John Zammit | VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6

Chaparral’s new 225 Sports Cabin is a true chameleon of the sports boat world.

While the economic downturn drags on, US builder Chaparral Boats is powering ahead – and with boats like its new 225 Sports Cabin, it’s easy to see why. At 6.86m (22ft 6in) overall, this is a sporty, versatile all-rounder with a comfortable cockpit, a cuddy cabin and even a toilet. It’s a boat to keep the entire family smiling.


Chaparral’s signature aft transom seating is a great spot to sit and relax and cool drinks are close by, with a removable icebox under the transom walk-through.

The cockpit boasts comfortable L-shaped seating along the port side and the transom. The skipper’s and companion’s seats swivel 360 degrees, enhancing the boat’s social aspect, while a cockpit table slots into place when needed.

The transom seating converts to a sun lounge and a wet bar to starboard incorporates a sink and storage. There’s more storage under the port-side seats and under a hatch in the cockpit sole, but wakeboards or skis will need to go in the cabin. A tow point is standard on the transom and a wake tower is optional.

Entry to the cabin is made via a large opening with a bi-fold door. The cabin is spacious thanks in part to Chaparral’s ‘Wide Tech’ hull design, which brings the beam further forward above the waterline while maintaining the deep-vee hull. This results in more space forward without compromising performance.

Inside there’s plenty of light and ventilation with seating either side and forward. The seats convert to a double bed and the standard Porta Potti slides out of the aft bulkhead.


There’s ample power courtesy of a single 300hp, 5.7lt, MAG 350 MerCruiser with Alpha leg, with easy access to the engine compartment.

At the helm, the stylish sports wheel was tilt adjustable and the controls fell comfortably to hand. All-round vision was excellent and the nonglare dash had a logical, attractive layout.

The 225 Sports Cabin claws itself out of the hole smartly and we were up on the plane at 13 knots (24.1km/h). I was surprised at how well the 225 handled a short, sharp chop on Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay. At 30 knots (55.6km/h) she was running flat with about 60 per cent of trim down. The ride was soft, the overall noise level subdued.

Even when throwing the boat into full-lock turns at 35 knots (64.8km/h), it never put a foot wrong – it digs in and hangs on tight. At WOT the engine was spinning at 4400rpm, which produced 42 knots (78km/h) in some ordinary conditions.


This Chaparral is more than just a luxury sport boat. It’s perfect for towing the kids around but it will accommodate a fishing trip just as easily. Families with young children will appreciate the cuddy cabin and the toilet.

Its 2.59m beam will attract ‘Wide Load’ status in some states, so check this with your local authorities. On its standard aluminium tandem trailer the package weighs in at 2250kg, so there are plenty of tow-vehicle options.

The Chaparral 225 Sports Cabin is a stylish, luxurious and potent sports boat that can handle many roles, with appeal for a wide variety of boaties.


Overall length: 6.86m

Beam: 2.59m

Deadrise: 20 degrees


2250kg (boat and trailer)

Capacity: 10 people

Fuel capacity: 208lt

Power (as reviewed): MerCruiser 5.7lt MAG V8 (300hp)

Price from: $72,999

Price as tested: $80,000

More information: au, tel: (03) 9397 6977.

To read a detailed review of this boat, go to to view the bonus digital version of the magazine.