I went to the boat show recently to get back into boating and now have some choices I didn't have before. Hopefully, someone with a vortex 243 preferably, can give me some opinions. Forewarning, this is a life story, so thank you in advance for reading it. I'm currently trying to decide between a Vortex 243 and a Yamaha 242 Limited S. Here's the background: I previously bought a new 2011 Yamaha AR210 Jet boat in 2011. I had it for 3 years and sold it based on wanting to move. In the 3 years I had my AR, I did watersports like 3 times, the majority of the time was cruising and anchoring. For my wants list, this is with any boat, not just the jet boats, but I'd like (with my negative/positive experiences): - Larger Person Capacity (I tend to take a lot of people out, the AR was very congested when fully loaded although max persons was 11) - Storage (I loved the dual floor storage and storage everywhere, I used the main middle floor one for a large collapsible cooler and was able to fit all kinds of gear) - Low draft (I boat on a shallow lake, so low draft is pretty critical, which is what me choose a jet boat in the first place) - Speed under 55 (Michigan boat insurance is ridiculous for fast boats, I'm not a go fast guy so as long as the boat is under 55 I'm good) - Collapsible tower (Every winter I had to manually take out the bolts and store the tower so I could wrap it, very annoying. I know I don't "need" a tower, but I like how it gives boats a more sporty look.) - Upgradeable sound system (I have yet to hear a boat's sound system that impresses me, and I am an audiophile so this is a must. When I did upgrade my AR, it was the worst, I had to use the wife to get behind the helm as I didn't fit, so easy access is a plus, I know Wetsounds is an option, but is it worth it?) - Maneuverability - (I had a lot of issues trying to dock with wind and waves...even in my third year of docking, I still had issues, so the easier it is to maneuver in my opinion, the better it is on me. I also had these things called thrust vectors which were just fins, but at low speeds, these things just don't maneuver amazingly.) - Cup Holders - (I know this sounds crazy, but I did not have enough on my AR and people just don't care and put drinks everywhere, it was more of a pet peeve than anything.) - Transom seating (it was the most popular area when anchored and hanging out in the water, so its definitely a must have.) So with that, the things I really did not like on my AR were the quality of the hull, I had spider cracks pretty much everywhere where weight/pressure was applied (the rear tie down hooks, under the bow seats, the walk through area, the handles, etc.) The cleanout ports were always a pain as well. I removed and reinserted every trip. There was one point where I couldn't get one of them out and just gave up. These should not be that difficult. Then on the other hand, a few times, one of the clean out ports would pop and the engine kill would kick in. This was embarrassing a few times, but the one time it was a concern as I was drifting towards heavy boating traffic so I was frantic to hurry up and get it reseated. I should not have to spend money on a mod to ensure safety. Another thing were the quality of the seats. They had these plastic hinges/hook things underneath that took their toll, and some of the screws stripped, I tried epoxy and everything else, they were pure junk. The silver/gray vinyl seating material did not seem to be quality either. It was cracking and basically creating holes. The only time my boat was uncovered was when I took it out which in all honesty, was not that often as every weekend did not cooperate with me and being in Michigan, we are lucky to get out 4 months out of the year. The seal around the windshield also was pretty poor quality, I could never it get it stay still and it was always moving around, more of a nuisance than functional issues. The sound was a nuisance, but I could tolerate it. I know my guests didn't appreciate it but we just dealt with it. Also the material from the bow door/glove box area was horrible to clean. I tried absolutely everything to get it clean, that turned into an annoyance as my boat was spotless besides that door and I'm a clean freak. So with all of that, the only other con I had with my Yamaha were that I didn't do any maintenance on it took it to the dealer. Unfortunately there is only one dealer in my area which is 50 miles away and I could only take the boat in the weekends and they would usually keep it for a week since I couldn't make it back over until the following weekend. On the other hand though, I will give Yamaha kudos for building the most solid engine. I felt that it was so reliable that I never once had a concern about engine problems. On the other hand, the Chaparral dealer is very close to me, like 5 miles. Now, onto the Chaparral, one of my concerns is the engine. I know when I bought my AR, the only competitor was Seadoo, but since the BRP engines were junk, it was a no brainer to get the Yamaha. With the new engines, the Chap rep pretty much sold me on not having to deal with clean-out ports. The cooling system is really completely closed and no water gets into the engines at all, so it doesn't matter if you are salt or fresh, you don't have to worry about it. I have no idea if they've improved or what beyond that, however there is a 3 year warranty included compared to the 1 that Yamaha offers. Speaking of warranties, Chaparral made note that they offer a lifetime warranty on the hull because its Kevlar reinforced or something and the rep guaranteed that it would never spider crack. I have no idea if this holds true, but that's a pretty big point. He also went into and showed me the demo video of how it maneuvers with lateral thrust. Their thrust gate is this huge thing that directs the water to the sides, instead of up or down like Yamaha. The video made docking look really simple, but as I mentioned earlier, the true test will be when I drive this thing. It's not a huge deal, but they also both engines tied to one throttle. I know on the Yamaha I used to play with both throttles to get it to dock, so it may be easier with one but again, won't know until I test drive it. Another thing that impressed me with the Chaparral is the quality of the fabric. It seemed so high end. The head was even ridiculous with a granite look counter and stainless sink with a port hole. I also liked how the transom ladder was off set to the side. This was an issue with kids on my Yamaha. The kids would like to hang off the ladder in the middle of the boat and adults couldn't get down or up without telling the kids to get out of the way. At least this way, they will be off to the side. The one thing I did not like is there's storage for a cooler that comes with it. It is a waste of space as its actually molded to the cooler, you could probably put some smaller stuff in there, but its just a waste. I also didn't care for the chaise convertible chair thing although it may make it more comfortable with seating. On the Yamaha, your first mate gets a full blown captain's chair which I thought seemed high end. Speaking of seats, the new Yamaha's material felt quite nice, but since its still somewhat new, I have no idea how it will hold up. All of the seating woes I had in the past are gone with hinges now, so that was a selling point for me. The Yamaha also seemed to have more storage, or maybe it was just me. I don't care for the huge floor storage as if I shove my cooler in there, if anyone wants something out of it, people are going to have to get out of the way. That is my probably most missed thing in the AR, it was so convenient as it was a small floor cooler that was just right. I also dig that all of the 24' Yamahas have the dual battery setup since I'm audiophile, this is one less cost I have to incur. I seen the Chaparral first at the show, so I didn't even think of looking for dual batteries although my sales person did confirm it has dual batteries. I also liked all of the lighting in the Yamaha, in the tower and all around. My AR at night was dark so its refreshing. One other note, the new Yamaha's also seem to have fixed the Bimini issue, the one on my AR was starting to fall down from all the bumps and if I recall, one of the clasps broke and I ended up just using one from a spare lifejacket to bandaid it, so all in all, it looks like Chaparral forced Yamaha to build a higher quality boat. I just don't know if it's high quality enough for what I'm looking for or if Chaparral is just overpriced and you are paying for the name? Hope that explains my predicament. Thanks again!