Chaparral 277 SSX

The 277 SSX features loads of storage, innovative bow seating and a great running attitude.

Chaparral 277 SSX

LOA: 27'6"
Beam: 9'0"
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

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

Chaparral 277 SSX

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.

A similar treatment is mirrored to port. The wood-grain glove-box door opens on friction hinges that eliminate the need for a spring or strut that would hamper access. Opening the console door to access the head compartment within, I was curious to see how Chaparral would prevent the door from impacting the helm, a common shortcoming. The answer is built-in stops on the hinges, a more elegant solution than a strap. Within the 4-foot-deep compartment, a portable head, solid-surface countertop and stainless sink are standard. The mirror on the forward wall and a large screened port combine to create a sense of openness.

In standard trim, Chaparral eschews the cockpit wet bar to focus solely on passenger seating. A generous U-shape lounge can be packed to the brim for a conversation-friendly layout (swivel that helm and passenger seat around to join the party) or instead can allow passengers to kick up their feet chaise-lounge style. Behind, a low-slung sun pad offers room to lounge while maintaining an open feeling. Its gull-wing cushions access finished stowage areas below, including a spot for a hinged center pad that, when out of the way, reveals a central walk-through. Even the territory reserved for the swim platform shows some of that aforementioned detail. Stainless-grille, water-resistant speakers are ready to pump out the tunes when coving and are smartly recessed into molded contours in the fiberglass.

Chaparral's extended V-plane hull features a running surface that extends to the end of the swim platform, a design that helps it to plane quickly and acts much like a trim tab at speed. My test boat featured a MerCruiser 8.2 Mag, a 380 hp option with digital throttle and shift. I watched the bow drop in less than five seconds and saw the 30 mph threshold pass in just over eight. Top speed was 49.8 mph. The engine is housed in an obsessively neat engine compartment. Electrical cables are neatly run within Panduit raceways, eliminating clutter while providing chafe protection, and the wide-open layout provides excellent access to common maintenance points, such as fluids and filters. Just a few more killer details — on a boat with many.

Comparable model: Cobalt A28

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