The Chaparral 327 SSX is Born
From any angle, you can’t tell that the 327 has a well-equipped, best-in- class full-beam cabin with a head, vanity, and Ultra leather couch. Unlike rivals that cram sardine sized cabins in separate consoles, the 327’s patented cabin design spans the entire beam and is accessible via a single cabin door. Belowdecks, you can beat the heat, enjoy a light snack or spend the night onboard. Installed options include opening portlights, a generator and an air conditioning unit with vents in the cabin and on the dash.
Chaparral’s design team set about to create a boat that would fit all of the advanced sportboat owner’s needs while saving him both the out-of-pocket costs and the annual operating expenses of an express cruiser. When viewing the Chaparral 327 SSX in this context, its genius immediately becomes apparent. It is an alternative to an express cruiser for the person who really doesn’t need one, but who does need a bigger, more versatile, more comfortable “day boat” in a seaway. The new 327 SSX Super-Sportboat has a deep-V hull with a deadrise at the transom of 22-degrees. This is deep and will make the boat’s ride as comfortable as possible in lumpy conditions. That together with her relatively high freeboard will make her reassuring offshore and help keep her passengers dry. Her 10’ beam not only makes her more roomy for guests, but it also provides plenty of width room in the engine room for twin big block engines.
Have It Your Way
Chaparral has incorporated some important options into the boat as standard, such is its hardtop, automatic engine room fire extinguishing system, and powered stern seating system, as well as a powered engine hatch. The builder has incorporated Kevlar in its hull which it does in all of its boats. However, since Chaparral knows different customers will want to use the boat for different purposes, it has created an extensive option list. Owners can specify exactly what they want to suit their intended purpose. Some owners will want to go for the 3 kW generator and air conditioning. Others will want to have a wet bar with refrigerator instead of the standard seat. Take your pick.
This picture shows the “L”-shaped seat on the starboard side of the cabin. The seat makes into a double bed. Note in the upper left hand corner of the picture the overhead on the centerline. (We’ll have to talk to the stylist about putting a bottle of red wine in an ice bucket.)
The Innovative Mid Cabin
The feature that makes the Chaparral 327 SSX so noteworthy is, of course, her mid cabin. This accommodation is ensconced under the helm console, the port console, and under the walkway from the cockpit to the bow riding seating. This is certainly innovative and we can think of no other boat that creates a cabin similar to this one.
At the bottom of the companionway stairs there is 5’6.5” (1.68 m) of headroom. The TV screen faces the seat on the opposite side of the cabin. To the right is the door to the head. It is 18.5″ (46.6 cm) wide.
We measured 66.5” (1.68 m) of headroom at the bottom of the companionway, in front of the head door, 46” (1.16 m) of headroom under the walkway from the helm seats to the forward cockpit. This walkway channel bifurcates the mid cabin fore and aft requiring occupants to duck under it to get to the other side where there is 72” (1.82 m) of headroom and the lounge seat.
We measured 58” (1.47 m) of headroom in the head compartment. The sink’s faucet pulls out to make a shower. The large fiberglass lid behind the toilet folds down to make a seat.
There is a half hanging locker, a wet head, and an entertainment console below. The lounge seating is comfortable and makes into a double bed 78″ x 35″ (1.98 m x .88 m). Portlights on both sides of the full beam cabin bring in natural light.
The Chaparral 327 SSX is the only sportboat we know of that can sit four people facing forward thanks to its 10’ beam. More important is the fact that even most express cruisers – including most 50-footers — cannot seat four facing forward!
Now let us look at some detail pictures to fill in the rest of the story–
The twin helm seat is adjustable fore and aft. The seat was 23” off the deck in the prototype, which was a bit high for us, otherwise the seat was quite comfortable. There is good visibility forward when seated or on the bolster.
This helm console design would make George Lucas proud. We like the optional 5209 Garmin GPS plotter front and center. The wheel is leather wrapped. Note that the brow over the instrument console is dark to virtually eliminate glare.
Chaparral’s seat design is distinctive and custom-made. The inset diamond stitching is like what you might find on an expensive automobile and is a design theme carried on throughout the boat.
The bench seat facing forward on the port side is not adjustable. On the prototype the door to the cabin below barely cleared the seat when the bolster was up. Note that the door opens out to port which makes entrance easy and it can remain open for air to circulate below.
The stern of the 327 SSX is the boat’s playground. The hatch at left is for stowage and shore power, the aft-facing seat electrically flattens into a sun pad, and the aluminum transom door is to starboard.
Note the courtesy light at right of the passage to the cockpit. We’d like to see a four-step ladder on a boat of this caliber along with a hand-hold in the cut into the covering hatch.
At the flip of a switch the stern seat turns into a sun pad.
The cockpit can pretty much be optioned the way an owner wants it. For example, the wet bar with refrigerator and sink is optional. Standard is seating in its place.
This deep stowage compartment in the middle of the cockpit sole holds the ship’s batteries and has a capacity of 70 cubed feet. There is plenty of room here for wakeboards, skis, and inflatable water toys.
There is plenty of seating in the bow cockpit and a second venue for a table.
Stowage abounds under the forward cockpit cushions. The insulated coolers forward drain overboard, not into the bilge.
On the aft bulkhead there is a half hanging locker and an entertainment center. The companionway steps are at right.