2012 Chaparral 226 bow rider boat test

lounging in the sun on a 2012 Chaparral 226 bow rider boat photo

Fun in the sun on a 2012 Chaparral 226 bow rider

Here is a family boat that is the answer to the tale of pleasing two performance boating goals. One or more of the family goes after a thrill pleasing boat. The other one or group want comfortable seating, a place to catch some sun, easy cockpit entrance from a float or pier, and a roomy, feature-filled cockpit. This second want is just as much a performance boat goal as top speed or turning ability.

The 2012 Chaparral 226 easily does speeds in the 53-55 MPH range when you put the throttle down on a Mercury Marine Mercruiser 300 horsepower marine engine.  This is a marine chevy engine based Mercury engine coupled to either a Mercury Marine Alpha stern drive or a Mercury Marine Bravo I out drive. Go with an Alpha drive if real smooth shifting is not that important to you and you know you will not be jumping a lot of wakes, trying to fly the boat. It is a faster top speed I/O and a cheaper power package to purchase. A Bravo I will bring more money back upon resale, but this boat really satisfies so that may be a long time away.

Well designed and correctly powered for a runabout boat, she gives an excellent all-day cruising fuel economy in the 2,500 rpm (20-22 MPH) to 3,000 rpm (26-28 MPH) range. Move up to 4,000 rpms (right at say, 40 MPH) and gas mileage suffers. I like the feel of the boat responding to the drive trim by lighting up and adding more speed to the boat without adding more gas.

Chaparral fashions a different bow shape at the deck line to give a roomier than most bow and main cockpit interior. The walk thru makes boarding this boat easy. And seabuddy gives Chaparral supplied photos showing the adjustable sun lounge positions of the padded aft area.

2012 Chaparral bow rider walk thru from transom

Recessed cleats shown are optional, but worth it. 2012 Chaparral 226

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