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Maser

How to pick the right Chaparral model for me

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So I'm in the market for a 23'-24' bowrider/deckboat, and could use some guidance sorting through the different Chaparral 24' models. We mostly will be 'family boating' in San Diego, CA harbor & bays, with an occasional open ocean excursion (maybe make the 25mi trip to Catalina Island). We would probably also do 1-2 annual trips to Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

We have a 7 and 9 yr old; mostly tubing to date, but the older one is beginning to wakeboard. Current models are the 226 SSi, 236SSx, and the 244 Sunesta (which I guess comes in a tow/wakeboard version).

Of these models...Which is best for family? Which is best (hull) for open water?

Thanks,

Maser

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So I'm in the market for a 23'-24' bowrider/deckboat, and could use some guidance sorting through the different Chaparral 24' models. We mostly will be 'family boating' in San Diego, CA harbor & bays, with an occasional open ocean excursion (maybe make the 25mi trip to Catalina Island). We would probably also do 1-2 annual trips to Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

We have a 7 and 9 yr old; mostly tubing to date, but the older one is beginning to wakeboard. Current models are the 226 SSi, 236SSx, and the 244 Sunesta (which I guess comes in a tow/wakeboard version).

Of these models...Which is best for family? Which is best (hull) for open water?

Thanks,

Maser

Maser

I have gone Through The same research being in the same family situation as yours. Result is best in class ( sea Ray, larson, etc) is chap 244 BY far. I ordered an xtreme, has wake tower and the Nice additions for wake/ ski. That Will be really appreciated BY thé children especially in a few years.

Just my opinion.

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Load up the family and head to the nearest dealer for some test sitting. Let the kiddos move around like they are on the water. That's the only real way you'll be able to determine which layout best fits your needs.

The WT design gives the bow area more room but at the expense of depth. The freeboard is shorter than the traditional deep v design like found on the ssx line of boats.

Transome entry is another thing to consider. I prefer the side walk thru entry of the ssx as compared to other offerings where you have to remove a cushion or climb over vinyl.

Think of it this way, the WT ssi is the family boat, ssx is the sporty boat and well, the xtreme is just that! All will perform well for watersports and should be able to handle the water you'll encounter. If it were me, I think I'd look at the ssx, and it will give you a bit drier ride. Happy hunting, that's the fun in it.

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Those are three nice boats. Load up the Family and take each one for a ride.

Let your Wife pick one....Trust me it works... :thththsoapbox2-1:

matt

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Sounds like there may be some trips in open water.

Need to make sure you have a large enough vessel to handle those waters, especially if caught in an unexpected storm.

Also, you need to proper electronics, safety equipment, etc.

Just a thought in your consideration of model.

:beer-7687-1:

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Those are three nice boats. Load up the Family and take each one for a ride.

Let your Wife pick one....Trust me it works... :thththsoapbox2-1:

matt

I concur!!

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Those are three nice boats. Load up the Family and take each one for a ride.

Let your Wife pick one....Trust me it works... :thththsoapbox2-1:

matt

I have to agree with Matt. When we purchased ours, I wanted the 256ssx and my wife wanted the 276. After 2 seasons of great family enjoyment she was right as always. You would think after 27 years I would start listening to her.......nah too easy. I will say though that nothing keeps a family together like boating. My kids are 24,23 and 17 and every chance they can they're on the boat with us.

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So I'm in the market for a 23'-24' bowrider/deckboat, and could use some guidance sorting through the different Chaparral 24' models. We mostly will be 'family boating' in San Diego, CA harbor & bays, with an occasional open ocean excursion (maybe make the 25mi trip to Catalina Island). We would probably also do 1-2 annual trips to Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

We have a 7 and 9 yr old; mostly tubing to date, but the older one is beginning to wakeboard. Current models are the 226 SSi, 236SSx, and the 244 Sunesta (which I guess comes in a tow/wakeboard version).

Of these models...Which is best for family? Which is best (hull) for open water?

Thanks,

Maser

Often find the toughest competition for Chaparral is internal; pitting say a Sunesta vs. SSx or SSi. For rough water ability, the 226 SSi WT, 236 SSx, and 244 Sunesta WT all have 20 degree deadrise, but the 226 is about 1' shorter for in-the-water hull length, and thus cannot offer the same level of rough water prowess as it's sisters. did52 as you can tell has spent some time on these boats. Agree that the 236 SSx with its deeper freeboard in the bow will provide a slightly drier ride in rough chop and cross winds than the 244. All ride at the top of the heap in their respective size class.

Having said that, the 244 I feel is a little more family friendly, especially with the optional electric fold down transom seat, and one-piece bow door. I also like the fact that a Garmin 500 series GPS or custom Chaparral/Perfect Pass cruise control can be installed in the center dash location found on the new WT models. One can retrofit these for the 236 SSx, but the install will not be as clean looking.

For salt water duty, I highly recommend either MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI Bravo 3 with SeaCore, or Volvo 5.7L GXi DP with Ocean X. Hope you have a lot of fun shopping no matter what you get.

NOTE: 236 SSx has been discontinued for 2011, not because it was a weak boat, but to make room for the new 246 SSi WT. I hope to see a 24' SSx model in future. For our market, 236 SSx sales matched the 244 Sunesta on a 1:1 ratio. For what it's worth, nearly impossible to find a better looking 24' bowrider than a 236 SSx with the optional arch. :drool5:

IMGP1508.jpg

244Sunesta-awesomeboat001.jpg

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Often find the toughest competition for Chaparral is internal; pitting say a Sunesta vs. SSx or SSi. For rough water ability, the 226 SSi WT, 236 SSx, and 244 Sunesta WT all have 20 degree deadrise, but the 226 is about 1' shorter for in-the-water hull length, and thus cannot offer the same level of rough water prowess as it's sisters. did52 as you can tell has spent some time on these boats. Agree that the 236 SSx with its deeper freeboard in the bow will provide a slightly drier ride in rough chop and cross winds than the 244. All ride at the top of the heap in their respective size class.

Having said that, the 244 I feel is a little more family friendly, especially with the optional electric fold down transom seat, and one-piece bow door. I also like the fact that a Garmin 500 series GPS or custom Chaparral/Perfect Pass cruise control can be installed in the center dash location found on the new WT models. One can retrofit these for the 236 SSx, but the install will not be as clean looking.

For salt water duty, I highly recommend either MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI Bravo 3 with SeaCore, or Volvo 5.7L GXi DP with Ocean X. Hope you have a lot of fun shopping no matter what you get.

NOTE: 236 SSx has been discontinued for 2011, not because it was a weak boat, but to make room for the new 246 SSi WT. I hope to see a 24' SSx model in future. For our market, 236 SSx sales matched the 244 Sunesta on a 1:1 ratio. For what it's worth, nearly impossible to find a better looking 24' bowrider than a 236 SSx with the optional arch. :drool5:

IMGP1508.jpg

244Sunesta-awesomeboat001.jpg

:ninja: 236 ssx

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Looks like you have gotten some good advise. Good luck with your shopping.

Welcome to the forum Maser . We are glad you are here and believe that you will find answers to a lot of your questions. We also provide some humor, of course at no charge to you other than the initiation fee you paid to join this forum ;)

A few pointers for you to do (if you have not already done so) to help us help you:

1. By clicking on your name in the upper right corner to bring up your options select my profile to add into your signature your location (geographic area).

2. Also under your signature add the type of boat you have and its mechanical systems, such as boat type, engine, drives, etc. This way you don't have to type it into to every post you put up. This will help us help you a lot! Without it, you may not get any answers.

3. Use the Search feature in the top right corner of the forum. There is a lot of good information on this forum that will answer many of your questions. We have a lot of experts here with a large amount of life experience.

4. Take a minute to review our Terms of Service, again right corner. There is good information in there that you will want to know including that we cannot discuss pricing. But read some of our other posts on here to learn the work around for that. ;)

5. We like pictures a lot! So when you get a chance, post some pics of your ride. Read through this thread to learn more about how to do so.

6. Take some time to look through the Help (upper right corner) and > Info Center) located under Chaparral Boats Forum on the main page. From there you will find parts guides, brochures, manuals, specifications, canvas installation manuals, vinyl care information, square gauge setup, weather links, computer desktop backgrounds, etc. Lots of good stuff there for you and your Chaparral!

7. Come back early and often to post. We are a community of friendly and some of us are border-line psychotic. But we admit to it and that's the first step to recovery ;)

Again, welcome to the asylum/forum and we look forward to more from you. Don't be a stranger.

:thl_speedboat:

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So I'm in the market for a 23'-24' bowrider/deckboat, and could use some guidance sorting through the different Chaparral 24' models. We mostly will be 'family boating' in San Diego, CA harbor & bays, with an occasional open ocean excursion (maybe make the 25mi trip to Catalina Island). We would probably also do 1-2 annual trips to Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

We have a 7 and 9 yr old; mostly tubing to date, but the older one is beginning to wakeboard. Current models are the 226 SSi, 236SSx, and the 244 Sunesta (which I guess comes in a tow/wakeboard version).

Of these models...Which is best for family? Which is best (hull) for open water?

Thanks,

Maser

We always have alot of guests on board. The kids,now 27 and 28, are bringing husbands,boyfriends, and just friends. So plan on more than your family and get the biggest boat you can....GR

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We have a 244 Sunesta and just love it. We boat on a lake and mostly crusie or anchor in a cove to enjoy the day. My kids are older now so we don't tube or ski as much. So my situation and use is a little different than yours. The guys on this website will give you great advice. Shepherd gave me good advice a couple years ago when we were deciding what boat to buy. This'll be a fun experience for you; I don't think you can go wrong. Enjoy!

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We always have alot of guests on board. The kids,now 27 and 28, are bringing husbands,boyfriends, and just friends. So plan on more than your family and get the biggest boat you can....GR

I have to agree with GR. When we were making our decision we took or family of 5 and 2 of my daughter's friends with. We just so happened to be going to Atlantic City for my 2nd daughter's 21st birthday so it worked out well. We were basically deciding between the 256 and 276 ssx's but we wanted to try the 264 out for size. It was then that I knew the 276 was for us.

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Thank you all so much for the replies and advice. This is a great site. Just a few questions...

1) Do the Sunesta boats and the WT ssi share the same basic hull shape/geometry? In otherwords, some have characterized the ssx as the more 'sport' hull vs the ssi. So is the Sunesta closer to the ssi than the ssx?

2) What are everyone's thoughts on buying a new, 'old stock' boat? Seems like a few good deals can be found on new 2008 and 2009 boats. But is there any danger / risk / points of caution buying a boat that has basically sat around new in a showroom (or back lot covered) if its never been in the water? From an automotive perspective, having an engine sit for several yrs without operation isn't that good for the engine.

3) A suggestion was made to go for the sea core engine b/c I will use the boat primarily in salt water. How big a deal is this? Reason is these new 'old stock' boats don't have sea core. Does this mean I just have to do a really good job flushing the engine out, perhaps with a product like salt-away?

Thank you!

Maser

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Thank you all so much for the replies and advice. This is a great site. Just a few questions...

1) Do the Sunesta boats and the WT ssi share the same basic hull shape/geometry? In otherwords, some have characterized the ssx as the more 'sport' hull vs the ssi. So is the Sunesta closer to the ssi than the ssx?

In years past before the new WT series Sunestas, previous Sunestas were all about loading a lot of people onboard with adequate seating and amenities, but the ride in rough water suffered due to low transom deadrise numbers. i.e. 16 - 18 degrees vs. todays 20 degrees or deeper.

Some hulls are now shared between the SSx and Sunesta line. The 264 Sunesta and 256 SSx use the same basic hull, as do the 284 Sunesta and 276 SSx/275-285 SSi. These models are shaped radically different at the swim platform and for the deck, but the 'chassis' is the same. No appreciatable difference in ride quality between the models on an apples-to-apples comparison, but the SSx series with its slightly deeper bow may afford a little drier ride in rough water.

NOTE: The 236 SSx and 244 Sunesta have the same amount of transom deadrise, but do not share the same hull design. The 244 uses a hull pad, while the 236 has a more conventional V-bottom. I like hull pads for performance, but the 236 rides a little nicer due to it's particular hull bottom design.

2) What are everyone's thoughts on buying a new, 'old stock' boat? Seems like a few good deals can be found on new 2008 and 2009 boats. But is there any danger / risk / points of caution buying a boat that has basically sat around new in a showroom (or back lot covered) if its never been in the water? From an automotive perspective, having an engine sit for several yrs without operation isn't that good for the engine.

Buying a new 'non-current' model 2008 or newer model makes a lot of sense to me. Saving a lot money, with the same warranty applied. As you say, only disadvantange is not being able to buy a SeaCore or Ocean X powertrain. One other difference will be the exact model of stereo and bucket seat versions used in an older model.

3) A suggestion was made to go for the sea core engine b/c I will use the boat primarily in salt water. How big a deal is this? Reason is these new 'old stock' boats don't have sea core. Does this mean I just have to do a really good job flushing the engine out, perhaps with a product like salt-away?

In essence, yes you will need to be diligent to flush the engine after usage. Neutra salt could be an excellent investment. Getting an extended Volvo or MerCruiser (not 3rd party) warranty may prove to be a wise play too. As for salt water usage, Chaparral has a strong reputation for being able to handle the rigors of this particular enviroment.

NOTE: might be able to find a Volvo or MerCruiser with closed cooling. MerCruiser had their Horizon line before phasing out for SeaCore. SeaCore is superior to the Horizon line however.

Thank you!

Maser

You're welcome - I hope this helps in your hunt.

Chris

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Thank you all so much for the replies and advice. This is a great site. Just a few questions...

1) Do the Sunesta boats and the WT ssi share the same basic hull shape/geometry? In otherwords, some have characterized the ssx as the more 'sport' hull vs the ssi. So is the Sunesta closer to the ssi than the ssx?

2) What are everyone's thoughts on buying a new, 'old stock' boat? Seems like a few good deals can be found on new 2008 and 2009 boats. But is there any danger / risk / points of caution buying a boat that has basically sat around new in a showroom (or back lot covered) if its never been in the water? From an automotive perspective, having an engine sit for several yrs without operation isn't that good for the engine.

3) A suggestion was made to go for the sea core engine b/c I will use the boat primarily in salt water. How big a deal is this? Reason is these new 'old stock' boats don't have sea core. Does this mean I just have to do a really good job flushing the engine out, perhaps with a product like salt-away?

Thank you!

Maser

We purchased our 276 as a leftover. I wouldn't have been able to afford it if it wasn't. It enabled us to get more boat for our money. Absolutly no issues whatsoever buying a leftover.

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Ours, likewise, was a leftover. 2008 was a good year for production numbers, but not sales. So alot of us bought 08's late in the year...GR

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Hello

looking at a 276 ssx and also looking at a sea ray 300. I currently have a chap 216 sunesta and love it but get banged around the the bay. A few things I’m curious about: I never flush my Merc 5.0 amd I keep hearing with the Volvo 8 you need to flush it? Also curious of these 2 boats handling in choppy conditions. Had a survey on a 2008 276ssx today but it came back and said something maybe not right with engine. It wasn’t reading correct rpm it only read at 36. Not sure what that means but the surveyor told me to keep looking for another boat. Of course I was bummed. 

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On 6/14/2019 at 10:59 PM, Advemtures said:

Hello

looking at a 276 ssx and also looking at a sea ray 300. I currently have a chap 216 sunesta and love it but get banged around the the bay. A few things I’m curious about: I never flush my Merc 5.0 amd I keep hearing with the Volvo 8 you need to flush it?

The reason for that flushing aspect is because the sucky Mercury doesn't come with a flushport mounted to the engine, so the only way you can flush the engine out if you're in saltwater and in a slip is to hook up your fresh water hose to that port, run the water and then turn on the engine.  let it get up to temperature and an additional 5 minutes or so and your engine is flushed out of saltwater keeping it nice and clean.  Can't do that with any of the Mercury engines (even the new ones from what I've read) and that is the difference.  Now some don't care or don't think it's necessary to flush and don't do it even though they do have the flushport Volvos ( @jeffk ahem...lol) but he doesn't seem to have had any issues with not flushing and has had the boat for a while.  I, on the other hand, flush religiously every time I get back to the slip and the beauty of that flushport is you can do it while the boat is in the water and screw the muffs.

On 6/14/2019 at 10:59 PM, Advemtures said:

Also curious of these 2 boats handling in choppy conditions.

I'm in the ocean in Salem MA just 20 minutes north of Boston and I can tell you most of the time we're out, we deal with some level of chop since that's just the nature of the ocean and she handles it like a champion.  I've been to the Bay as well and boated that area for a couple of days without any issues.  If you look at the boat's flare on the hull it's almost comparable to a 30ft center console which is designed just for that factor, cruising offshore and dealing with rough waters.

I've driven a Sea Ray 350 in calmer waters as well as average choppy stuff and it also handled extremely well.  I've always LOVED Sea Rays and think they're fantastic boats, so I can't knock on them nor would I unless I had concrete evidence that they performed differently than Chaps.  Granted that was only one example and it had a joystick with twin Mercs, but it was absolutely fantastic!  And if an opportunity rose where I had an option to upgrade to a Sea Ray that I liked, I wouldn't hesitate despite my loyalty and affinity to Chaparral which also make beautiful boats, especially their SSX and Signature lines.  Unfortunately the latter is no more.

On 6/14/2019 at 10:59 PM, Advemtures said:

Had a survey on a 2008 276ssx today but it came back and said something maybe not right with engine. It wasn’t reading correct rpm it only read at 36. Not sure what that means but the surveyor told me to keep looking for another boat. Of course I was bummed. 

Ok, you need to and MUST elaborate on that, please.  What exactly did he say about the engine and the RPM's?  Could you kindly find out and tell us the specifics?  Was it not producing any more RPM beyond 3600?  Is that what he meant?  What type of engine was it exactly, i.e. not just Volvo 8 but more of the exact and full model numbers and what outdrive exactly.  He might be wrong about something simple that is easily correctable and then you have your boat.  Through the years we've discovered that some surveyors have their heads up their assses to be perfectly blunt and in this case it sounds like he's part of that pact if you gave you that bit of incomprehensible information.  Please give us more info.

 

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4 hours ago, Hatem said:

The reason for that flushing aspect is because the sucky Mercury doesn't come with a flushport mounted to the engine, so the only way you can flush the engine out if you're in saltwater and in a slip is to hook up your fresh water hose to that port, run the water and then turn on the engine.  let it get up to temperature and an additional 5 minutes or so and your engine is flushed out of saltwater keeping it nice and clean.  Can't do that with any of the Mercury engines (even the new ones from what I've read) and that is the difference.  Now some don't care or don't think it's necessary to flush and don't do it even though they do have the flushport Volvos ( @jeffk ahem...lol) but he doesn't seem to have had any issues with not flushing and has had the boat for a while.  I, on the other hand, flush religiously every time I get back to the slip and the beauty of that flushport is you can do it while the boat is in the water and screw the muffs.

I'm in the ocean in Salem MA just 20 minutes north of Boston and I can tell you most of the time we're out, we deal with some level of chop since that's just the nature of the ocean and she handles it like a champion.  I've been to the Bay as well and boated that area for a couple of days without any issues.  If you look at the boat's flare on the hull it's almost comparable to a 30ft center console which is designed just for that factor, cruising offshore and dealing with rough waters.

I've driven a Sea Ray 350 in calmer waters as well as average choppy stuff and it also handled extremely well.  I've always LOVED Sea Rays and think they're fantastic boats, so I can't knock on them nor would I unless I had concrete evidence that they performed differently than Chaps.  Granted that was only one example and it had a joystick with twin Mercs, but it was absolutely fantastic!  And if an opportunity rose where I had an option to upgrade to a Sea Ray that I liked, I wouldn't hesitate despite my loyalty and affinity to Chaparral which also make beautiful boats, especially their SSX and Signature lines.  Unfortunately the latter is no more.

Ok, you need to and MUST elaborate on that, please.  What exactly did he say about the engine and the RPM's?  Could you kindly find out and tell us the specifics?  Was it not producing any more RPM beyond 3600?  Is that what he meant?  What type of engine was it exactly, i.e. not just Volvo 8 but more of the exact and full model numbers and what outdrive exactly.  He might be wrong about something simple that is easily correctable and then you have your boat.  Through the years we've discovered that some surveyors have their heads up their assses to be perfectly blunt and in this case it sounds like he's part of that pact if you gave you that bit of incomprehensible information.  Please give us more info.

 

Ahem, I flush everytime the boat is pulled from the water.

Contrary to some uninformed opinion.

BTW if you have a merc you can hook up a flush kit right to your transom.

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5 hours ago, jeffk said:

Ahem, I flush everytime the boat is pulled from the water.

Contrary to some uninformed opinion.

Take it easy, my bad.  I mistook you for someone else for some reason, my mistake. 

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On 6/17/2019 at 7:27 PM, Hatem said:

Take it easy, my bad.  I mistook you for someone else for some reason, my mistake. 

I will give you a pass this time!

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As usual. The sucky Volvo Thermal Engineers are B S everyone about a condition which YOU  YOU can not  make a moderate change to. 

Has anyone boiled Easter eggs in high mineral content water ? I did most of my childhood.  15 minutes WAS MORE THAN ENOUGH to cause a white Calcium and or Lime deposit to form on the inside of the pot.  What amount of heat is generated in the combustion chambers of a overloaded boat? The one that cannot get on to a plane but has the throttle lever pushed to the maximum ?  Correct. THAT  is when the minerals are DEPOSITING in your engine hotspots & exhaust metal hot spots.

When the boat has reached the dock ?  It is finished depositing the high rate of mineral deposits per second. So Volvo is stating that a idling engine is when the engine can be cleaned of mineral deposits ?

What a bunch of sales pandering. To boost sales.

The Volvo Engineering Depart is ruled by the Volvo Sales Department people.

 

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15 hours ago, jeffk said:

I will give you a pass this time!

:notworthy:

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