At 24 feet, 6 inches in length, the new Chaparral 247 SSX checks several boxes. First, it’s a full-size family boat for a wide variety of boating adventures. Second, while it may be the smallest of the Chaparral luxury SSX series (up to 34 feet), it clearly has all the SSX DNA and detailing you’d expect from the larger boats. And third, it’s just plain fun.
Rated to carry up to 13 people, this is a big bowrider, so no one is going to feel cramped, even with Aunt Edna taking up cockpit space.
Interior and Accessories
Let’s start at the pointy end. The bow seating seems straightforward until you sit down. The aft backrests have lumbar supports to take the kinks out of a long day on the water, and the side backrests that wrap around are equally comfy. They’re also padded deeply enough to keep your spine away from the big speakers in the coamings, and Chaparral gets points for the sturdy stainless-steel rails that run the length of the forward cockpit. They’re great security for those seated, and equally good for horsing the boat around at the dock or onto a trailer.
One forward seat has an insulated ice chest under it so you don’t have to go aft for refreshments, and you can opt to add a removable table (with its own dedicated stowage) as well as a filler cushion to create a full sun pad. The anchor locker secures ground tackle under a molded deck lid and drains overboard.
Going aft, there is a one-piece “weather door” to close off the cockpit from wind or spray when the windshield is closed. Every skipper will be captivated by the thoughtfully arranged helm, with its pair of Simrad 7-inch Evo3 displays (custom-fit to this Chaparral) that combine all the information needed, from navigation (a dedicated GPS and chart plotter) to boat systems.
The bolstered helm seat is another all-day delight. It is fully adjustable and has notches on the side that allow the skipper to spin around to look astern. The companion seat has a bolster for facing forward, but its backrest reverses to create an aft-facing lounge when desired.
On the deck between the seats is a big hatch for stowing boards or skis, and you probably won’t notice, but the hatch is both deeply guttered and fully gasketed to be watertight. By the way, all the seat hatches have deep gutters, including another insulated cooler under the starboard seat. In addition, the cockpit is self-bailing, which means you can leave the boat in the water and a heavy rainstorm won’t sink it. Big stainless-steel drains in the cockpit corners see to that.
The aft bench seat also proves versatile, facing forward with a high back that flips to become a chaise backrest for the wide sun pad, with a big, sturdy grab rail across the top of the seat. Before you go further, take a moment to admire the upholstery; Chaparral takes great pride in its triple French-stitched SiO marine silicone upholstery that is virtually maintenance-free.
A walkway to starboard leads to the oversize transom platform, with its standard four-step boarding ladder hidden under a hatch. One option on the 247 SSX is the Infinity Power Step, which unfolds the swim platform to become a seat or a beach for sitting in the water, with steps to help swimmers out of the water. I tried it—it’s a no-brainer.
This brings us to the engine, accessed via gas lifts that hinge the rear bench seat and sun pad as a single unit. There are no fewer than seven power choices in either MerCruiser Bravo Three or Volvo Penta Duoprop sterndrives. Both range from 250 to 350 hp, so pick your fave.
Our test boat had the midrange MerCruiser 6.2L DTS of 300 hp turning a Bravo Three drive, which gave us a squinch over 50 mph—a nice balance between power and economy. While you have the engine hatch up, notice the heavy sound insulation, which kept our flat-out decibel level well under 90 dB(A).
I also liked that the Merc had all the important service points at the forward end of the engine for easy access. The batteries are in a separate compartment under a hinged seat next to the sun pad. , There are both high and low tow points on the tower and transom to accommodate a variety of watersports.
If you’re shopping, check out the Sea Ray SLX 250 ($120,616 with 300 hp MerCruiser 6.2L). It’s a foot longer, but you gain a head compartment.
The Chaparral V-Plane hull shape is interesting because it extends the running surfaces underneath the swim platform while leaving space for the sterndrive between to turn. The effect is catamaran-like, and it was noticeable underway, particularly during enthusiastic hard turns when these sharp corners helped give the hull some bite.
The transom deadrise of 20 degrees verges on deep-V range, and the 247 SSX was surprisingly soft when powering through wakes. This was clearly a combination of the V-hull and its full-length running strakes that cushioned the landings.
The standard equipment list is generously long, and boat buyers can tailor the engine and equipment options to create a 247 SSX that fits their boating needs and delights.
How We Tested
- Engine: Single 300 hp MerCruiser 6.2L DTS
- Drive/Prop: Bravo Three sterndrive/15.5″ x 24″ pitch stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 2.20:1 Fuel Load: 40 gal. Crew Weight: 350 lb.
- A self-bailing cockpit is an important safety feature, especially in the ocean.
- Deep gutters on all hatches, plus mats on locker floors, help keep clothes and gear dry.
- Standard twin Simrad Evo3 displays offer chart plotting with full charts, GPS and Wi-Fi, as well as onboard system monitoring.
- Water was present in the aft compartment of our prototype test boat where the battery switch is located, which means it was coming in from somewhere.
- Weather door closing off the bow rattled and needed a bumper, gasket or better latch to eliminate the irritating sound.
- A safety door for the walkway from the cockpit to the transom platform would be good if you have little kiddies.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$111,500 (with test power)|
|Displacement (approx.):||4,500 lb.|
|Transom Deadrise:||20 degrees|
|Bridge Clearance:||5’4″ (arch down); 7’7″ (arch up)|
|Fuel Capacity:||60 gal.|
|Available Power:||Single MerCruiser or Volvo Penta sterndrives|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Chaparral Boats – Nashville, Georgia; 229-686-7481; chaparralboats.com