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Chaparral 227 SSX Review

Chaparral 227 SSX: The Best of All Worlds

One of the most popular styles of boats across the country is the stern-drive open bow boat.  Open bow boats come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 17′-40′ in length.  Of all these sizes, boats in the 23′ range are easily the most popular.  Boats around 23′ in length are big enough to hold a large crowd and handle rough water, but small enough to tow around to various bodies of water.  Enter the Chaparral 227 SSX:  One of the best designed 23′ boats in the industry.  Chaparral did their homework when they designed the 227 SSX, and they hit this one out of the park.  Lets dive right in and take a look at this great selling bowrider from Chaparral.

The Chaparral SSX Series of Premium Bowriders

Chaparral makes a wide variety of boats, each of which belongs to a different series.  In bowriders & deckboats, some of the product lines they make include the H2O, SSi, Sunesta, Suncoast, Surf, Vortex & SSX series.  Of all these product lines, the SSX series is their most premium level of boats.

SSX models come in sizes ranging from the 23′- 227 SSX to the 33′-337 SSX. models include many of the same design characteristics.  Some of these features include a windshield with polished stainless steel header, Kevlar reinforced hull, SSX hull design, custom hand wrapped vinyl-weave dash, stainless steel hardware with pop-up cleats and much more.  The overall styling and trim on these boats are top of the line.  So whether you are looking at the 227 SSX or 337 SSX, you will find much of the same styling and trim throughout this product line.

Exterior Styling

The exterior styling of the Chaparral 227 SSX, in our opinion, makes it one of the best looking 23′ boats in the industry.  This boat features a high bow with sleek lines that slope back to the integrated extended swim platform.  Many manufacturers use a bolt-on platform, but Chaparral has integrated this platform into 1-piece with the top & bottom decks of the boat.

This makes the platform much more sturdy and finished looking.  It also flows much better with the lines of the boat than just bolting a platform onto the back.  This design eliminates the chance of leaking at the point where a bolt-on platform is attached to the hull.  The extended platform on the Chaparral 227 SSX is large and completely covers the outdrive for safety.

Exterior Color & Options

The hullsides of the Chaparral 227 SSX share the same SSX power line as all the other models in this series.  This is a contoured design molded into the side of the hull.  We love the look of this power line as it sets these boats apart from many of the plain-looking boats made by the competition.  The gelcoat options include a wide-band hullside as well as the Eclipse gelcoat option  The Eclipse gelcoat basically combines a full color side and underside with a hull stripe, both in the color of your choice.  This makes for a very aggressive yet classy look which you will find on many of the SSX models in dealers inventories.

The Chaparral 227 SSX comes standard with a bimini top for the cockpit.  There are a few upgrade options for this bimini as well.  You can upgrade to a 1 1/4″ bimini top frame.  This frame is much larger than the standard bimini frame and it has a curved shape as well.  If you go with the bimini, this upgrade really adds to the look of the boat for a reasonable price.

Folding Arch Tower

The next step up is the Folding Arch Tower.  This option is a painted aluminum arch which is available in either white or black.  The folding arch tower adds greatly to the look of the boat, and it is functional as well.

If you have a low clearance area in your storage or dock, the arch folds down making it just slightly higher than the windshield.  The main purpose of the arch is for towing as there is a tow point/light on top of the arch.  This high tow point is a great option for people who like to wakeboard & ski.  It helps pull the rider up out of the water and improves the overall riding experience.  It also comes standard with a very sturdy bimini top which mounts to the arch for shade.


The Chaparral 227 SSX stern & sunpad has been very thought out by Chaparral.  Starting off on the swim platform, it is available with 2 different mat options.  You can go with the standard logo mat, which is an inexpensive mat that is adhered to the top of the platform.  This mat makes for a non-skid surface that is soft for walking and does not get hot in the sun.  The upgrade to this is the teak mat, which looks great and is available in either grey or sand colors with striping & the Chaparral logo in the center.

Transom Options

Some other options available on the transom include the Underwater Lights and the Transom Stereo Controls.  The transom stereo controls are a great feature if you like to spend a lot of time on the swim platform.  This allows you to adjust the radio without climbing back into the boat.

The sunpad itself is a full width pad that has several functions as well.  The main center section of the sunpad flips-open to provide storage underneath.  The starboard side is hinged and flips over to allow entry without stepping on the vinyl.  On the port side is another hinged cushion.  This cushion can be locked into the lounge position so you can recline while laying out on the sunpad.  It also flips all the way open to reveal a cooler underneath.  This cooler is accessible from both inside the boat or on the swim platform.

Cockpit Seating

The cockpit seating layout on the Chaparral 227 SSX is a versatile design that can hold quite a few passengers.  The seating is a full wraparound design with entry on the starboard side.  On the port side is a flip seat which can be set up or down.  Chaparral calls this the Oasis Lounge.

The Chaparral 227 SSX, just like all SSX models, is available with multiple interior trim color options.  These two color options are called graphite and sand.  Graphite is a bright-white base vinyl, with grey trim colors on the vertical surfaces of the vinyl and certain areas of fiberglass.  Sand is a slightly off-white with tan trim colors.

In the up position, the Oasis Lounge acts as a backrest for the co-pilot to face forward just like a captains chair.  In the down position, it creates a long bench on the port side of the boat.  This can be very useful if you have a large group of people on the boat as it basically adds another seat.  It can also be used as a rear observer’s seat.  By sitting on this bench facing backwards, you can lean into the port console which has a built-in backrest and keep an eye on the rider behind the boat.

You will find plenty of storage in the cockpit underneath all of the seating areas.  There is also an in-floor storage area, or ski locker, which is an extra wide lid with plenty of room for skis, wakeboards, kneeboards or other gear.  This lid has a gas-assist to make for easy access.

Driver’s Helm Design

The driver’s helm on the Chaparral 227 SSX is a thing of beauty.  We feel it is one of the best looking helms available on any boat in this category.  It is a full fiberglass helm that is wrapped in vinyl.  On top, Chaparral uses a woven vinyl wrap, and the lower-front is wrapped in hand-stitched vinyl.

The steering wheel is a custom leather-wrapped design with a Chaparral spinner logo in the center.  The dash comes standard with 4 analog gauges, rocker switches & stainless steel panels.  If you do any boating on large or unfamiliar bodies of water, we recommend going with the Garmin GPS upgrade.  This is a color, touch-screen GPS with all inland (& coastal if equipped) bodies of water pre-loaded.  It is a very detailed GPS that gives you information such as hazard areas, channel markers, gas stops and much more.  It will give you the confidence to explore areas you are not familiar with.

You will also find some nice storage on the port console.  This is an enclosed fiberglass helm with a side storage door.  Inside this door you will find a huge, dry storage area.  This is a great place to store larger personal items, especially things you want to keep dry.

Bow Seating/Features

The bow seating area on the Chaparral 227 SSX is decked-out with great features just like the rest of the boat.  First and most important, the bow is nice and deep to provide the riders with a great sense of security.  It also features full wraparound backrests and large stainless steel grab handles.  Tucked away in the corners you will find stainless steel cupholders, speakers with stainless steel covers & LED accent lights.

The side cushions open and have ample storage areas below for life jackets or gear.  The front-center cushion is removable and has a secondary lid underneath.  This lid is finished in diamond non-skid to act as a step when boarding from the front.  Under this lid is a built-in, insulated cooler with a drain to provide the passengers in the bow with a cooler.  If you like to lounge out in the bow, go for the optional bow filler cushion.  The bow table is also a great choice for entertaining or having lunch in the bow of the boat.

Anchor Locker

Off the bow of the boat is an anchor locker.  This anchor locker has several functions.  The obvious function is to store the anchor.  This is very nice as you don’t have to drag a dirty anchor back into the boat after you pull it up.  It also houses a front boarding ladder.  This is a great feature which is typically only found on larger boats.  The front boarding ladder is useful when pulling up to a beach or sandbar, and also when launching the boat from the the trailer.

On top of the locker is a lid, also finished in nonskid fiberglass.  This lid creates a large, flat front boarding platform.  The navigation light on the front folds flat to eliminate any tripping hazards as well.  On the sides of this platform are dual pop-up cleats.


The Chaparral 227 SSX performs just as well as it looks.  Chaparral is the owner of the most award winning hull design in the entire industry, and they have incorporated this design into the 227 SSX as well.  Chaparral calls this patented design the Extended V-Plane Hull.  This design takes the point where the outdrive mounts on the transom and extends the hull further back on each side.  This keeps the bow down on takeoff, keeps the boat on plane at lower speeds, improves fuel economy, and provides a smoother ride in the chop.

Engine options on the Chaparral 227 SSX range from 240hp-350hp.  The Mercruiser 250hp 4.5 MPI is the best selling engine selection in this boat as it performs great without the big price jump of going to the 6.2L options.  With the 250hp selection the boat will run in the upper 40mph range which is more than enough for most boater’s needs.  If you desire more, the 300 or 350hp choices will make this boat fly, but keep in mind these engine options come at a price.


The Chaparral 227 SSX is one of our overall favorite boats.  It has rough water capability, plenty of seating, the premium features and great looks that so many boaters desire, and all of this at a very competitive price.  Many boaters who are in the market for a larger boat will find that the 227 SSX meets all of their needs in a package that is much more affordable than most 24′-26′ boats.  Swing by your local Chaparral dealer and take a look at the 227 SSX.  The Chaparral 227 SSX comes with many of the features you only come to expect in much larger and higher priced boats.  For more information on the 227 SSX, check on Chaparral’s website at www.chaparralboats.com.


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