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mckayj

Premier 400

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My buddy owns a Sig 330 and is considering trading up to a Premier 400 with Twin Volvo IPS pods Diesel (500). A beautiful boat, but an expensive move up. I am looking for feedback from Premier owners with positive/negative comments.

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My concern is the pod drives. where does your buddy keep his 330? I have a 2012 330 and I have to be very careful about the tides at my marina,It would probally be worse with pod drives? Also if not close to a servicing dealer who do you get to do any kind of warranty wotk? My problem with my chap is there is no one in the area where I keep my boat that can do service work on the engines or drives because they do not do enough of the work to warrant the expense of buying the new dianostic equipment to fix problems with all the new digital stuff on new boats.

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That's an absolute beauty of a boat. Not much difference besides the 2ft between it and the 420. Maybe a few additional options too but a very sweet looking boat and quite roomy in the quarters below. Easily overnight 4-5 people comfortably.

I wasn't crazy about the pickle-fork at first, especially on a big boat like that but it has grown on me. Big ticket item, though.

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I was also looking at the numbers between a base 400 or 420 (and they even still have a few of the 2011 models left that are brand new according to some dealers and outfits that they haven't sold but their values have hardly depreciated) and compared them to actually building your own Signature 370 and it's not that far off which frankly doesn't make sense despite the difference in LOA and beam is not that great, the Premier offers A LOT more room from the photos anyway. Hard to really tell unless you get in them both and visually see the difference. I like the Premiere a lot, even better than any of the Sea Ray's in class.

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McKay, I looked hard at the 400 Premiere (400 and 420 are the exact same hull) and almost pulled the trigger, but the living space below was too cramped for our needs. For instance, the aft cabin was not much bigger than what I already had in my 2012 310 Signature. We liked the cockpit area a lot and the visibility through the fixed glass windshield from the helm is the best I've seen in any boat with a fixed windshield. My 470's visibility is tolerable, but not good. As far as the Volvo IPS 500s, they are a proven entity used many years by Tiara, and you will find more mechanics that can service them, than you will find who service what I have which is the Cummins Zeus Pods. If your friend is near you in DE, I highly recommend Seven Seas Yacht Services in Kent Narrows, MD. They've done work for me on my 310 (gas joystick), and I've spoken to the owner there at length about Zeus versus IPS before I pulled the trigger on Zeus (against his recommendation) because we wanted the Sea Ray. Chaparral discontinued the 400/420 so finding parts may be troublesome. Regarding depth, they draw all of 4 feet and there is no more raising outdrives to get yourself out of trouble. People complain that IPS has forward facing props, leaving them prone to damage but judging from how many 40+ foot boat manufacturers still offer IPS tells me demand for IPS is greater than the complaints against them. The previous owner of my 470 just took delivery of a 54' Sabre with IPS. In speaking with the Sabre dealer who sold me the 470, Sabre builds just as many boats with Zeus as with IPS because they don't wish to alienate anyone who feels strongly one way or another, like Sea Ray who only offers Mercury/Zues. BTW, the 400 Premiere I was looking at was a 2010 with less than 100 hours and was being sold by the dealer who sold it new. Its asking price in late 2013 when we were looking was a song compared to what they were selling new. Point is, they don't hold their value, but if the price is right and your friend likes the interior, it's a great boat built by a solid company with a proven power package. I would not buy new unless it was being offered at X00,000 or less. PM me if you want to know the X as this forum frowns upon talks of price.

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I didn't know they discontinued either, the 400 or the 420. I guess that makes sense since it's not on Chaparral's website as an available model. Biggest boat now looks like the Signature 370.

Hulls are identical? What's the additional 20 then, on the 420? More standard features probably.

Too bad, must not have sold well which pushes those looking for the net size up away from that brand.

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They discontinued because they weren't selling. I guess it's hard for a manufacturer who's top end boat falls in the mid end lineup of other manufacturers. The additional 20 is absolutely nothing. Boat manufacturers play with the model numbers from time to time. My 470 Sundancer in 2009 was called the 43 Sundancer, but in 2010 and beyond it became branded as the 470 Sundancer to denote the true length overall including swim platform. 43' boat with a 4 foot swim platform. The Chaparral 350 Signature was a 37' boat including swim platform. In 2010 or thereabouts, they rebranded the 350 to the 370 Signature. Same exact hull. And what was previously the 330 Signature became branded as the 350 Signature. It's a way for boat manufacturers to charge more money and make people think they're getting more boat, when in reality they're just accounting for the swim platforms which frankly don't help float boats.

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Very interesting and quite informative, Jim. Thanks for explaining all that. So if I'm reading what you're saying is that the Premier 400 is actually 42' +/- if you include the swim platform which why they ended up doing in the premier 420? IMO, LOA should certainly include the swim platform because it is part of the length overall, especially if it's integral. If you have a separate or additional hydraulic swim platform that folds out etc, then the lower number is appropriate. But if it's an integrated swim platform it has to be part of the LOA since you'll have to determine slip sizes and cost per foot fees associated with that etc. LOL although as I'm writing this, I'm thinking the lower number is MUCH better when sorting out cost per foot fees! :D

Either way, it's really too bad that Chaparral wasn't able to stay in that 40ft range and up to compete with Sea Ray and even Formula since it's SSX series has won best in class several times recently, if I'm not mistaken.

The Premier is a really gorgeous boat. What's your view of the picklefork on that particular boat?

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The Premier is a really gorgeous boat. What's your view of the picklefork on that particular boat?

I had the picklefork on my 2012 310 Signature and didn't mind it a bit. I widens the forward berth so they can move it further forward and gain cabin space. It doesn't actually come into play to affect the ride since it's tapered down and disappears before it comes close to the water line.

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Yeah, it just takes a little bit of getting used to. Hard to believe it actually makes a difference but for all the work it would take to even make the ss rail match the same contour and the mold for the hull etc., you would hope it does!

I see what you mean about the view, too. That windshield looks huge. It looks like they humped up the forward cabin roof as well to give it more headroom inside. Gorgeous boat.

3_big.jpg

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Jim,

can you share a bit of your experience so far with the Zues pods on your SR? Do they work nicely with the intuitive joy stick? Any gripes or nuances and what are some of the positives you've found with that power package? Is the HP satisfactory for that size boat and how does the diesel burn with those motors (i.e. decent fuel burn) and do you find yourself using the vessel view a lot? Any drawbacks to using diesel besides the fact that it's the crudest form of fuel yet the highest priced/highest demand? Does it leave the engine bay relatively clean or does it require a bit more clean-up/maintenance?

It would be fun to know why that fellow was recommending against the Zues package since you would think the forward facing props on the IPS would be problematic without any structure in front of it to plow through whatever, sort of opening the door for the props but it actually makes sense, considering how bigger the props are to whatever size & shape the pod in front of it would be.

Hope you don't mind all the Q's :) and I hope you got to enjoy your boat this past summer, which was probably one of the worst ones in recent years, at least around these parts.

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I have one which you can see in my gallery. I love it. The 400 and 420 are the exact same boat just with a name change to show that this is a 42 foot boat not a 40 foot. My 2011 looks much better than 2011's from Sea Ray or Cruiser Yachts. I love the full hardtop and mine has cockpit air. Again there are pictures in my profile gallery.

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I have one which you can see in my gallery. I love it. The 400 and 420 are the exact same boat just with a name change to show that this is a 42 foot boat not a 40 foot. My 2011 looks much better than 2011's from Sea Ray or Cruiser Yachts. I love the full hardtop and mine has cockpit air. Again there are pictures in my profile gallery.

Very nice. Welcome to the forum, BTW. I think you're the first Premier owner on this Chaparral Owner's forum?

I tried looking at the pics in the gallery, some of the thumbnails appeared but most are too big and didn't open. But still could see a few. I like it in the black, prefer it in the red. :)

Uh oh Jim, you're gonna have to come and defend your Sea Ray's honor LOL!!! :D

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! To make comparisons is not my bag. I will say that I do like the Premier. I almost bought a blue 2010 but wanted something better looking. Totally kidding!!

I like the Zeus PODS so far and don't have any strong preference between Volvo forward facing versus Zeus rear facing. Manufacturers are installing both like crazy. Volvo claims the forward facing grabs clean undisturbed water, and Zeus claims the props are protected by gear case and skeg. Who knows? I don't think running aground in either package would be fun. I stay out of the shallows as both packages have fixed draft. No more raising outdrives in skinny water! My Chap 310 had the Volvo outdrive joystick and the intuitiveness (if that's a word) is the same with what I have now. It's all the same, just like a video game. My 10 yo son often works the joystick for me if that tells you something. I will say on my 310 I often had computer glitches where while on plane the computer would reduce power to the engines to idle speed and I had to shut engines down, cycle batteries off, then restart and all was fine. Would happen 4 or 5 times in a season. So far, I've never had an issue with the Zeus computer. Did a lot of research before deciding to store the boat in-saltwater this winter. My pod casings I'm told by multiple sources, will not corrode like outdrives. Previous owner always stored boat in-water for the winter too and the pods still look brand new after 4 seasons. As for power, I have all I need or want (about 475 each) and I burn about 35 GPH at 30mph cruise. My 310 burned about 22 GPH at 30 mph cruise, so at almost 3x the weight, I can live with less than twice the burn rate. So far, I have not encountered a significant jump in annual maintenance costs with the diesels and engine compartment is just as clean as gas. Noise is a benefit of diesels. My boat runs as smooth and quietly at WOT as it does at cruise speed.

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What do you have to say to that, Liquid Asset?! :D

I'm pretty surprised that the diesels are quieter than the gas motors!? That somewhat defies logic but is impressive. I personally am noticing IPS systems being a bit more popular than Zeus pod drives but maybe that's only because I've been looking at a lot more European boats lately than North American built ones which I'm simply guessing that the former buys and supports VP much more because of it's location in Sweden and is more likely bigger in Europe than Mercury is. Although VP seems to hold its ground pretty well here in the United States.

I'll be perfectly honest, I like the idea of the forward facing props because it makes sense that it gets better bite. I don't buy much into the danger of hitting any floating debris with them because you avoid that stuff as it is when you're piloting a boat and if you miss something, it's small enough to not be a big problem and if you miss something big enough to do damage, I think a rear facing prop will take the brunt just as bad. That's just my own observation it means absolutely nothing lol.

Your SR is actually 5 feet longer than the Premier anyway, Jim, so naturally it would have a roomier layout because 5 feet is A LOT in a boat. So it's tough to make a comparison size-wise, Chap would need to make something in the 47 ft range. Both are beautiful.

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I burn on average 30 GPH at 30 MPH at cruise. I have gotten to a top speed of 36 MPH with the twin 370 hp volvos diesels. Gas is significantly louder than diesel engines. I had a 2006 350 (now called a 370) which was much louder at cruise than my diesals. At my marina diesal fuel is also cheaper than gasoline which is another plus.

I haven't had any problems with the forward facing props even when I thought I had gone over a log. The draft of the props is something you have to think about as I had to move out of my old slip because I got stuck the first time I brought the boat into the marina.

(Also my boat is blue, pictures a little dark)

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It's fantastic. The top of the line boat that Chaparral makes, no question.

I noticed the flooring at the helm, is that the fake teak flooring? Did that come with the boat or was it installed at a later point?

Thanks for chiming in and well wishes for many years of enjoyment with that boat.

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That is real teak flooring that came with the boat. Was not installed aftermarket. It is covered by hardtop so very easy maintenance.

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That is real teak flooring that came with the boat. Was not installed aftermarket. It is covered by hardtop so very easy maintenance.

Probably why I thought it was fake, it looks great. Too bad most of your pictures in the gallery are not opening up. Might be a better idea to upload them on Photo Bucket and direct link them here onto this thread or open a separate thread. They would show up in the appropriate size for all to view.

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Probably why I thought it was fake, it looks great. Too bad most of your pictures in the gallery are not opening up. Might be a better idea to upload them on Photo Bucket and direct link them here onto this thread or open a separate thread. They would show up in the appropriate size for all to view.

I took your idea and it work's great. Here is the link: http://s95.photobucket.com/user/LiquidAsset2/library/400%20Premiere

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I took your idea and it work's great. Here is the link: http://s95.photobucket.com/user/LiquidAsset2/library/400%20Premiere

:clapsmiley: Excellent! Thanks for doing that. Much better.

I didn't realize that there's a 2nd cabin with the filler cushion that can sleep two people?! I like that.

One question for you IYDM, in this picture it's hard to tell but is there enough room to climb up from the cockpit between the SS rail and arch/hardtop and walk up to the bow area? I see the hand rail on the upper part of the hard top so it must be the way to walk up the bow but seems a bit tight to get your foot in there, is there another way to get up to the bow like from the front windscreen? Or is the picture deceiving?

IMG_0218_zpse6e73b16.jpg

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:clapsmiley: Excellent! Thanks for doing that. Much better.

I didn't realize that there's a 2nd cabin with the filler cushion that can sleep two people?! I like that.

One question for you IYDM, in this picture it's hard to tell but is there enough room to climb up from the cockpit between the SS rail and arch/hardtop and walk up to the bow area? I see the hand rail on the upper part of the hard top so it must be the way to walk up the bow but seems a bit tight to get your foot in there, is there another way to get up to the bow like from the front windscreen? Or is the picture deceiving?

IMG_0218_zpse6e73b16.jpg

Yes there is enough room. There are also steps in the cabin to help get to the bow.

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Beautiful boat. Glad you could join us and thanks for answering all my questions! :) I'm surprised no one else has been chiming in with the way most members drool over this boat?!

Chaparral should reintroduce this boat and also make a flybridge version of it, once the economy is back in full mode which it's pretty close. They introduced this bird at probably the worst possible time. Even if the people who could afford this boat at that time still weren't spending because of the fear-factor that was permeating the global economy. Introducing such a boat needs to have the perfect timing with the way the world is operating economically. Actually, now that I think of it, if they do go back into the 40ft+ boats they'll have to introduce a new model which then begs the question................does the Premier 400/420 now become a rare boat because of that "discontinued" label? Kinda like with certain collector's cars where they'll become collector's because there were only a handful of them made?

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Liquid, just curious did you get your 400 at Waterfront Marine?

It was originally for sale at Waterfront Marine but the owner had a disagreement with WM. Ended up buying from owner.

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