Chaparral Vs Sea Ray: Which Boat is Better?

Chaparral Boats and Sea Ray are both popular American manufacturers of quality fiberglass boats. But what is a better boat, Chaparral or Sea Ray?

Chaparral vs. Sea Ray: Both Chaparral and Sea Ray are great boats, however, Chaparral wins in our comparison. Both boat brands can satisfy any of the customer’s needs and lifestyles from sports boats to luxury yachts. But Chaparral has a better quality of design, better performance, and is even a bit more affordable than Sea Ray.

Read on to learn more about Chaparral vs Sea Ray, including the differences of each.

Chaparral Vs Sea Ray – Which Boat is Better?

In this comparison of Chaparral vs Sea Ray, it must first be stated that both are well-established brands. Chaparral and Sea Ray are two of the leading American manufacturers of quality fiberglass luxury yachts and sport boats.

Through the years, both companies have produced boats with exemplary performance and technology. Their expertise in producing quality boats are well-known not just in America, but in many countries worldwide.

Chaparral

Chaparral Boats was founded in 1965 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to create the best boating experience possible for sport boat and sport yacht owners. Chaparral Boats currently manufactures pleasure and fishing boats ranging from 18’ sport boats to 40’ sport yachts.

When you go to the Chaparral website, you can customize the boat or yacht according to your preferences and lifestyle. Chaparral produces a variety of models catering to different customer preferences. The top Chaparral models are SSi, SSi-OB, SSX, OSX, Suncoast, and Surf Series.

Sea Ray

Sea Ray Boats began in 1959 in Detroit, Michigan in the United States. With more than 50 years of experience, they have mastered the craft of creating boats with excellent performance, comfort, technique, and technology.

Their expertise in their field has gained several boating fans throughout the years. They were the first company to manufacture boats using fiberglass and pioneered the molded-in swim platform.

Sea Ray Boats are best for family use on inland lakes but can also be great as surf and sports boats. Sea Ray is well-known in the industry for its quality craftsmanship, customer satisfaction, and innovations that come from customer’s preferences.

Sea Ray has a variety of models that you can choose from. They have the SPX Series, Sport Series, Sun Sport Series, SLX Series, SDX Series, Sport Cruisers, Sport Yachts and lastly, the L-Class Series.

Cost

The cost of both Chaparral and Sea Ray depends on the specific model and the year it was built. The newer model boats can be fairly pricey because they have more advanced programmed technology and up-to-date interior styles. However, for what you get, there is great value to be had for both boats. Next, let’s look at the cost of each boat individually.

Chaparral Cost

The Chaparral Suncoast Outboards are the only outboard-powered bowriders. They are available in 21, 23 and 25-foot models. The 250 Suncoast has one of the largest bow areas in its category. Chaparral Suncoast ranges from $50,000 to $150,000.

The SSX series is one of the best sport boats manufactured by Chaparral Boats. It has a combination of classic elegance and high technological innovation. SSX has a massive seating capacity and is perfect for water sport activities. The 337 SSX, manufactured by Chaparral, has a range from $150,000 to $300,000. 

Sea Ray Cost

Sea Ray Sundancer is a luxury sports boat that has spacious sun pads if you want to soak in the rays with family and friends and it also has comfortable and cozy cabins if you want to take a break from the sunny weather. The largest boat Sea Ray has ever made was the Sundancer 630. Sea Ray Sundancer boats ranges from $500,000 to $1,000,000.

The L-Class Series are the most luxurious boats Sea Ray has ever produced and manufactured. According to Sea Ray, they are called “inspired luxury”. The L-Class models are L550, L550 Fly, L590, L590 Fly, L650, L650 Fly. L-Class series ranges from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000. The price range depends on the dealer and the year it was manufactured.

The cheapest series manufactured by Sea Ray is the SPX Series. It is the most affordable manufactured fiberglass boat produced by Sea Ray. It is available at 19-, 21- or 23-feet long with either an outboard or sterndrive power. It is easy to customize to your preferences that can be perfect for water sports or leisure and relaxation. SPX Series ranges from $30,000 to $100,000. The price range depends on the dealer and the year it was manufactured.

Design

Chaparral Design

sea ray vs chaparral

The 347 SSX is designed for two types of boaters: The first one is designed for cruisers who want to enjoy the open waters in the daytime but still want to experience an overnight on the sea from time to time. On the other hand, it is also designed for small bowriders who want to own a bigger boat that has bowrider and overnighting qualities.

The 347 SSX has an L-shaped lounge that wraps around to port. The cabin lounge has good seated headroom and two windows to allow natural light. The two windows can be opened to allow fresh air inside. You can also install a flatscreen TV in the cabin lounge. The hardtop is made of fiberglass and is equipped with LED overhead lighting and a sunroof. There is also a dimming shade that can be pulled out over the sunroof.

The Sea Ray 250 Suncoast is built for relaxation and leisure. It has a spacious storage compartment below the cushions on the port and starboard side. It has 4 adult seating capacity and a standard table used in the bow or cockpit. It is equipped with a premium sound system and built-in 140 qt. insulated cooler underneath.

The helm on the 250 SunCoast OB has digital gauges to either side of the helm panel. The steering wheel is stainless with a leather grip surrounding it. There is a swim platform that extends up to the back of the engine which allows you to easily enter and exit the boat.

Sea Ray Design

The SPX is built for easily monitoring performance. Its features include a dash instrument panel where everything can be seen — fuel level, speed, tach, trim and water temperature. Its dash panel comes with backlit glass gauges. It also comes with a feature of low-glare blue night lighting that shows up after dark. It is great for visibility and lasting durability.

The Sea Ray SPX is also built with large, full-beam swim platforms. The sound system was upgraded to a standard Bluetooth & Wifi Streaming-enabled Fusion® stereo and weatherproof Fusion 6.5” speakers, with upgrade options including Fusion Signature Series Amplifier & Subwoofer. The SPX can be equipped with Sunbrella. It has legendary fade- and water-resistant fabrics that keep you protected from the sun rays.

The Sports Series, or popularly known as Sundancers, are built for action and are the signature of a Sea Ray brand. The Sea Ray cruiser is properly crafted with refined textures, finishes, and details where you can call it your second home. It has solid-surface countertops, stainless-steel trim, full finished head compartments, and multi-tone upholstery.

The sports cruiser’s design combines comfort and performance all in one boat. It has camera control exposure which can be automatic or single-button depending on the use. It is also designed to maintain stability on any sea or load conditions with the featured DQuiet Ride™, Dynamic Running Surface™, Digital Dash™, and SkyFlow Design™. It is perfect for skiers and wakeboarders because you can modify the perfect wake height with just the push of a button.

It has built-in large, triangular planes with improved acceleration and reduced bow rise that keeps the boat at optimal trim. You can stay connected and enjoy fast and reliable internet and premium television and movie content while sailing on the sea because of its KVH’s TracVision® and TracPhone® satellite antenna feature.

The difference between the Sports Cruiser and with other boats is its spacious “living room” where you are free to move, stand and roam around. It includes sleeping cabins, onboard grill and refrigerator, and stainless steel-accented faucet and sink. It features a spacious cabin down below where you can enjoy and relax in your most comfortable position.

The L-Class is the most luxurious manufactured boat by Sea Ray. It raises the bar of luxury and gives you the most comfortable ride on the waters. Its difference from other models is that it features a rooftop bar where you can relax and enjoy life.

The boat is designed to mix exquisite comfort with modern elegance. This luxury yacht is equipped with a technologically advanced entertainment setting with a flat-screen TV and audio system, plush furniture, oversized windows which allows a lot of natural lighting inside the yacht.

It also includes other amenities such as refrigerator, electric grill, and retractable sunshade. Below the deck includes a luxurious master suite with two additional staterooms and a guest head. It has built-in twin 850-horsepower Caterpillar® inboards with joystick control, Raymarine® electronics, and Seakeeper® gyroscopic stabilizer.

Performance

Chaparral Performance

The 347 SSX has an overall length of 33-feet and 6-inches, that includes a swim platform. The beam length is 10-feet and the length of the bridge clearance with a hardtop is 9-feet and 10-inches. The 347 SSX can carry up to 150 gallons (568 L) of fuel while its max HP is 860 hp (641 kW).

Engine options for this model are 4 twin Mercury engine options from 300-hp to 380-hp or 8 twin Volvo Penta engine options from 300-hp to 430-hp. You can choose according to your preferences, among these engine options. The 347 SSX is built with four batteries with automatic switches and a 50-Amp charger.

The top speed of the Chaparral 347 SSX was tested with only two people, a quarter tank of fuel and two-fifths of water load and 23 kg. of gear on board. It reached a top speed of 48.5 mph at 5100 rpm and burned 53.1 gph.

The Chaparral Suncoast 250 OB has an overall length of 24’10” and a beam length of 8’6”. It can carry up to 75 gallons (283 L) of fuel and 10 gallons (38 L) of water. The 250 OB has a capacity of 14 people simultaneously. For optimal power, the engine options for this boat are 1×250-hp Yamaha 4-stroke F250XA mechanical, 1×250-hp Yamaha F250XCA digital and 1×300-hp Yamaha F300XCA digital. The Suncoast 250 OB was tested and reached a top speed of 51.5 mph with a 26.3 gph fuel burn.

Sea Ray Performance

chaparral sea ray

SPX features an Elevation Package, including a watersports tower with integral Bimini top and wakeboard racks. It is equipped with the Mercury® & MerCruiser engine that can run powerfully either with an outboard or sterndrive power. Despite SPX being the cheapest among the models, it is engineered to give you a smooth ride with the right balance and weight, and optimize tracking, handling and shock absorption.

One of the models of the SPX is the SPX 230 OB. The SPX 230 OB has an overall length of 23’6” with an integral swim platform and an overall length of 26’1” with an outboard engine. The beam length of the SPX 230 OB is 8’6”. It carries 50 gal (189L) of fuel and can carry up to 13 people. Its standard propulsion is 150 hp (130 kW) powered by Mercury ® FourStroke Outboard.

Sea Ray Sundancer features Mercury’s SmartCraft Throttle & Shift (DTS) system which you can easily control and have a command on your engines. This yacht also includes the Digital Dash, the newest fully integrated helm display which can be controlled with smartphones and tablets, together with Raymarine® displays, Fusion® stereo units and NMEA 2000 Communication Network.

The Sundancer also includes the Axius ® joystick propulsion system which allows total maneuvering control. The high-end model of the Sports Cruiser Series is the Sundancer 350 Coupe. Its overall length with a standard swim platform is 35-feet while its overall length with an optional extended swim platform is 37’6”. The beam length of the Sundancer 350 Coupe is 11’4”. It carries 214 gal (810 L) of fuel and its sleeping capacity is up to 6 people. Its engine is powered by Twin MerCruiser® 6.2L MPI ECT Bravo® III with DTS Sterndrives with a 350 hp (261 kW).

The L-Class 550 Fly is powered by Twin Caterpillar® 850 C12.9L In-line 6, 4-Stroke, Tier 3 Diesel engines with an 850 hp (634 kW). The overall length with standard extended swim platform of the L-Class 550 Fly is 56-feet and 3-inches while the beam length is 15-feet and 7-inches.

It can carry 580 gal (2195 L) of fuel and 150 gal (568 L) of water. It has 3 staterooms. The high-end model of the L-Class Series is the L-Class 650 Fly with an overall length of 65’1”. It can carry 1,030 gallons (3,899 L) of fuel and 280 gallons (1,060 L) of water. It has a total of 4 staterooms. It is powered by Twin Caterpillar® C18A In-line 6, 4-Stroke Diesel engines with 1,150 hp (847 kW).

Which is a Better Boat: Chaparral vs Sea Ray?

Which is the better boat: Chaparral vs Sea Ray? In terms of the design, Chaparral boats have better upholstery than Sea Ray boats. The fabrics and color choices used in the furniture show modern elegance and class. Chaparral’s interior design is better than Sea Ray because most Chaparral Boats almost have the same size as Sea Ray boats but they were able to maximize the space on deck and in the cabin by creating multiple storage spaces.

Chaparral boats are much cheaper compared to Sea Ray boats. Most Chaparral boats are affordable, at the same time, provide a quality experience to its customers. Chaparral boats reign over Sea Ray boats in overall quality performance.

Both of the boat brands provided advanced technological adaptations for different sea conditions, however, Chaparral’s overall performance is much better compared to Sea Ray boats. In general, for our review of Chaparral vs Sea Ray, Chaparral is a better boat than Sea Ray in terms of its design, cost, and performance.