Chaparral 21 SSi OB Boat Test

This boat model is available in either sterndrive or outboard power.

Chaparral’s 21 SSi OB ­represents a new series of runabouts that build on its H2O series by adding more luxury and style while keeping Chaparral’s commitment to quality and family pricing firmly in place. We reported on the sterndrive in our October issue, and the pair presents a formidable choice.

We liked the outboard for several reasons. First, with the outboard, you know before you hit the throttle which way your motor is pointed. That’s helpful when pulling away from the dock or sandbar, or unloading from the trailer. A sterndrive is hidden from view, and you can’t tell if it’s tilted for safe launching or, for watersports, if the helm is straight enough to give your skier a clean hole shot. Outboards are easier to flush after saltwater use, but sterndrives give a full, gunwale-to-­gunwale transom platform ­enjoyed by many families.

Chaparral 21 SSi OB running shot
LOA: 21'6" | Beam: 8'4" | Draft: 1'3.5" | Displacement: 2,800 lb. (dry with power) | Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 8'4" and 4'8" (tower up and down, respectively) | Fuel Capacity: 40 gal. | Max Horsepower: 200 | Available Power: Yamaha outboards | More Information: chaparralboats.comCourtesy Chaparral Boats

Bow seating on the OB or sterndrive is comfortable, with stainless-steel grab rails for security, and good looks, cup holders, and stereo speakers to bring the music forward. An anchor locker is easily accessible, and storage beneath the seats is easy to access and to clean at day’s end. The captain and key passenger get custom bucket seats with optional flip-up bolsters.

Beam-width bench seating has a cooler under the center cushion that can be aerated should you choose the optional fish package, which includes a trolling motor, batteries, a depth finder/chart plotter and ­fishing chairs.

The sun pad has three cushions, and the left and right one can be raised in a gull-wing manner to expose a transom walkway, or remain inclined to form a ­side-facing lounge. The sterndrive is just a tick faster than the OB, and it includes power steering over the OB’s simpler hydraulic steering.

One thing to which we can attest, the 21 SSi OB bears all the quality for which ­Chaparral is known, and that promises a good return on your boating investment, which is the best antidote we know for boater’s 2-foot-itus: the quest for bigger and better boats.

Chaparral 21 SSi OB fishing shot
The 21 SSi OB's versatility is on display whether fishing or pulling wakeboarders.Courtesy Chaparral Boats

High Points

  • Putting the power on the transom opens an enormous storage area where a sterndrive engine would normally be.
  • Optional wakeboard arch on our test boat folds for storage and low bridges.
  • Nonskid sole self-drains overboard and is so handsome that opting out of the sea-weave vinyl sole mat could be a good play.

Low Points

  • Outboard setup divides the transom platform in favor of full-tilting outboard convenience.

Toughest Competitor
Sea Ray's SPX 210 OB is optionally equipped with Mercury's new V-6 200 hp motor ($63,882 with comparable power and a wakeboard tower). It boasts a fixed transom walk-through on the port side, and we priced it with an optional vinyl woven-mat-look sole cover.

Price: $38,895 (with trailer and test power; manual folding tower is $2,879)

Available Power: Outboard

Chaparral 21 SSi OB Performance Data Chart
Chaparral 21 SSi OB Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha 200 hp
Drive/Prop: Reliance SDS 14.25" x 18" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 20 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.

Chaparral Boats - Nashville, Georgia; 727-595-2956; chaparralboats.com