While everyone could use a bigger boat, the concept of “bigger is always better” did not always apply unilaterally. While some boaters moving up from the family bowrider to a pocket cruiser, sedan or express have aspirations to boat overnight, many boaters really just want a much bigger version of an open bow boat to use during the day. Hence we see the most welcome development of the day boat, like the 307 SSX 50th Anniversary Edition I tested, executed to the highest degree by Chaparral Boats.
Outfitted with twin 300 hp MerCruiser MAGs paired with Bravo Three sterndrives, our test boat sprinted to over 50 mph on a windy, choppy day. With the optional speed-scraping hardtop ($7,377), this number stood as a reminder that you can go big and still achieve impressive performance. The boat’s hull design, Chaparral’s signature extended V-plane hull that molds in afterplanes to extend the running surface past the propulsion point, helps with that. The V-plane and the steep 22-degree deadrise helped the 307 SSX nullify any bay chop we encountered.
With the 307, Chaparral strictly adheres to the day boat concept — there’s no cuddy cabin or changing room hidden under one of the consoles. (If you really want sleepover potential, it offers the 327 SSX for that purpose.) Instead you’ll find massive stowage underneath the helm console with a built-in trash receptacle. You’ll find a well-appointed head in the port console with 4 feet 3 inches of headroom, an optional vacuum-flush, pump-out head ($809) and a faux teak sole. The large port allows in plenty of sunlight, and it opens to let in ample fresh air.
The bow cockpit has fantastic seating with forward-facing recliners on the consoles with flip-up armrests. A filler cushion creates a sun lounge, and there’s a chock for the cockpit table. There’s also an insulated cooler built into the bow step. Note how the cushions open front to back on gas struts to access the storage.
The main cockpit features twin double-wide chairs with flip-up bolsters in front of the helm and the port console. An entertainment center can be installed behind the helm, and the seating array makes for a great conversation pit around the cockpit table. What a great way to spend the day on the water.
Comparable model: Cobalt Boats 302