A BOW RIDER THAT TICKS ALL THE BOXES
It’s easiest to board the 250 OSX at the stern by stepping onto the swim platforms that extend past the outboard on each side. The swim platforms and all the walking surfaces on our test boat were covered in optional Seadek matting. We often say that it’s easy to recognize a boat built by people who actually go boating. For example, on the swim platform, Chaparral uses two pull-up cleats and then up on the angled transom on each side are conventional cleats and stainless steel anti-chafe plating.
On the stern to port are one of two fuel fills, the stereo remote and the pump-out cap. To starboard, the four-step stainless steel reboarding ladder is in its own locker and the hatch opens on tension hinges that hold it up on their own. There’s room to pass forward of the splashwell that contains a freshwater flush and an inspection plate to access equipment below. It’s worth mentioning that there are two fuel fills because the 250 OSX has a generous 2.59m beam.
The second fuel fill makes things easier when filling up at a land-based gas station. In the cockpit the two back seats have backrests that can be positioned for forward or aft-facing travel. They slide so easily that a child could reposition them without a problem. Forward are two more lounges on each side of the cockpit and the two bucket seats at the helm can also spin around. Release the latch on the aft-seat bottom cushion and the entire assembly lifts up to reveal large storage tubs. Each one is light and easy to remove to access items in the bilge like the power-steering pumps, the fuel tank and hoses and other equipment. These seat structures are not light, so Chaparral makes sure that they can’t accidentally fall down.
The strut that supports the seat assembly has two parts that act like a kickstand when fully extended. The two pieces need to be aligned for the seat to be lowered. From the aft passageway, it’s a slight step down to the cockpit. In each gunwale, there are stainless-steel grab rails, courtesy lights and two of six JL audio speakers that are part of an upgrade that also includes a subwoofer.
There’s a side-mount bracket for the cockpit table in the base of the seat, which we prefer over a hole in the deck. Two more bench seats are on each side. The base of the port seat contains the battery switch, circuit breakers and an air pump for water toys. Padded bolsters extend the length of the cockpit and Chaparral uses “Envision” upholstery that is made from a Silicone Oxide material designed to stay cooler in direct sunlight and be easier to clean. Two hatches in the deck open to access under-deck lockers.
Each hatch opens on a stainless-steel gas strut and has a thick rubber gasket to keep it from rattling. Additionally, each opening has drainage channels to keep water from soaking the contents of the compartment. Our test boat was equipped with the optional patented EFX II Arch for water sports. It folds down with the push of a button and the driver can stay at the helm and operate the boat. We liked how the matte finish countered the shinier finish of the upholstery and the padded headrest at the base.
THE PORT CONSOLE
The captain and a companion travel in bucket seats that have internal springs and lumbar support to improve comfort. Instead of having to reach under the seat to spin or adjust the fore and aft position, lift the armrests. The left lever adjusts the seat fore or aft and the right side spins the seat. The port console has a glove box in the top. The hatch opens on a tension hinge but doesn’t lock. Inside, there’s a mat to cushion the ride for items like smartphones, but no charging ports. The console door opens into the bow passageway, providing easy passage into the private head compartment. Inside, there’s plenty of headroom with 81.28 cm above the toilet seat. Our test boat was upgraded with a porcelain Tecma flush toilet plus a sink with a pull-up shower and opening port.
To starboard, the 250 OSX’s helm is finished in dark upholstery and comes standard with two 7”Simrad multifunction displays. Accessory switches are in twin columns on each side of the displays. To the left of the tilt steering wheel is the key switch. To the right are the stereo control just ahead of a beverage holder and the digital engine control. Down low are a JBL speaker and subwoofer. At the Bow, the wide passageway forward can be closed off with an air dam and the centre section of the stainless-steel-framed windshield. There was room for our 1.73m tall test captain to extend his legs on the starboard lounge in the bow and the stainless-steel rail was comfortably positioned.
A bolster encircles the forward-most passenger area and there’s a removable cushion on the non-skid step that is front and centre. Bow storage includes a cooler under that forward non-skid step and a locker beneath the port-side cushion that raises on, you guessed it, tension hinges. Inside that locker is the short leg for the bow filler cushion.
To starboard, a pull loop on the back half of the bottom cushion lets a crew member raise the cushion and the entire starboard backrest that is hinged. Inside are the bow table and leg and the filler cushion. On that cushion, Chaparral takes the extra step of making sure the legs lock in the desired position. Forward, the bow has two pull-up cleats in the nonskid on each side of the anchor locker. It has clips for a Danforth-style anchor and space for the rode.
The 250 OSX measures 7.27m with a 2.59 m beam. Our test boat weighed 1,905.09 kg dry without an engine and related gear. With three people aboard, full fuel, no fresh water and 22.68 kg of gear, we had an as-tested weight of 2,595.01 kgs.
Powered by a single 250-hp Yamaha outboard spinning a 15.25” x 17” Saltwater Series propeller, the 250 OSX hit a top speed of 47.3 mph at 5700 rpm. We recorded the best cruise at 3500 rpm where she ran 27.1 mph and burned 33 l/ph. In acceleration tests, our test boat planed in 5.6 seconds, hit 20 mph in 7.2 and ran through 30 in 10.4 seconds. It should be noted that we tested in winds that were building from 10 mph and causing some chop. Further, we tested with full fuel. Consumer caveat: Chaparral told us that when they tested the boat, they were able to get her to plane time in four seconds and she had a top speed of 51 mph with two adults and 50% fuel aboard. That means she was roughly 154 kg lighter in the Chaparral test.
All boats are weight sensitive. With Chaparral’s Extended V-plane bottom, the running surface is actually taken past the transom and beneath the swim platforms. This creates an effect that’s similar to having trim tabs — only better because the V-plane bottom adds buoyancy and tabs provide drag. This added stern buoyancy helps keep the bow down when making a hole shot. It enables the boat to accelerate more quickly and not drop the stern in turns.
The 250 OSX is a boat that epitomises the outboard-powered bowrider class. Chaparral takes full advantage of the open space that would have been occupied by a sterndrive engine by placing the aft seats lower in the boat and by creating spacious storage and access to mechanical equipment. The boat has a quality feel throughout and is thoughtfully laid out with an emphasis on openness and being uncluttered. We would imagine that most people will upgrade to some version of a tower for watersports.
- Model Chaparral 250 OSX
- Priced From NZ $284,999, Aust $239,999
- Type Bow Rider
- Length Overall 7.4m
- Beam 2.59m
- Height On Trailer 2.6M tower down & 3.5M tower up
Trailerable Weight 3500 kg – Wet
- Deadrise/Transom 20 Degree
- Weight Capacity 800.59 kg
- Person Capacity 13 Persons
- Fuel Capacity 227.12 L
- Power Option Outboard 250 – 300HP
- Manufacturer Chaparral Boats