No stranger to Best Boat Television, Dorado Custom Boats have been a perennial favorite and one of the details about this company that can’t be overlooked is their willingness to custom build a boat specifically to suit your needs. This year we had a chance to enjoy the day on a Dorado 25 Flat Deck which was built specifically for a successful Boca Grande Tarpon guide and this model featured plenty of personal touches added expressly to suit the needs of a full time guide.
The open deck layout of the Flat Deck model is already very conducive to multiple anglers and this owner took a step further to open up the cockpit by using the smaller center console out of a 23 Dorado to increase deck real estate. Like most of the Dorado models, this boat came equipped with an abundance of rod holders, 37 to be exact. The ability to store a rod or reach one from any point on the boat wasn’t overlooked on this model and a set of double stacked overhead launcher racks at the rear of the hard top offered easy access to 15 sticks from the cockpit.
A pair of giant live wells including a 60-gallon transom tank and another 62-gallon oval well behind the helm seat/rocket launcher are more than most people probably need but for a guide they handle any live baiting situation he might encounter with ease. A pair of small inner-gunwale pitch wells are handy for a quick shot at a cruising fish on top and an extra 22-gallon tank can be added as a forward console seat if you want to punch things up to maximum capacity. The helm seat features an ingenious hinged design which enables you to tilt the top half of your seating center forward to fully expose the top of this oversized tank for easily shaking a cast net into. These are the clever design touches that spring from lots of experience dealing with serious anglers and Dorado shows a great attention to just such details.
Our test model also featured a full guide tower and second station which was roomy and comfortable enough for two passengers. A hard deck shade top facing aft provided cockpit shade and an additional forward facing shade deck was made removable per instructions from the owner to offer shade on certain days and increase visibility on deck from above on others. A convertible buggy top was also added to provide shade for the driver from upstairs on demand.
The deck layout was fairly uncomplicated in the typical clean Dorado style with a single large below deck compartment forward and another below deck battery storage hold behind it. The large storage compartment is accessed via an electronically controlled power piston accessible from the bow or at the helm. A matching pair of fish boxes in the cockpit corners flank a large bilge access compartment in the center cockpit deck which offers easy reachability to all of your pumps and other bilge hardware.
This model demonstrated why the use of a single engine hybrid skiff makes sense for one trying to make a living on the water or anyone wanting to keep expenses to a minimum. Rigged with a Mercury 350 Verado, this boat offered 3.2-MPG economy at 35-MPH cruising and the luxury of only needing 100-hour service on a lone power plant adds up quickly if you use your boat frequently. For one of the original “Hybrid” boats on the market, Dorado offers a finely tuned craft for nearshore and coastal fishing that is sure to satisfy the needs of most. More importantly, if there’s something you don’t see and want included, they’re listening.
Dorado 25 Flat Deck Specifications
Beam: 8-feet 4-inches
Weight: 3500 pounds
Maximum Horsepower: 400
Base Price: $100,500 with Mercury 350