Upon closer inspection, I discovered that Chaparral secures the battery in a sturdy bracket, rather than using a flimsy strap. Bus bars are used for electrical grounds, making service and accessory additions easier. Circuit breakers provide overcurrent protection, and electrical connections are triple O-ring sealed. Electrical problems are the most common boating malady, and too many entry-level boats fail to meet the standards I discovered while assessing the H20 18.
Running, the boat planed smartly with a 135 hp MerCruiser under the hatch, hitting 39 mph at wide-open throttle. Chaparral incorporated the extended V-plane hull of its SSi runabouts into the H20 18. This factors huge in its performance despite frugal power. Want more ponies? A 220 hp MerCruiser is available for an additional $3,652.
Comparable model: Tahoe Q4i