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Chaparral 227 SSX Surf (2017-)

1 x 350-hp Volvo Penta V8-350 FFD

Brief Summary

The Chaparral 227 SSX Surf has a bottom design, ballast system, Malibu Surf Gate™ and a Medallion touchscreen at the helm -- all focused on making her an ultimate wake-surfing platform. The Malibu Surf Gates™ on each side of the hull can be opened depending on which side of the boat a surfer wants the wake enhanced. The cast-aluminum folding arch is standard, as is the Forward Drive, which has forward facing dual props on its sterndrive lower unit.

Key Features

  • Medallion Viper II Touchscreen
  • Cast folding arch tower
  • Port console has a deep and lockable glove box
  • Standard cockpit table on a side-mounted base
  • Folds down arch tower
  • Large cockpit ski and board locker

Test Results

638 3.6 3.1 0.8 4.7 4.1 189 164.7 66
1000 5.7 4.9 1.6 3.6 3.2 147 128 71
1500 7.3 6.3 2.4 3 2.6 121 105.3 74
2000 8.3 7.2 3.9 2.1 1.9 86 75 81
2500 12.8 11.1 6.4 2 1.8 82 71 85
3000 21.9 19 6.2 3.5 3 142 123.3 86
3500 29.1 25.3 8.3 3.5 3 142 123.3 85
4000 35 30.4 11.1 3.2 2.7 128 111 87
4500 38.7 33.6 14.3 2.7 2.3 109 95.1 89
5000 42.9 37.3 20 2.1 1.9 87 75.4 94
5500 47 40.9 24.8 1.9 1.6 77 66.8 93
5800 49.3 42.8 27.4 1.8 1.6 73 63.4 95


Length Overall 23' / 7.01 m
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Dry Weight 3,900 lbs.
1,769 kg
Tested Weight 4,560 lbs.
2,068 kg
Draft Up 30''
76 cm
Draft Down 34''
86 cm
Deadrise/Transom 20-deg.
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance 7' 8''
2.34 m (max)
Fuel Capacity 45 gal.
170 L
Water Capacity N/A
Total Weight 4,560 lbs.
2,068 kg


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.2 sec.
0 to 30 8.3 sec.
Ratio N/A
Props K4 front and rear
Load 2 persons, 4/5 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 85 deg., 46 humid.; wind: 5-10 mph; seas: light

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 350-hp Volvo Penta V8-350 FFD
Std. Power Not Available
Opt. Power 1 x 350-hp Volvo Penta V-8 5.3 Gen V 2.14 DP FFD Catalyst
1 x 350-hp Volvo Penta V-8 EVC-E Gen V 2.14 DP FFD Catalyst
1 x 300-hp Volvo Penta V-8 Gen V 2.14 FFD Catalyst
1 x 300-hp Volvo Penta V-8 Gen V EVC-E 2.14 DP FFD Catalyst

Captain's Report

Mission Statement. With the word “Surf” in the model name, the mission of the Chaparral 227 SSX Surf is pretty clear. The boat has a bottom design, ballast system, wave-making appendages and a touchscreen at the helm all focused on making the 227 SSX Surf an ultimate wake-surfing platform. It also has the amenities and luxury that we’ve come to expect from Chaparral. And since it’s a 227 SSX it still has the features that bring family fun and dayboat comfort to the table making this a true crossover platform in every sense.
Chaparral 227 SSX Surf running
The 227 SSX Surf measures 23’ (7.01 m) long with the swim platform that extends aft over the Volvo Penta Forward Drive.

Distinguishing Features

  • Surf-Specific Bottom. There is a set of 45-degree bevels on the back of the running surface on each side of the drive to maximize performance at typical wake surfing speeds of 8 to 11 mph.

  • Ballast System. Standard 536-pounds (243.13 kg) of ballast capacity with pump and soft bag.

  • Surf Gate System. Two vertical gates on each side of the hull open one at a time depending on which side of the boat a surfer wants the wake enhanced. They operate hydraulically and when one is opened it dramatically affects the wake on the opposite side.
  • Chaparral 227 SSX Surf wake surfing

    The Surf-Gate System provides custom wakes at the touch of a button, and oh what a wake it creates.

    • Medallion Viper II Touchscreen. Gives the captain control of the ballast, boat speed and surf gates in one easy to use control station.

    • Cast Folding Arch Tower. Comes standard instead of being an upgrade.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf floor plan

    From above, the 227 SSX Surf looks more like a traditional bowrider.


    Since the 227 SSX Surf is such a specialized boat, let’s get right to the surfing. Our test boat was powered by a Volvo Penta 350-hp gasoline V-8 with a Forward Drive with K4 propsets. With two people, 40.5 gallons (153.3 L) of fuel and test equipment on board, she weighed an estimated 4,560 lbs. (2,068 kg).

    Top speed of our test boat was 49.3 mph at 5800 rpm. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm where the boat ran 29.1 mph and burned 8.3 gph, resulting in a mpg rating of 3.5 and a range of 142 statute miles with 10 percent of the boat’s 45-gallon fuel capacity in reserve.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf

    When she’s not surfing at speeds around 10 mph, the 227 SSX Surf can get up and run a top speed of 49.3 mph.

    Acceleration. The modified Extended V-Plane hull had us on plane in 3.2 seconds and we accelerated to 20 mph in 6.1 seconds and to 30 mph in 8.3 seconds.

    Handling. On our test day, we had flat calm conditions and the boat handled well with the sprightly turning we’ve come to expect from the Volvo Penta Forward Drive. Minimum positive trim is required to get the boat to a comfortable cruising attitude and in turns she tracked well.

    Now we said that she has a Extended V-Plane hull and that means that this boat was reconfigured for its wake surf mission. A set of 45-degree bevels to the back of the hull, on either side of the outdrive, allow the 227 SSX Surf to stay on plane at the typical surf speeds.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf out drive

    Here we can see the hull extending from the transom where the outdrive is mounted as with the normal Extended V-Plane running surface. But notice how it provides a bevel to add buoyancy when the bow is riding high as lower speeds. This gives it lower planing speeds for wake surfing.

    Now that Creates a Tradeoff. Chaparral spent years creating a hull design that performs perfectly at cruise speeds, but slow things down and things change. Now we enter a realm where superior handling is pushed aside in favor of the “perfect wake.” Now that’s not to say the handling is poor, but we did notice some chine walk in hard over power turns that really occurred only when a heavy-handed test captain was at the helm. During normal maneuvers, it doesn’t occur. And that seems to be the extent of the tradeoff.

    Features Inspection

    Touch and Go. It doesn’t get much easier to set up a boat for wake surfing than using the Medallion Viper II Touchscreen on the 227 SSX Surf.

    1. Start by pressing the Surf button (looks like a cresting wave), third down from the right, to bring up the surf control page.

    2. Press the “fill all” button and the ballast fills up.

    3. Next, move to the left side of the screen and select the up or down arrows to input the desired speed


    4. Press “Cruise” just above the up arrow.

    5. Go to the Surf Gate section to select which side the wake should be on.

    Now simply put the throttle in gear, to take the slack out of the line, and throttle up. The computer will control the speed, open the proper gate and you’re ready to surf.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf touch screen

    In addition to providing full control of the boat for wake surfing, the Medallion Viper II Touchscreen monitors engine health and even turns up the stereo volume.

    Medallion Viper II Touch Screen

    With this system, not only can we fully automate the process of creating a pro-level wake, we can just as easily swap the wake to opposite sides with the touch of a button and a 5-seconds transition, enough for the surf gate to close on one side, and open on the other. No draining ballast to one side and filling the other… no transferring passengers from one side to the other.

    Frankly, it’s the easiest system we’ve seen. And the most effective.

    The Helm

    In the 227 SSX Surf’s dash panel, the Medallion Viper II touchscreen is flanked by multifunction digital instruments with accessory switches in columns outboard on each side. An upholstered eyebrow shades the panel and gives the helm an upscale feel. The steering wheel tilts and is wrapped in a protective cover. The digital shift and throttle control is on the starboard gunwale. A high-backed bucket seat with a flip-up bolster provides the captain with good support and comfort during a long day of pulling wake surfers.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf helm

    The hand-wrapped and sewn helm console looks like one found in a luxury automobile.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf helm seat

    The driver’s seat swivels, adjusts fore and aft and has a fold-up bolster.

    Port Console. The port console has a deep and lockable glove box. Two beverage holders are to either side with an accessory plug above to one side and an MP3/USB port to the other. A gate secured into the console can be used to close off the bow section. The walk-thru windshield is capped with a stainless-steel top rail.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf port console

    The port console has plenty of storage, a wrap-around bolster and a comfortable bucket seat.

    The Cockpit. Wake surfing is a group activity so the 227 SSX Surf’s cockpit has capacity and versatility. To port across from the helm, the backrest can be set up so that a passenger can travel facing forward or it can flip forward and lie completely flat. In this manner the console bolster becomes the backrest to an aft-facing observer’s seat.

    The lounge wraps all the way across the stern to the passageway to the swim platform. Abaft the driver’s seat there is another small bench. When it’s time for the surfers to refuel with a snack, a standard table installs on a side-mounted base. Overhead, the boat comes standard with an arch tower that folds down when necessary to clear a bridge or create more space in the marina rack room.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf cockpit

    In this photo we see the seat at the port console set up for forward-facing travel.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf seats

    The backrest can also swing all the way forward and lay flat. Notice the wraparound contoured bolster then becomes the backrest.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf

    The table is within reach from any seat in the cockpit.

    Cockpit Storage. Between the helm seat and port side lounge, a hatch in the cockpit sole opens a large ski and board locker and when it’s time to pull the boards out the ballast storage bag is right underneath.

    Under the forward port cushion there’s a molded draining compartment and beneath the outboard pads on each side are lockers that have rubber mats lining the bottom. Aft, there’s a small locker above the engine compartment hatch, which opens on twin gas struts to provide access to the motor and accessories.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf cockpit seats

    Chaparral provided storage beneath all the cockpit seats and in the large under-deck ski locker.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf engine

    The engine hatch raises on twin stainless-steel gas-assist struts to provide good access to the V-8.

    The Stern. Because the 227 SSX Surf is intended for wake surfing, the stern is an important part of this boat. To starboard, the outboard cushion of the sunlounge is hinged and tilts up to provide easy passage to the swim platform. There is a storage compartment in the passageway.

    To port, the cushion is also hinged and, when raised, it uncovers the dedicated locker for the 25-quart (24 L) carry-on cooler. Aft, the swim platform has a four-step boarding ladder in its own locker to starboard.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf sun pad

    With all the cushions flat, the sunlounge spans the boat’s beam, providing a comfortable spot to catch some rays.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf transom

    When the time comes to surf, the hinged cushion to starboard provides convenient passage from the cockpit to the swim platform.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf

    The portside cushion tilts up to reveal the dedicated compartment for the carry-on cooler. Note the swim platform finished in the optional Plasdeck swim platform mat in silver.

    The Bow. Checking out the other end of the 227 SSX Surf, the bow has twin forward facing lounges and backrests that fully wrap around the bulwarks. There are stainless-steel rails and cupholders plus a mount for the table. Each outboard bottom cushion pulls aside to access storage in lockers lined with rubber mats. In the foredeck we found two 6” (15.24 cm) pull-up cleats, a four-step beach boarding ladder in the anchor locker and a rotate-up navigation light.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf

    The bow seating area appears to have good depth and the cupholders are down low to keep empty cans and bottles from blowing around.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf bow table

    The table secures in the boat and the location of the sidemount base provides better legroom than one that would install in the deck.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf bow storage

    There’s dry storage outboard on each side and the centerline cooler, forward in the bow, is insulated and drains overboard.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf bow filler

    The bow filler cushion is an option that turns the area into a large recessed playpen or sunlounge.

    Retail Price

    $90,102 with a 280-hp Volvo Penta V-6 Gen V 2.32 DP Forward Drive.

    Chaparral 227 SSX Surf life style

    The Chaparral 227 SSX Surf comes standard with everything a surfer needs to start shredding right away.


    Five-year Premier Level Limited Component Warranty.

    Engine Options and Price

    • •280-hp Volvo Penta V-6 Gen V EVC 2.32 DP FFD: $94,762

    • •300-hp Volvo Penta V-8 Gen V Catalyst 2.14 FFD: $92,697

    • •300-hp Volvo Penta V-8 Gen V EVC-E Catalyst 2.14 DP FFD: $96,006

    • •350-hp Volvo Penta V-8 Gen V Catalyst 2.14 DP FFD: $96,582

    • •350-hp Volvo Penta V-8 Gen V EVC-E Catalyst 2.14 DP FFD: $99,963
    • Options to Consider

      • Eclipse Gelcoat Package available in Electric Blue, Black, Biscayne Blue, Fire Red, Stealth Grey or White with a hull accent stripe and color stripe on deck ($2,178)

      • •Cockpit and bow cover ($1,102)

      • Premium Package includes docking lights, pull-up cleats for swim platform, bow scuff plate, premium bucket seat, transom stereo remote, transom tilt switch, leather steering wheel and air pump ($1,529)

      • •Steering wheel with integrated Medallion Viper II control ($1,132)

      • •Swim platform logo mat in graphite ($363)

      • •Premium Beach Wave snap-in cockpit carpet ($1,143)

      • •Wetsounds system stereo upgrade ($1,418)

      • •Sirius Satellite Stereo ($272)

      • •Bowrider filler cushion ($325)

      • •Swiveling board racks ($1,828)

      • •Dual batteries with crossover switch ($462)

      • •Automatic fire extinguisher system ($683)

      • •Galvanized Anchor ($111)

      • •Surf Gate Control Wristband ($1,154)

      • •Tandem-Axle Aluminum Trailer with galvanized wheels, load guides, swing-away tongue, LED lighting and torsion axles ($6,246)

      • •Tandem-Axle Aluminum Trailer with aluminum wheels, load guides, swing-away tongue, LED lighting and torsion axles ($7,615)

      • •Powder-Coated Tandem-Axle Aluminum Trailer with 18” aluminum wheels, a lighted badge, diamond-plate fender step, ratchet strap and synthetic bunk covers ($8,992)
      • Observations

        Few people would expect a non-towboat manufacturer to build a surf-specific model, but Chaparral has pulled it off by designing the 227 SSX Surf’s bottom specifically for the purpose, equipping her with the Surf Gate System and by teaming with partners Volvo Penta and Medallion to make the boat work quite well, in our opinion.

        We also think this boat has some distinct advantages over the inboard-powered ski/wake boats. Essentially, they are one-trick ponies that generally lack the versatility of the 227 SSX Surf because it also can perform as a well-rounded sport boat. It can also venture into larger bodies of water because of its bow design.

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