Scout 255 Dorado

Crossing the line.

by Chuck Warren
In the automotive world, crossovers and SUVs have grown to become one of the fastest-selling vehicle classes on the road today.


  • LOA: 25'6"
  • Beam: 8'11"
  • Draft: 19"
  • Weight: 5,258 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 132 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 15 gals.
  • Power: 400 hp
  • Price: Contact dealer

Versatile, comfortable and even luxurious, crossovers often give their owners a sporty driving experience while still providing plenty of room for groceries. 

Today, many boatbuilders are creating new designs with the same idea in mind. Although plenty of dedicated models still exist, more and more new creations are filling multiple needs. Of course, some manufacturers are making that jump better than others. 

Based in South Carolina, Scout’s newer models cross the lines that divide many watercraft classes, with the 255 Dorado serving as the perfect example.

Although its primary design may focus on fishing, the boat can also handle watersports and family outings with luxurious features and a stylish appearance.
The Scout 255 Dorado’s multipurpose crossover feel is exactly what attracted Mark and Margie Vogel to SkipperBud’s in Grand Haven, Michigan, when they decided to buy their first boat in 2015. 

Crossing over

When Margie took one of the couple’s four kids to a college visit, Mark attended the Grand Rapids Boat Show, even commenting as she left that he was “off to buy a boat.” The Vogels saw the purchase as more than a new toy. With kids leaving home, they also saw it as a new learning experience they could go through together.

Mark’s first choice was a center console. However, along with their four grown children, the Vogels also have three grandkids to think about. 

“Other boaters pointed out that the center console gave us no shelter,” Mark says. Margie had other reasons to continue their search. 

“I thought the center console was ugly,” she says. “And there was nowhere for people to sit.”

After discussing several options, a dual console configuration began to make sense. So did the Scout brand. The Vogels initially thought a 21-footer would provide everything they were looking for until they factored in Lake Michigan’s legendary mood swings and realized a smaller boat would probably mean less time on the water.

The Scout 255 Dorado is loaded with fishing features, such as built-in tackle storage and a livewell. And with its spacious, comfortably cushioned, flip-down benches hiding in the stern and a roomy, enclosed head with a sink, the boat is also ready for a day on the water with family and friends. 

Crossing others off the list

For Mark, the Scout brand stood out from the rest of the pack for several reasons. 

“I felt like I was getting above-average quality for a reasonable price,” he says. “Especially in this size and class with a head and bow seating.” 

With its blue-gray hull and tan topside, the Vogel’s 255 Dorado definitely stands out at the dock, while brown vinyl interior adds the perfect accent. Even the hardtop perched on a heavy-duty tube frame blends in and disappears, while real glass windshield panes keep visibility clear and free of distortions. 

The 255 Dorado erases the line between fishing boat and family cruiser with features like the cushioned bowrider-style bow seating, which creates a comfortable space for sun seekers. A center filler cushion also converts the space into a sunpad, or what Mark Vogel affectionately calls the “mosh pit” when the safely enclosed space is occupied by three grandkids under the age of 5.

The helm and passenger seats are wide enough for two and also offer stand-up bolsters with unimpeded visibility. Close the walk-through windshield and companionway door between the bow and helm, and passengers and captain alike can stay warm on chilly days. 

Crossing boundaries

On the water, the Scout feels more like a sportboat than a fishing vessel. Even with Mark Vogel’s custom, rail-mounted downrigger mounts, rod holders and other fishing gear sitting on the gunnels, the 255 Dorado seems just as ready to tow skiers and tubers. Or to run guests to waterfront dinner destinations.

There is storage everywhere, with a huge space below the floor for a collection of rods and reels, or wakeboards and waterskis. A livewell occupies the port side of the transom while built-in tackle storage hides in the starboard side. There is even more storage for dock lines or life jackets, or to store inflatable toys for the kids. 

The 255 Dorado’s twin 150-hp Mercury engines provide peace of mind to anyone headed offshore in search of fish. The boat responds to the throttle nicely, jumping out of the hole and cruising at 26 mph with ease. Lean on the throttles and the boat responds with a very respectable 52 mph top-end while the 135-gallon fuel tank provides some range. 

Speed is only as good as the hull’s ability to handle it, but the Scout 255 Dorado was made to move in any water. The forecast for our test ride said we’d find mirror-like conditions just off Grand Haven, with light winds and clear skies. However, we found the opposite.

Leaving Grand Haven behind, Lake Michigan quickly reminded us why Mark chose the bigger vessel. With 20-knot winds and 3-footers brewing, this was the kind of day that kept the charter fleet at the docks. 

The Scout’s performance must be experienced to be believed. As Mark throttled up, the 255 Dorado’s bow stayed low until we planed off in the rough water. Even at cruising speeds, no spray hit the windshield, and even more incredibly there was no slap as the Scout skipped across the surface. The ride stayed comfortable and dry at all times. 

For Rick Williams, general manager of SkipperBud’s Grand Haven, the Scout’s design is one of the biggest reasons they sell them.
“I can tell you they are the driest ride I have ever experienced,” Williams says, “and the reverse shoebox bonded construction makes it a very rigid boat in rough seas.”

Crossing the finish line 
After hearing about boat ownership costs for years, the Vogels stepped across the line to take the plunge and found the opposite. While rack storage makes it easy to jump on and go for a ride, the Dorado’s modern construction and materials remove much of the maintenance and upkeep requirements. 
“When we’re on the water, we feel like we’re on vacation,” Margie says. “Even if it’s just a weeknight.” 

“The Dorado really does do it all,” Williams says. “One thing I know, the customer’s that own them love them. I’m sure Mark and Margie will attest to that.”
For Mark and Margie Vogel, the Scout 255 Dorado is a true crossover, providing fun for their entire family without compromising on its abilities as a fishing boat. The Scout crosses back and forth between sport and cruiser categories with ease. 

“We wanted a boat that would be all we’d ever need,” Mark says. “I still look around at other brands and sizes, but I don’t see any reason to change. I’m very, very happy with this boat.” 


Multiple locations 

Payne Marine
Point Au Baril, ON 

Harbour Place Marine Sales
Buffalo, NY 

Progressive AUG19
South Shore JUN17