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Chaparral 257 SSX
Displacement (approx.): 4,700 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 22.5 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 5'8"
Fuel Capacity: 72 gal.
Max Horsepower: 430
Available Power: MerCruiser or Volvo Penta sterndrives up to 430 hp
Model year 2013 may be called the year of the stern, as many builders showcase layout innovations in the rear cockpits of their new boats. Aboard the 257 SSX, Chaparral takes a different tack, re-creating its portside seating options. Butted up against the transom bench, the 257 SSX’s “transition lounge” essentially creates the chaise portion of an L-shaped lounge. This portside seating, however, actually sits atop a pedestal. Slide it forward and you create a separate aft-facing seat, with a forward-facing seat behind that lets passengers keep their feet on the cockpit sole, rather than having to recline. Or, pivot it 90 degrees and slide in the standard side-mount table, and you’ve got an instant dinette.
That’s not to imply there’s no innovation aft. Chaparral’s stern bench is two separate love seats, separated by a transom walk-through and with the bench’s back-to-back, mirror images facing the swim platform. Underway, face forward. Bobbing at anchor, face aft and use the swim platform as your own private dock. Prefer to lounge? Click a switch and the seats lower into individual sun pads. You can even tilt up the forwardmost cushion to use as a backrest. Some innovative thought also went into the seats in the bow cockpit. Backrests slope seamlessly into the bottom cushions to promote a relaxed, laid-back feel. Retractable armrests, stainless-steel grab rails and stainless-steel cup holders complete the amenities.
Chaparral dubs the 257 its “next generation” luxury bowrider. Upscale touches include an elegant two-tone, vinyl-wrapped helm, with contrast stitching and a custom leather-wrapped steering wheel, digital gauge array and real-wood dash veneer. The port console gets similar treatment on its exterior. Within, the head compartment offers a solid-surface countertop, sink with pull-out faucet, portable potty, mirror and screened port. At its core, however, this is familiar Chaparral. The hull handled the choppy waters of Tampa Bay with absolute precision, darting into tight turns without any hint of bucking or prop release. A Volvo Penta 380 powered the craft onto plane in four seconds, hit 30 mph in less than eight seconds, and topped out at 51.5 mph.
Comparable model: Cobalt A25