Doral Prestancia 322 November 2006 Boat News, Review & Advice

27 Янв 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Doral Prestancia

Doral Prestancia 322 (November 2006)

Packaged for Australian conditions, the Prestancia 322 sportscruiser by independent Canadian boatbuilder Doral proved to be a very social boat with some cutting edge inclusions

They were lined up like soldiers at roll call, dressed in similar uniforms, parked with military precision and flaunting the armoury of the weekend warriors. So how does a new badge like Canadian-made Doral get noticed among the barrage of American sportscruisers battling for attention? Good question. We asked a proud new owner/driver of the Prestancia 322 – all the Dorals have glamorous names rather than model numbers – who willingly recounted his boat-buying journey.

Max and his family of four were gadding about in a trailerable Glastron bowrider when the desire for a bigger boat arrived. After many routine trips to Sydney’s popular anchorages they couldn’t help but notice fellow boaties doing comfortably long lunches on deck in much bigger craft. Boat envy soon got the better of them and so they began shopping for a new sportscruiser; a logical choice for a young family.

Sensibly, Max took his wife to the Sydney International Boat Show where, it must be said, sales of sportscruisers were surprisingly soft, perhaps due to the bewildering level of choice. Initially, they were looking for a smaller boat, but as it happened they ended up with this 32 footer.

Max says he hopes to be spared the pain of upgrading again in the near future; therefore they chose a boat with a decent aft cabin for his two teenage sons. Yet the boat can still host watersports such as towing tubes.

Max and his wife looked at all the sportscruisers on offer and she went for the Doral, an independent Canadian boatbuilder. For its superior finish, he said in agreement.

But although the Prestancia 322 has bling, it isn’t chintzy in the North American way.

Once owned by Jeanneau, Doral builds sportscruisers to 45ft that are more European than American, more Canuck than Californian. Contemporary rather than classic, too.

They are also cutting edge. The Prestancia 322 driven here was powered by Volvo Penta’s latest 4.3GXi OSI XDP Ocean Series petrol inboards, which are twin freshwater-cooled 225hp motors with composite sterndrive leg developed for offshore sportsfishing boats. They were also fitted with the optional QL Neutra Salt engine-flushing system which, with a press of a button on the dash, flushes the cooling system at the end of the day’s play. More life from your sterndrives and legs at last.

There are twin 160 to 200hp diesel engine options, single 425hp petrol, and twin 220 to 320hp petrol engine options from Volvo and MerCruiser on the Prestancia 322, as well as things like generators and air-con if you’re keen, neither of which was fitted to this Sydney boat. Nor was there an invertor, another option, to provide 240V power away from the dock. The owner reasoned, perhaps rightfully, that the barbecue and galley alcohol burner is more than enough for weekends away. And visiting new marinas ain’t so bad.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Doral doesn’t hold back on the construction front, using a handlaid balsa-cored hull with E-Glass in high-load areas, a bonded stiffening system and fully moulded liner, all backed by a 10-year, transferable warranty. There’s great attention to detail, inventory, and armoury designed to outgun the North American opposition.

The external lines and details like the white windscreen frame and rakish (hinged) targa arch hint at the Euro heritage, but it’s not until you set foot aboard that you notice the difference. The Prestancia 322 was packaged by the local importer, Pathfinder Marine, with a bunch of handpicked factory options to create an even better, very complete boat for Australian conditions.

Its extended boarding platform triples the waterfront real estate. An indication of Doral’s intent to go one better than the opposition began with something as simple as the central swim ladder, a four-rung telescopic ladder – one more rung than the industry-standard.

The boat had a good spread of 316 stainless steel grabrails and decent deck fittings including wonderfully oversized cleats. There were aft fender baskets, a hot/cold handheld shower, and moulded toerails tracing the boarding platform, as well as surrounding side and fore decks. The locking mechanism for the cockpit door was a feature.

But things get even more interesting in the cockpit. The Prestancia 322 has an extendable aft lounge that increases the seating area for serious lunches at anchor. Once you slide the transom lounge aft, lock it in place, and add the supplied cushion infills, deck seating space is up there with 35-footers. And the seating extends, catering for four to six, and it’s shaded under the extended bimini top, too.

Add the removable occasional seat on the flipside of the table, which is in a great spot for the host, and you can do lunch for seven. Actually, make that eight, with the skipper sitting sidesaddle on his/her seat with a plate on the lap. A very social boat.

Some ferreting around revealed the connection for deckwash, dockside freshwater, and shorepower so you can use the boat’s microwave at the marina. The management panel for the main battery was up top and easily reached, while storage space was under the seats and around the helm for everything from covers and charts to personal effects in a small glovebox.

The lunch table, on a sturdy lockable Todd pedestal, was a high-gloss cherrywood table stowed away in a dedicated slot under the engine-room hatch and, once removed, deck space is generous for more active pursuits. Conversely, you can convert the extended lounge and lunch setting into a sunpad. And with the supplied full camper covers you can create a sleepout that will be coveted by the kids in summer.

The boat had liftout carpets — in the cockpit and down below — for easy post-party cleanups and a decent moulded amenities centre with 12V fridge, sink and cold water, and garbage bin. Range forward, via the preferred route through the opening windscreen or alternatively around the sidedecks, and you’ll find a second lounging area on the bow.

In fact, the two side-by-side foredeck sunpads were the best I’ve ever seen, or had the pleasure of testing. In normal running mode, with their teak-slated bases flat to the deck, they look like fashionable boat trim while providing somewhere to hang out on a towel at rest. But add the supplied blue-and-white upholstered cushions and they evolve.

With the backrests of the sunpads able to be fixed at various heights, the bow seats become quasi deck chairs. There are stainless steel grabrails and drinkholders nearby and, looking back through the cockpit, one must conclude this is a clever bow-to-stern outdoor living boat. Not a centimetre of deck space is wasted.

The intermediate wire on the bowrail and aggressive non-skid compared with that on the boarding platform improve safety up top, while the recessed windlass offers push-button anchoring from dash and deck remotes. The stainless steel anchor, with a few metres of matching chain, adds to the aesthetic appeal of the Prestancia 322. There is also a spotlight, LED night lights on the bowrail, red driving light, wipers and clear curtains with vent panels. Decked out, indeed.

Underfloor engine access is at the push of a button, and there’s a lift-up inspection hatch nearby. I noted a big rubber seal on the main engine room lid, plenty of sound insulation, electrical breakers, hot-water accumulator, fire-suppression system and oodles of space to service the motors and check fluid levels. There was also room to create dedicated storage for the outboard and scope to fit snap davits on the boarding platform for the rubber duckie.

OPEN PLAN CABIN

There was a retractable flyscreen over the companionway door leading to the cabin, as well as flyscreens on all the hatches. If you’ve ever been boating in summer during a nocturnal insect assault you’ll appreciate them. Head room is another highlight, ranging around 1.88m, from the bow to the entrance of the aft cabin. Rather than a forward bulkhead, Doral employs stainless steel stanchions to support the deck, keeping the interior open plan.

Joinery is all high gloss cherrywood, with cream headliners and blue and white, nautical-themed bedding for a distinctly Euro feel. There is also plenty of natural light, which adds to the bright atmosphere, courtesy of the extended fixed cabin windows and Bomar escape hatch with privacy screen.

The high double bed forward, upon which you sleep athwartships, is flanked by trick reading lights and sidepockets. There is a big sub-bed hold for stowing covers and cushions that’s accessed through a clever folding mattress base. There’s also storage near the stairs, where the AC/DC control panel is located. A push-button combo water/holding tank and battery gauge lets you check on the boat’s tankage as you pass by.

The aft cabin has a transverse double bed or twin single berths when sleeping bags are added in the teenage retreat. It’s also great to see cross-flow ventilation from the opening portlights, which you don’t find in some poky aft cabs. Storage ranges from deep, lined lockers to a small cedar-lined closet.

Amidships is the galley with cherrywood joinery, opening portlight and 240V shorepower plugs. There’s a moulded sink, single burner alcohol/240V stove, Norcold 12V fridge, and small Tappan microwave oven that can only be used on shorepower. Food-prep space is light on.

The portside L-shaped dinette has an especially comfortable high-backed lounge for four, opposite the LCD television and A/V system that also swivels forward to face the master cabin in the bow. The cherrywood dinette converts to an impromptu berth if needs be.

Last but not leat, the head. It’s actually more of a bathroom for a 30-something sportscruiser, with full headroom, Vacuflush loo, handheld shower and curtain on a sturdy stainless steel rail, chic European fittings, a moulded vanity with a big mirror, and opening port. These amenities will do for weekending, at least.

SPORTSCRUISING

The co-pilot/crew on the Prestancia 322 gets a portside Cleopatra lounge that, with contoured cushions, arm and head rests, lets you kick back and watch the wake and the world pass by.

Otherwise, three people can sit here, opposite the twin helm seat with flip-up bolster.

The dash is car-like, with perforated, soft-touch vinyl trim panels, Faria gauges and switch panels for things like lights and blower and the horn. There was also a stereo remote, depthsounder, spotlight, windlass, compass, and so on. The sportswheel, trim tabs and gearshifts teamed up nicely.

Doral Prestancia

Vision when seated or standing was great, but it was the perky Volvo Penta V6s that put a grin on my face.

Performance is sports all the way and the Prestancia was soon hunting for a place in the sun, banking around tight turns and taming the wind chop and boat wake.

The boat cruised at 18kts at 3000rpm with full tabs and leg in-trim giving a flat ride and excellent low-speed vision. A tad more throttle and no trim tabs and we are cruising most agreeably at 23.5kts at 3500rpm, continuing in this manner at 29.5kts and 4000rpm.

Throwing the boat around in the bends produced some cavitation at 32kts and 4500rpm, with top speed of 36kts at 4950rpm. But it was the acceleration, sporty handling and quiet cruise at mid 20kts, thanks in part to the balsa-cored hull, that were the driving highlights. Add the convertible decks, the great foredeck sunlounge, the head room in the big cabin, and the slick finish and you have a boat that takes some beating.

For 34-year-old Canadian boatbuilder Doral it’s all about doing things better and smarter, having a European flavour, some real innovation, less glitz, sharp styling and plenty of get up and go.

And for Max and family they can look forward to plenty of long lunches aboard their comfortable Prestancia 322.

HIGHS

Superior finishes, great European styling and wonderful attention to detail


A very complete boat with everything you could hope for on a 10m sportscruiser

Wonderful outdoor living space with extended boarding platform, convertible cockpit seating, and great foredeck lounges

High volume cabin with room for a family of four and a big head

Sporty handling, a smooth ride, and great acceleration

LOWS

New badge in a big market without established resale value

No generator or invertor for remote 240V power for accessories like the microwave oven when away from the dock

Non-skid could be more aggressive on the boarding platform

Lots of premium trim to look after in our harsh saltwater environment

Small food-prep space in a small galley

DORAL PRESTANCIA 322

Doral Prestancia
Doral Prestancia
Doral Prestancia
Doral Prestancia
Doral Prestancia
Doral Prestancia
Doral Prestancia
Doral Prestancia

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