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Location: Norfolk VA (home) Kitty Hawk NC, Tucker's Town Bermuda, Sarasota FL, Tuscaloosa AL (School)
Hey yall, does anyone here have any experience with Dorado boats? More so the 23 or 25? I'm looking for a new boat that is more versatile than my Contender for shallow water, back country fishing. I've got a place in Sarasota so I could trailer it down from here and use it more down there.
I'm looking at several different models from several manufacturers, but I'm really diggin the Dorado's, and I definitely want an upper station that can be folded down for trailering.
Thanks for any feedback, I do appreciate it.
Also, I'm new to this forum, so if this is the wrong place for this topic, I apologize. Let me know...
What specific questions do you have? The 25 is the old Avenger hull. I've never been on a 25 so I can't comment on them.
I have a '97 23 with out a tower. The boat is very sea worth and has a fully enclosed transom. The transom is designed around the porta bracket with a few degrees of round like a sportfish which allows you to back down into a chop and not take water over the stern. This is great for backing up when catching bait at the bridge against the current and throwing the net off the bow. It's got 11 degrees of dead rise and rides accordingly but big trim tabs help a lot with the ride so you can keep the bow down. It can be wet in a quartering sea but I had a three sided enclosure fabricated which was worth every penny. The three piece construction gives you 360 degree walk around and bolstered gunnels and Iíve added 12 flush mount stainless rod holders. Iíve got a total of 25 rod holders.
Its self bailing although on the older models (pre-1999 or so I think) the hatch drains go to the bilge instead of out the scuppers. Post 99 models the hatch drains are guttered and water runs out the scuppers and the console design is much improved so the console flips up to allow very easy access to the wiring. The console access on the older models kinda sucks for getting at the wiring. I cannot speak for the newer models but my t-top was not through bolted and was screwed into the deck and stringers. I fixed that with some under deck brackets I made out of 4 inch aluminum angle. The entire center deck unscrews to access the fuel tank so no cutting if you ever have to replace it. Thereís a crawl space under deck that runs bow to stern with room on top of the tank to run wires.
The thing that sets the 23 apart from any thing else is the storage and easy access to under deck systems and the three piece construction. Counting the anchor locker itís got 13 deck compartments in the old model and 12 in the newer design. The all pumps and oil tank are accessed via a 3'x3' deck hatch so you don't need a team of circus midgets to work on anything. The three piece construction means youíve got a tow kick and itís like fishing against kitchen cabinets with no doors instead of out of a bath tub.
Light load I slow cruise at 29 mph burning 6.5 gph. Heavy load (full well, 70 gallon tank, 4 people, 2 coolers) around 9 gph around 27 mph. Tops out at 51 light load turning a 17p Enertia burning 20 gph.
I regularly fish mine 40 miles offshore and it floats in 12 inches at rest. These aren't massed produced and you donít see 10 of them at the ramp every time you go. Mine is 11 years old and still holds a mirror finish on the hull side. I wish the boat had a transom live well, fish box insulation and held more than 70 gallons of gas. Itís difficult to mount a trolling motor on the boat although Iíve seen it done so if youíre looking for a boat to do that I consider something else. I almost bought a 24 pathfinder but Iíve found I fish offshore more than shallow lately so Iím glad I didnít pick one of those up.
Over all Iím very happy with the boat. The company has a great rep locally and many guides fish them. I donít foresee myself selling this boat although if I was in the market again I'd look for a Sheaffer.
I have been on two Dorado boats one time each on the FL west coast, of course. They are a beautiful boat and I like the shearline. As you probably already know they are very pricey and hold their price well on the used market. One issue I have with these boats is that all the boxes are in the floor and thus they are wet - there is no dry storage. They are an excellent all around shallow water craft for flats near shore on the west coast. Very reliable and predictable in the passes such as Baca Grande and Stump when drifting for silver kings.
Direct competitors: Sheaffer, Avenger and some would say Andros Pangas. I think there is a Privateer that is the same style albeit a much simpler boat, but don't hold me to that.
Location: Norfolk VA (home) Kitty Hawk NC, Tucker's Town Bermuda, Sarasota FL, Tuscaloosa AL (School)
Re: Dorado Boats
Yeah Andros was another consideration of mine. Alright thanks for the replies. I guess I'm really just looking for opinions from owners on what they like and don't like. I'd definitely be taking it offshore, so I'm glad to hear that you (23Dorado) have taken yours out there successfully.
Do you guys have know of a good dealer for them that I can contact and see if I can find one?
I like what I've read about them, and I'm glad to you guys enjoy them as well. I'm definitely going to research them some more. Thanks again guys!
Also a site newbie! I am currently in the market for a boat of this style & have looked at several builders & boats including Dorado 23 & conversed with Jon - Dorado's rep. While doing my homework I came across another company http://www.aeonmarine.com/ and their 23 is very impressive. It has classic looks but the hull design is very different. My buddy & I took it out for a wet test & ran it hard - 55MPH with full tower. The handling was unreal - it cornered so sharp, we nearly threw the owner overboard - no sign of sliding or bow steer! The ride was soft in a chop & dry. They are new out of the Tampa Bay area & IMHO well worth considering - good hunting.
23 Dorado...what about the Shaeffer would make you consider it over the Dorado? I've been gathering info for the past few months and I also think the Shaeffer would be my top choice. I've been trying to find someone who has first hand experience with the Avenger (Dorado 25) with a tower but I have not found anyone who owns one to comment. Based on my conversations with several Shaeffer owners and Ben Shaeffer, it seems like they have this boat totally dialed in for what it's meant to do. Out of the 5 Shaeffer owners I've talked with (3 who have owned Dorados) they all say they would buy the exact same boat if they had to do it all over again. RumBum...if you go to look at the Avenger let us know what you think.
I have a 25 Avenger without a Tower & a friend of mine has one with a Tower I have also run them with T-Tops. I have only good things to say about the 25 Avenger they sip fuel eat up a chop keep me dry & run offshore with best of them. Don't think about comparing the 23 Dorado with the 25 Avenger they are light years apart.
__________________ My first boat 1953 15ft Aluminumcraft 30hp Johnson
2012 20CC Bulls Bay F150 Yamaha, Owens & Sons Trailer
The Sheaffer is wider and I can't really explain it but I've always wanted one but they're limited production and very expensive new......and almost impossible to find used. I'm looking at 29 Sea Vee's so my Dorado may hit the boattrader this summer.
CaptKevin: Bunch of questions for ya: Did you buy the boat when Avenger or after Dorado agreed to build? Any diff. in your opinion since Dorado took over production? How shallow will she honestly float and can you use a bow mounted trolling motor? I've only been on large go-fast boats that had a step in the hull...does it make a big difference on a small boat like your 25' when you have limited wetted surface? One of the features I like on the Shaeffer is that they have a transom livewell in addition to the leaning post livewell...do you miss having a 2nd well at waist level? Have you ever run a Shaeffer and if so, how do the 2 of them compare? I'm getting real close to writing a check and any input is appreciated!
New to this forum just found out about it!! I fish pretty often most of the time with inshore captains and I have been on these boats that you are talking about except for the 25 Avenger. The 23 Dorado is a really good looking boat. Narrow beam, when you put a tower on the boat it gets tippy, and you have little room to walk around the console, and yes the under the deck storage rarely keeps things dry. The boat is wet as well. The 23 Aeon looks as thought they took the 23 gause and modified the hull with the sharper strakes, and also they only have built under 5 or 6 in this market. The 239 Shaeffer is a great built boat, heavy, wider beam than the 23 dorado, more stable when fishing, but it doesn't have the performance of the Aeon 23. And Ben is great to deal with and rigs very nicely. I'm getting ready to purchase a 18' skiff from Canyon Bay, and when I was their they showed me their new 2400 they are coming out with in Miami that is a closed transom and the layout is sick. I have been on the 2475 and it rides like a champ, dry . CB has the vacuum resin infusion technology. I didn't like the cut out and the aft fishing platform on the when I wanted to fish offshore. They opened the back and put in a 50 gal. leaning post live well on the 2400. The fit- an-finish is good on the boats along with the Andros 26. The boat has the aesthetics but has the narrow beam, little storage, and rides pretty good. All of these boats are somewhat priced in the same range. Also be careful when wanting to have a decent sized baitwell in the transom on bay boats under 24-25 range. These boats have brackets they push the weight back already and when you add water to the transom you draft more, slower hull shot in the flats, and could change the Cg's of the boat. my .02
I just propped out the 25 dorado/avenger hull.
Its a stepped hull, runs very flat. It was choppy the day we ran, I was impresed, it cut through it nicely.
Ran 49 mph with a 250 etec, No T-top, 2 guys and about 3/4 tank of fuel
Its wide and stable, and I think it would be a good all around boat. I think it drafts about 14 inch at rest
One odd thing happend on that boat. We tried a sternlifting 4 blade and it drove like a truck on ice. Wierd. 3 blades were locked in.
Andros is the exact opposite.
Dorado's shaeffers Andros Panga gause I'd just take some test rides on them and see what you think.
I personally love the Half Towers with the controls up top.
Went to the CB website and didn't see anything new like the 2400 you discussed..they must be waiting till Miaami to update the site. Is this a new hull or have they just changed the liner and deck cap? One nice thing about the Shaeffer and the Avenger is the amount of freeboard and the ability to jam you knees against something while fishing. It looks to me that the forward casting deck is lower on the Avenger vs the Shaeffer and that's probably a good thing. Just got some pixs from Shaeffer of a new half tower there are puttingon a boat and the things looks smokin! It's about 11" shorter than the full tower and doesn't have to be dropped for trailering. It fits the boats perfect and that's what I'm gonna rig if I end up buying from Ben.
I have heard good things about the Sheafers as well but haven't seen too many Dorados out on the water. Someone mentioned Canyon B and I have to say I was just at the CB plant last week and saw some of thier recent work. Very Impressive !!! The had a truck load of boats going out to Texas and they looked sweet. ...... I wish the driver got lost and dropped them in my yard.
They have so many ways to configure a boat it is really amazing ... big console, tall console, console with a head or w/o a head and even an option of an ellivated console. I saw some of thier tower work (full and 1/2 towers and the pipework they have done is 2nd to none ..... You basically get to choose what hull you want , what deck, what console, what (if any) tower, what sort of leaning posts and if you want a full t-top, mid -size t-top ect... Then you choose hull and deck colors and everything up to where you want the rod holders installed.
All I can say is that thier website doesn't do thier quality and workmanship justice (although I am told they are having that revamped). You have to see the work first hand to get a good feel for it. I look forward to seeing thier new 2400 model in Miami. Granted it takes away the elivated aft platform but it really opens up the cockpit and makes it even better for if you fish in rough conditions.
For my shop list it started with the overall look of boat, I am a classic style fanatic, so for me Schaeffer & Dorado 23 were my first obvious choice, CB look like they make a good boat but for me does not have the classic lines (there is a butt for every seat & my buddy is going to look at CB 18' for his son) then it was overall fittings & finish, & Schaeffer wins there hands down. That is when we came across Aeon 23 & as per comments made the performance wins hands down with a top notch finish the attention to detail was awesome. All these builders state they are custom builders so IMHO when I am ready to buy a boat of this calibre I should get exactly what I want, I was thinking about adding a couple of crab wells in transom & have been talking a couple of other ideas thru I have. My mind at the time is set on Aeon 23