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Chaparral 277 SSX
Draft (max): 3'3"
Displacement (approx): 6,500 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 22.5 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 6'6"
Max Cabin Headroom: 3'11"
Fuel Capacity: 105 gal.
Water Capacity: 15 gal.
Max Horsepower: 525
Available Horsepower: MerCruiser or Volvo Penta gasoline sterndrives up to 525 hp
Buttery-soft upholstery, rich stainless-steel accents and artistically sculpted hull sides are the currency of more than one “luxury” bowrider. But I’d argue the true genius of Chaparral’s 277 SSX is in the smaller details. Consider the swivel and fore-and-aft adjustments on the helm and passenger seats. On most chairs you have to fold yourself in half to find those annoying little levers. Once you reach them, they’re often finicky. Chaparral relocated these to the top front corners of the seats. They’re large, polished levers, clearly labeled, and no farther away than your knee. Similar innovation is found within the depths of the main cockpit ski locker. Its strut-assisted lid, guttered lip and rubber matting may be par for the course, but look to the sides. Tucked below the cockpit floor to both port and starboard are handy pull-out drawers, fabricated from a rot-free composite, lined with matting and large enough to hold the removable cockpit table. They roll out effortlessly for loading and unloading, and settle into a secure position when closed. My organization-crazed wife would be impressed.
In the bow cockpit, forget the traditional V- or U-shape bench layout. Instead, Chaparral mixes things up with an L-shape bench to port and across the bow, and a separate, forward-facing seat to starboard. The design is reminiscent of the standard in luxury bowriders, such as Cobalt’s A28 ($132,138 powered like our test boat), and provides a more secure perch for those who prefer not to kick their feet up or be forced to ride sideways. When combined with Chaparral’s standard side-mount table, you can even fashion a starboard dinette. Both primary seats feature a subtle recline in their forward-facing console backrests, along with flip-up armrests and a scallop below the ol’ buttisimo for comfort. The port bench rises lengthwise on a sturdy, articulating hinge to pivot fully out of the way for access to the finished stowage below. At the bow, a through-hull anchor and optional windlass ($2,306) shined with form and function. A rollover navigation light and pull-up cleats eliminate any worry about a snag or stubbed toes.
Moving aft, I swung open the stainless-capped split windshield and gave kudos to the magnetic catch that secures it in the open position. A wind-block door folds out from the helm console; a secondary door ensures the stowage below remains covered. Behind, the under-helm stowage is finished fiberglass, again with familiar rubber matting. Above, Chapparal’s deep, mocha-color, raffia-weave vinyl is precisely stitched around the console’s horizontal surface. Its an upscale finish and negates reflection off the windshield. As on the Cobalt, dash panels are fabricated from aluminum to prevent warping and squeaking. Real walnut veneer on the switch panels, along with a stainless wheel with leather grip, completes the Aston-Martin feel.