For those of you that saw a previous post on my 13′ Zodiac boat, you will realize I’m stepping up big time on this boating excursion. If size matters, Derek has me beat with his 31′ Doral.
The Doral 310SE is one of Doral International’s cruiser line of boats. It is 30’6″‘ long and 11’ wide, providing ample room for Derek, his family, and a few stowaways including myself and my family.
Most of Derek’s boating is off the Atlantic coast, and the 310SE is great for short afternoon or day trips, and is even comfortable for multi-day trips up and down the coast. The 310SE is large enough to handle most wave and weather conditions encountered off the east coast. And, if you do get some nasty weather and need to dock somewhere, the 310SE’s below deck interior provides reasonable space to hide out from a storm.
The Doral 310SE is powered by twin 5.7-litre (350-cid), 320-hp, V-8 gasoline engines with fuel injection. These engines power twin-propeller DuoProp sterndrives. The twin-propeller drives provide a top speed of about 50 mph, with a comfortable cruising speed of 30 mph depending on the waves. The 310SE has moderate-V hull, and can easily get up into a plane. It can hold a plane at speeds as little as 15 mph.
Cruising is very comfortable with good wind and sun protection, should you choose it. The deck is spacious, with lots of seating. There is a helm seat on the starboard side, with a companion chaise lounge seat on the port side. There is also a U-shaped wraparound seat stretching from the starboard to aft, and it pulls out to provide additional seating space. The walkaround side decks are reasonably wide, and have plenty of handholds. The foredeck is large and open, and provides plenty of room for those who choose to soak up some sun on the foredeck. The foredeck also has storage for fenders, and the aft has a transom bracket for additional fender storage. A transom locker provides additional space for ropes and other essentials.
This boat is great for entertaining. There is considerable room for cooking and eating breakfast, lunch or dinner, or just serving cocktails. A table can be set up beside the starboard and aft seating. Cupholders are accessible from most seating locations. A small sink on the port side provides water access without needing to go below deck.
Speaking of below deck, there is a spacious galley providing nice sleeping, cooking, and eating arrangements. The portside galley has sink, fridge, stove and microwave. The galley cupboards have cherry wood surfaces that provide a light, airy look to the interior. The mid-cabin has a large double berth to the starboard side with a full-headroom seating area to the port side. There are two opening portlights that provide some light and airflow. The center is a circular seating dinette for those cold, rainy days that keep you below deck.
Last but not least, the head has a Vacuflush marine toilet with easy to clean surfaces. Handy when you bring along your beer drinking buddies.
Start to finish, we did about a 5 hour trip with a stop for dinner in the middle. The ride was pleasant and comfortable. At night, it was especially nice seeing the stars from a mile or so offshore. Far more stars than we ever see at home due to the city lights. There were also lots of shooting stars that night.
There are several yacht rental companies that charter a Doral 310SE. If you ever have the chance, go for it. You won’t be disappointed.
review: Boat Reviews