section complete with forward-facing lounge seats and a raised, cushioned bow platform. For a 17-footer, the Dorado has a ton of cockpit space.
The Dorado is 100 percent hand-laid fiberglass, and the quality quotient is at the same level as its larger brethren — very high. Fit and finish are a cut above most competitors, if not all, and the typical Scout attention to detail is evident in the console layout, welded stainless rails, high-end stitching and vinyl, and high-gloss gelcoat finish (even underneath where many builders spatter-coat, but not Scout — the gel underneath is as smooth and polished as the hull and deck that you can see).
The option list for the 175 Sport Dorado is short but does include a Bimini top and trim tabs — two upgrades that should be strongly considered.
* If your funds and garage space are limited, but you have champagne taste in boats, the Dorado won’t disappoint.
* Big-boat features, like the bow anchor locker, Carolina flare, and stainless ski tow with fiberglass swim/boarding steps, make the Dorado a great fishing and family choice.
* Aft console placement makes for bow-high planing, so trim tabs are a good investment.
* Max of 90 horses makes 40 mph the best you’ll see, although this hull would easily handle a larger engine and 50 mph speeds.
Boston Whaler’s 170 Super Sport ($26,589 with Mercury 90 FourStroke) goes head-to-head in performance and capacity, and has the Whaler unsinkable reputation, but the Dorado stands head-tall with the custom Scout features and touches that make it unique.
Price: $27,999 (as tested, includes trailer)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F90LA
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha Reliance Series 13 1/8″ x 16″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.27:1
Fuel Load: 14 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Scout Boats – Summerville, South Carolina; 843-821-0068; scoutboats.com