The Chaparral 257 SSX is the company’s largest single-engine outboard-powered bowrider. It has versatile seating throughout and there’s a private head compartment.
- Chaparral’s Extended Vee Plane bottom
- Spacious fore and aft lounges
- Available power from Mercury or Yamaha up to 350 hp
- Private head compartment
- Large swim platform
- Stainless-steel-framed wraparound windshield
|Length Overall||25' 6" (7.77 m)|
|Beam||8' 6" (2.59 m)|
|Dry Weight||4,350 lbs. (1,973 kg)|
|Tested Weight||5,512 lbs. (2,500 kg)|
|Draft Up||23" (58 cm)|
|Draft Down||35" (89 cm)|
|Bridge Clearance||5' 4" (1.63 m)|
|Weight Capacity||2,006 lbs. (910 kg)|
|Fuel Capacity||65 gal. (246 L)|
|Water Capacity||10 gal. (38 L)|
|Length on Trailer||N/A|
|Height on Trailer||N/A|
|Total Weight||5,512 lbs. (2,500 kg)|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||N/A|
|0 to 30||9.4 sec.|
|Load||2 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||89 deg., 65 humid.; wind: 2.5-3 mph; seas: calm|
1 x 300-hp Yamaha
Mercury 6.2L 2.20 Bravo 3 300-hp
Mercury 6.2L 2.20 Bravo 3 350-hp
Mercury 6.2L DTS 2.20 Bravo 3 300-hp
Mercury 6.2L DTS 2.20 Bravo 3 350-hp
Volvo V-8 350 Gen V 2.32 DP 350-hp
Volvo V-8 350 Gen V EVC 2.32 DP 350-hp
Volvo V-8 Gen V 2.32 DP 300-hp
Volvo V-8 Gen V EVC-E 2.32 DP 300-hp
Captains Report by Capt. Martin Frobisher
Chaparral designed to be the largest single-outboard-powered dayboat/bowrider in the manufacturer’s fleet. The boat is a new model designed to consider the burgeoning demand for outboard-powered luxury dayboats.
•Pivoting helm and companion seats
•Aft lounge that converts into multiple positions
•Available fold-down watersports tower
•Twin Simrad multifunction displays come standard
•Extended V-plane bottom
•8’6” (2.59 m) beam can be towed without permits
The Cockpit. The cockpit is the centerpiece of any dayboat and the 257 SSX OB offers myriad seating options, including the manufacturer’s versatile aft lounge that can be set up with angled backrests for forward- or aft-facing positioning or laid flat to create a huge sun pad. A J-shaped seat wraps around from abaft the companion’s bucket seat. To starboard, just abaft the helmsman’s bucket seat is a small bench seat. An optional table clips in place in a support that’s on the seat base rather than in the deck. Chaparral was one of the first manufacturers to use this style of table mount. It’s better because it means one less hole in the deck that can gather crud. In the gunwales on each side are cubbies with beverage holders, speakers, and grabrails. There drains in each aft corner that empty directly overboard and our test boat’s walking surfaces were covered in optional SeaDek snap-in decking.
Wakesports Tower. Our test boat was outfitted with the optional EFX electrically lowering tower. It was equipped with another option, twin JL audio speakers. Lowering the tower reduced bridge clearance from 8’1” (2.46 m) to 6’ (1.83 m). The tower has an anchor light on top as well as a towrope attachment point. Optional racks can be ordered as well.
Cockpit Storage. The stainless-steel rail on the front of the aft bench seat is not for passenger security. It’s for lifting the entire structure with the help of stainless-steel gas-assist struts to access a large storage space underneath. An expandable net can be used to secure gear and it can be removed so owners or technicians can remove a hatch in the center deck or loosen two barrel bolts to gain access to mechanical equipment including the fuel-water separator, trim pump and batteries. Forward to port, there’s open storage beneath the bottom cushion and to starboard, there’s a carry-on Igloo cooler.
The Stern. Aft to starboard, a passageway leads to the 257 SSX OB’s stern. We ascended two 8”-tall (20.32 cm) steps and headed aft through the 15” (30.81 cm)-wide passageway. Along the way to starboard we saw a locker that housed the switches for emergency parallel, batteries, helm main, stereo and windlass. There are fills for the 65-gallon (246 L) fuel tank on each side of the transom. Down low on the angled section of the transom are 6” (15.24 cm) cleats. Between the transom and the motor, the swim platform is 8’1” (2.46 m) wide with 5 ½” (13.97 cm) of space fore to aft. To port are the switch for the optional pump-out head, Clarion audio controls, and a washdown hose. The reboarding ladder is under a hatch in the starboard platform.
The Bow. It’s easy to head forward to the 257 SSX OB’s bow. The opening between the consoles is 1’6” (.46 m) wide. An air dam closes the lower section while the center section of the windshield opens in the usual fashion. There are forward-facing lounges on each side and they have flip-up armrests with a locking mechanism. We measured legroom at 1’7” (.048 m) and 4’8” (1.42 m) stainless-steel rails ran the length of the bow on each side. The same table that we deployed in the cockpit can be installed in the bow. Gunwale cutouts on each side contain a beverage holder and a JL audio speaker that is part of an upgrade package. The fill for the boat’s 10-gallon (37.85-L) water tank is just aft of the starboard bow lounge in the deck. Bottom cushions in the bow lift up to access storage. In the foredeck, the anchor locker hatch opens to reveal the optional Lewmar windlass and accompanying equipment, including a wrench to manually operate it, a cleat for securing the rode, and a chain stopper.
The Port Console. Working our way aft, to port, the console opens to reveal the private head compartment. Overall headroom was 3’6” (1.07 m) and the width was 2’6” (.76 m). Our test boat had the optional electric pumpout unit, plus a solid surface countertop, a pressure-water sink, and vanity mirror. The controls for the pumpout system were on the bulkhead just to the left of the sink.
At the port and starboard consoles, our test boat had the upgraded bucket seats that swivel and adjust fore and aft with power switches. The steering wheel is on a tilt base and forward, beneath a luxuriously upholstered deep eyebrow are twin 7” (17.78 cm) Simrad mfds that come standard on the 257 SSX OB. Push-button style accessory switches that illuminated when activated are on each side of the panel. To starboard in the gunwale are the stereo control, a 12-volt plug and a beverage holder with the controls just aft. Ahead of the driver’s knees, the popout circuit breakers are on the underside of the panel. Forward, a hatch in the console opens to access a large compartment and between the bucket seats, the ski locker hatch opens on a stainless-steel strut.
The Numbers. Our test boat measured 25’6” (7.8 m) long with a beam of 8’6” (2.62 m) and a draft of 2’9” (.88 m). Dry weight is listed at 5,040 pounds (2,286.11 kgs) and with two people, test gear and 30 gallons of fuel aboard, we had an estimated test weight of 5,512 lbs. (2,500.20 kg). The single 300-hp Yamaha 4.2-liter V6 Four Stroke outboard turned a SWS II 15 ¼” x 18” (38.74 cm x 45.72 cm) three-blade stainless-steel prop.
Speed and Range
With the throttle fully advanced, the 257 SSX OB ran a top speed of 52.0 mph at 6000 rpm. Best economical cruise came at 3500 rpm, where we ran 26.1 mph and burned 9.1 gph, which translated into 2.9 mpg and a range of 168 statute miles. This was calculated while holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat’s 65-gallon (246 L) fuel capacity. At 600 rpm, we saw 3.6 mph and 6.0 mpg. In acceleration tests, the boat planed in 4.04 seconds. We ran through 20 mph in 6.9 seconds and continued to 30 in 9.4 seconds and 40 in 13.2 seconds.
With minimal chop and a light breeze, the 257 SSX OB was not challenged by the conditions. The deep-V design with 22-degrees of deadrise at the transom carved cleanly through the wakes of our photo boat and held her line steadily in turns.
The retail price with a single 300-hp Yamaha F300XCA outboard is $252,332.
Options to Consider
•Underwater lights ($875)
•Bow and cockpit covers ($2,065)
•Dual battery setup with crossover switch ($515)
•Head cabinet ($1,162)
•Biscayne Blue hullsides (no charge)
•Painted Metallic hull stripe in yellow ($1,425)
The Chaparral 257 SSX OB should get plenty of interest from families who want a large-feeling dayboat. She feels big and having an outboard that can be trimmed all the way out of the water when not in use should make the appeal to owners who live and boat in a saltwater environment.
Her 8’6” (2.59 m) beam and as tested weight of 5,500 lbs. (2,495 kg) means that the boat should be able to be towed by a vehicle rated to haul around 7,500 lbs. (3,402 kg). That means a full sized pickup or SUV.