Doral 250 Citation Exterior Back This mini-cruiser is the fleet queen of the fleet.
By Doug Dawson
The Doral 250 Ci­tation is a top-of-the-line mini-cruiser offering an in-cabin galley, private head and aft sleeping area-all in only 24 feet, six inches. After reviewing it for Canadian Yachting, I could see why the Citation is a popular boat this year.
I found the test boat extremely manoeuvrable during our photo runs and trials in the narrow Wasaga River. To our audience on the shore, I am sure the two boats appeared to be playing tag as they ran back and forth the short dis­tance along the park. During the tight turns the boat stayed on top without falling off the plane, and without in­creasing the throttle beyond our reason­able cruising speed. Since then, I have driven the Citation on Georgian Bay in fairly rough sea conditions and found that again, it handled well.

The test boat was one of the first Citations to be equipped with a 228 Mercruiser inboard/outboard in lieu of the usual 260 Mere and the 228 did extremely well. Mercruiser's test on the Citation with a 260 recorded its top speed at 39 mph while, I was told, Mercruiser had measured the test boat at a 0 top speed of 36 mph with the 228 on the day before we arrived for the Canadian Yachting review. A difference of only three mph makes the economy of the smaller engine worth considering; it costs less to purchase originally and less to feed daily. Starting from the bow and working aft on the outside of the boat, the long fiberglass bow pulpit is equipped with an anchor roller and a bow rail at a sensible height for added security when handling lines and fenders.

The end of the bow pulpit is an excellent location for an optional electric remote spotlight, because there is no reflection from the light onto the deck. The side decks are the width of your foot just wide enough to walk on-but the Citation is one of the few mini-cruisers that even has side decks. The bow rail runs from the forward deck and then along the top of the cabin roof and the bottom of the windshield. Even though the side decks are quite narrow, there are no stan­chions along the edge to trip on. When you walk aft, you start inside the rail, then at the forward corner of the cabin you step over and outside the rail along the side deck. All of the walking surfaces are non-skid in a raised diamond pattern. In addition to side decks, Doral offers an alternative route to the foredeck through the center of the three large forward cabin windows. Because you step through the forward slope of the cabin, it is much easier to use than similar hatches flat on the foredeck.

The windshield is a low-profile style formed by three separate pieces of glass. The center opens for ventilation and also offers a third route to the foredeck-a walk-through windshield. The anchor-light mast is mounted on the extreme port corner of the windshield frame. The windshield is just the right height to see through when seated and to see over when sitting on the back of the seat or standing.
The convertible top and camper are built high enough to provide headroom. Two clear panels are sewn into the front section of the top above the windshield, extending the windshield upward and the center section of the top zips open. One of the tips I picked up from a professional captain in New Jersey was that if you keep all of the canvas zipped and snapped on tight and just open the front panel, you achieve unobscured visibility, without working in a cold wind tunnel. This trick could be applied to the Citation.

The side panels in the top and the camper are very large and enhance the style of the boat-unlike the smaller ones that appear in the company's 1984 brochure. The aft window of the camper rolls up for ventilation through the screen. If you leave the top bars con­nected and roll the top into a boot, your Citation top looks like a roll bar or radar arch. There is only one word to describe the size of the cockpit: huge. It appears to occupy almost half the length of the boat. The dominant feature of the forward two-thirds of the cockpit is a massive, yet comfortable, L-shaped settee on the port side with a sunbathing back­rest against the cabin. Across the aft side of the settee there is even a stainless steel handrail for safety while standing in the aft section of the cockpit. Also aft of the settee is a fold-down bench offering extra seating for two or three more. When you pull this bench down, it reveals a convenient deck bar that holds four bottles and an assortment of glasses. There is even a glass holder in the corner of the backrest of the settee. To the port side of the bar an 18-inch square opening hatch for the mid-cabin is large enough to serve as an escape hatch. The cockpit sole is fiberglass with a snap-in carpet. Without the carpet, it is easy to wash and great for wet days. With the carpet, it is more comfortable on bare feet and tends to hide sand better than bare fiberglass.
The swim platform a full two feet wide-made of fiberglass with four teak inserts, is much wider than most. When you climb out of the water on the swim ladder the Citation offers multiple-choice access: there is a transom ladder on one side, a transom step on the other and two gates (with chains) in the aft taffrail.

Doral 250 Citation Interior The engine compartment is accessible through a well-reinforced, three piece hatch. There is no room wasted down there. The compartment is just a few inches longer than the motor. Both side areas are completely filled by batteries, water tank, and pressure pump, hot water tank and so on. Before these accessories were installed, the entire engine compartment was covered with insulation. Doral has the forward bulk head soundproofed with foam and foil, and the hull's horizontal and vertical surfaces are carpet-covered-all measures that absorb engine noise. The engine hatches fit into deep troughs with overboard drains.
At the geometrically laid out helm, each gauge is framed, and the accessory switches are all fused, labeled and backlit when on. The compass mount is molded into the forward side of the dash. A neat feature of the helm is the cassette storage cabinet below the AM/FM cassette stereo set. Inside the teak cabinet is a unique unit that stores 15 cassettes and conveniently pops out your selection. A cabinet with a sliding door stores such items as binoculars, cameras and charts. The bucket-style helm seat swivels so that the captain can face the lounge area or the aft deck.

The companionway to the cabin is amidships through a bifold teak door. If you sit for a second on the top step, the general layout of the interior of the Citation is as follows: starboard aft is the head, and, of course, across the forward end is the berth and table. To port is the galley, and aft of the galley and under the raised section of the aft deck is the luxurious mid cabin area.
The head is a well-thought-out unit with fiberglass sole, sink, counter and even bulkheads up to waist height so that the area doubles as the shower stall. A shower curtain protects the full length mirror on the door and keeps the spray from sneaking out under the door. A teak door provides access to the wiring under the dash and comes with a high sided shelf for such things as razors and toothbrushes.

The forward area of the cabin is both a double width settee and a sleeping area for three. The settees are long enough for two people to sit on each side with a dinette table between. If you wish to sit on them other than at meal­time, you simply push the dinette table forward into the drawer built into the raised triangular bunk in the stem. This raised area is large enough for a small child's berth or is a great spot for a TV set. The settees convert to sleep two adults athwartships, and there is lots of storage under and behind them. The cabin is surprisingly bright and the credit for that has to be given to the three large forward windows and the two side windows. Drapes snap on the forward windows and slide on tracks on the side windows. The teak joinery work is excellent on the outside of the head door, hanging locker, table and counter trim. All the screws on the teak trim are countersunk and the holes plugged with teak, not paste.

As T mentioned above, the galley is along the port side. The sink at the aft end is quite compact-about IO inches by 12 inches, with both hot and cold pressure water. Forward of the sink is a flush-mounted alcohol/electric two burner stove with stainless steel lid for extra counter space. Below the stove is the familiar Norcold 12-volt/110-volt fridge. Forward of the fridge in the teak galley face is a special cabinet with a pull-out tea towel rack. At the aft end of the galley are one drawer and a two door cabinet. Above the counter is a sliding two-door cabinet and rack for dishes. Above the window, mounted on the teak valance, is a 12-volt fluorescent light and the 110-volt panel. The panel houses the main breaker and five circuit breakers. The neat feature of this panel is that it has an extra 110-volt outlet. Outlets are located at both ends of the galley. Again, I must repeat, the joinery work is excellent.

Next comes a big surprise. We've all crawled into mid cabins and aft cabins like puppy dogs crawling under cars. But the mid-cabin in the Doral Citation offers plenty of headroom. The head of the bed is on the port side of the boat and, believe it or not, even I can sit bolt upright in bed without banging my head. This headroom is created with the space under the cockpit settee. The cabin is bright and airy with ventilation coming from the large, screened hatch to the cockpit and two side portholes. A mirror along one wall helps to add to the feeling of spaciousness. Along the aft bulkhead are three four-foot shelves neatly hidden behind two sliding doors. In the port aft corner under the small counter top there is even a clothes hamper. Along the starboard side Doral has built a full-length shelf. In the mid­cabin of the Citation along the port side is the head of the bed, which merits attention. You will be surprised to find two headrest cushions secured to the hull. Teak magazine racks and another 110-volt outlet ensure that no area has been overlooked. Two 12-volt bullet lights put the light where you want it for reading after dark. A privacy drape sep­arates the mid-cabin from the main cabin, and a deep, comfortable one­piece mattress should further ensure a good night's sleep.

Doral really did their homework be­fore they put this boat on the market, and I think once you have been through the Citation in detail, you would have to agree that for a company who has been building boats for only 10 years, they have designed and built a mini-cruiser that is worthy of being called the queen of their Doral fleet.

Originally Published In Canadian Yachting’s October 1984 Issue.

Center Line........................24ft 6in
Beam.................................8ft 2in
Fuel.....................................61 Imp gal
Freshwater Capacity...........17 Imp gal
Holding Tanks......................12Imp gal
Cabin Headroom..................6ft
Hull........................................Deep V
Test Boat Price.......................$41,900(In 1984)


Doug Dawson owns Doug Dawson Yacht Sales. He is an experienced member of the Marine Industry and a past president of the Ontario Marina Operators Associations.