Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-)
(w/ Currently no test numbers)

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420 Premiere (2011-)
Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Test Video

Video was provided by Chaparral.

Chaparral's 42' 0" (12.8 m) LOA 420 Premiere is a hardtop express cruiser with many features we like, most of them comfort-related: There's a fully equipped galley roomy enough for actual cooking; a wet bar and grill in the cockpit; lots of sunbathing space, forward and aft; an optional hydraulic swim platform that can be lowered to launch a tender or PWC; a split master head with separate shower compartment; and a midcabin with a bulkhead for privacy that doubles as a seagoing den, so folks can enjoy it even when they're not sleeping.

Introduced in 2009 as the 400 Premiere, the 420 Premiere is the same yacht, but renamed to reflect evolving industry standards of measurement. (Most of Chaparral's 2012 boats have received similar treatment.)


Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Specifications
Length Overall 42' 0''
12.8 m
Dry Weight 23,700 lbs.
10,750 kg
Beam 13' 4''
4.06 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 45''
114 cm
Weight Capacity N/A
Draft Up N/A Person Capacity N/A
Draft Down N/A Fuel Capacity 300 gal.
1,136 L
Air Draft N/A Water Capacity 77 gal.
291 L
Deadrise/Transom 18 deg. Length on Trailer N/A
Max Headroom 6' 6''
1.98 L
Height on Trailer N/A
Bridge Clearance 12' 5''
3.78 m
Trailer Weight N/A
Total Package Weight (Trailer,Boat & Engine) N/A
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Engine options
Std. Power 2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500
Tested Power Currently no test numbers
Opt. Power 2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600

Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Captain's Report

Chaparral 420 Premiere

The Premiere 420's quasi-pickle-fork bow carries her beam farther forward, adding volume to the master stateroom and extra deck space for anchor and line handling. Note the sculpted stainless steel bow rail. An electric windlass is standard.

Chaparral 420 Premiere -- The Mission

The 420 Premiere is Chaparral's first venture into what we might term the rarified atmosphere of an express cruiser "yacht." Granted, the word "yacht" is a matter of semantics, but the 420 has some attributes not seen in Chaparral's Signature line of larger express cruisers. For example, the 420 Premiere comes standard with a Volvo Penta IPS 370-hp propulsion system with joystick. For another, a 10 kW generator is standard, as is air conditioning and lots of features and amenities that are often on the option list for boats in this size range.

Distinguishing Features

*Kevlar reinforced hull laminate. Chaparral is one of only a handful of companies that reinforce their keels with Kevlar. In this size range and boat type Chaparral seems to be the only builder doing it. The Kevlar protects the hull from puncture if an underwater obstruction or floating log is hit.

*Air conditioning. The 420 Premiere comes standard with 22,000 BTUs of zone controlled A/C.

*Hand rails all over. Chaparral has done an exceedingly good job of placing stainless steel hand rails at strategic places around the boat so that passengers will have a place to steady themselves when the boat is underway. This is a basic item, but one many builders omit because they are not needed when consumers visit a boat at a boat show.

*Niles IR repeater system. This is a state-of-the-art infra-red system to control the entertainment system with a wand from different areas of the vessel.

*Water manifold system with shut-off valves. There are few things more difficult to track down on a yacht than a leak in the fresh water system. With a manifold it is simply a matter of testing one line after another until the offending connection is found.

*Standard Glendinning Cablemaster system. The 420 uses 50 AMP shower power which will do a great job of keeping the A/C running with all the galley equipment on and mom running her hair dryer. Trouble is that 50 AMP cable is heavy and difficult to store and wrestle around. Both problems are solved by the Cablemaster. Don't leave home without it.

*Standard 10 kW Kohler diesel generator. For boaters planning to do some real cruising a generator on this size and type vessel is a must.

*Pickle-fork bow. We usually don't see the pickle-fork bow design on boats of this size, but Chaparral has two good reasons for employing it: 1) it opens up the volume in the forward cabin and permits the head of the queen bed to be as wide as the rest of it as well as providing access from either side -- something that is important when making up the bed or in the middle of the night when nature calls; 2) it provides more deck space at the pointy end to make footing better when handling the anchor or tossing lines.

*Walnut cabinetry and trim. To our mind there is nothing that looks better on a boat than dark, walnut cabinetry, bulkheads, door frames and the like. Step aboard a $10 million motoryacht and that's what will be found. Not only does it look just a good on a smaller vessel, but to our eye it changes what could otherwise look like a plastic fantastic into a proper, cozy yacht.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

Five people barely put a dent in the 420 Premiere's cockpit seating. It can handle from 10 to 12 people for a party. The hardtop comes standard with skylights, sun shades and a hatch. An electric sliding sunroof is optional ($11,358).

A Cockpit for Entertaining

The cockpit of the 420 is set up for entertaining, with a large L-lounge/dinette that should seat six or more and a wet bar (standard) that can be fitted with an optional electric grill ($1,417). The hardtop provides a cozy three-sided shelter, although it doesn't extend over the dinette. However the boat does come standard with a color-coordinated Seamark canvas aft curtain and four side curtains.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

The electric grill is an option we'd check. The below-the-counter refer is standard. Note the hand rail.

In inclement weather folks will probably want to dine below. The standard reverse-cycle A/C system will also create heat so everyone can stay cozy no matter what the temperature is outside. The combination of a hardtop and climate control turns the Premiere (or any boat so equipped) into a three-season cruiser, doubling the length of the boating season.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

The aft-facing bench seat makes an ideal love seat for sundown cocktails or a perch to watch the kids as they paddle around in the water. Note the hand holds port and starboard of the seat and on the transom door as well.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

Opening the electrically-actuated aft sunpad creates ample tanning space for one, and maybe two if they're as thin as this model. The hatch to port covers a large stowage area that contains the transom shower, shore power cable, and water hookups. Note the stainless steel hand holds.

The Helm

The helm console can hold a large multifunction display with enough space left over for secondary electronics, switches and so forth. Yes, a magnetic compass is standard – we shouldn't have to mention that, but today some builders omit it. All switches and controls are conveniently at-hand. Port and starboard wipers and washers are standard, too.

Most important, the windshield extends all the way to the hardtop so there is no need for an isinglass strip to connect the top of the windshield frame with the hardtop. This is an important detail as far as we are concerned and while most builders have caught on to this import design element, some have not. Also, the 420 has air vents in the side windows, port and starboard.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

We like the sturdy grab rail on the console and the leather-wrapped steering wheel (both standard equipment). Chaparral offers electronics packages built around Garmin multifunction GPS/navigators, with either 12" or 15" screens. We'd like to see the fiberglass structure holding the nav screen and engine read-outs lowered into the helm console about 6" (15 cm) to improve forward visibility.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

These are two of the most elegant-looking and comfortable helm seats we have seen on this size boat. They are both adjustable and have bolsters.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

There's a lounge seat opposite the helm, although we wonder how much its occupant will tan through the tinted windows? Note the handrail and drink holders to port, and the fold-down arm rest on the right.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

The remote controlled hydraulic swim platform is a $37,500 option. Note that the platform area integral to the hull is of minimum size. In our opinion the boat needs this option for stowing a tender or PWC to say nothing of providing a fun "beach" for the kids who will love lowering it into the water.

Accommodations For Many or Just Two

Chaparral used the classic two-stateroom layout for the 420 Premiere's cabin. The owner's stateroom is forward, a smaller guest cabin amidships (both with heads), and the galley and dinette are in-between. The diesels are way aft, as required by IPS.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

At first glance, the 420 Premiere's layout is typical, but there are distinctive touches: The U-shaped settee is unusually deep, the queen bed is wide at the head, and the mid cabin has a privacy bulkhead.

Chaparral added several nice touches to the accommodations. First, the forward stateroom's queen berth, which looks overly large for the cabin on the plan, has a fold-down foot: When nobody's using the berth, folding it down adds extra clearance around the berth. When it's time for bed, raise the folding section back to horizontal. However, folks who need to get up in the night should take care; it's a tight fit between the foot of the unfolded berth and adjacent joinery.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

When folded down, the queen berth in the forward cabin takes up much less space, and leaves room to move around it. We like the ample stowage, in both lockers and on shelves, that use the pickle-fork bow flare.

The master head is split into two compartments, one with toilet and sink, the other with a shower. How much do we like this? Ask us when our wives are dominating either the sink or the shower – at least they can't be in both places at once! Since the forward cabin is rather tight on space, this set-up will pay big dividends when both owner and partner are getting dolled-up for a fancy dinner ashore.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

The Ultraleather dinette will seat six, and convert to a berth if needed; the galley is large enough to actually produce a meal, not just heat something up. The 32" TV/DVD is standard. A full hardwood cabin sole is optional ($942), replacing the half carpet shown here.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

We love this galley. The stainless steel countertop is optional ($4,825), but it's both long-lasting and easy to keep clean. A solid-surface counter is standard. Look at the size of the sink! It’s the largest we've seen in class.

In the galley, there's enough counter space for food prep – particularly when the sink's covered with its wooden cutting board. We like the stand-up refrigerator/freezer which measures 4.6 cu.ft and 2.3 cu.ft., respectively. and a There's an electric two-burner stove and, most important, a coffee maker with a stainless carafe. Chaparral includes dinner service for six and provides dedicated dinnerware stowage for six. This is an important detail and one overlooked by some builders.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

Flatware, plates, glasses and cups live in custom-fitted stowage. Chaparral includes service for six as standard. There are lots of extra drawers, too. We'd like removable fiddles around the countertop to keep stuff from sliding off. Note the hand-hold rail at left.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

This is the focal point of the 420 below decks. This U-shaped settee upholstered in Ultraleather is one of the deepest we have seen in class. Note the rich-looking walnut wood cabinetry.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

When there is a boat load of people for over night, the settee makes into a huge platform. Just pull out sleeping bags for no-hassle bedding.

The Mid Cabin

No matter how much you like your mate, or your guests, sometimes it's nice to get away from him/her/them for a while. Aboard the 420 Premiere, the mid cabin provides just the right escape. It's set up as a den, with an L-shaped lounge that converts to a queen berth by means of a filler cushion. A sliding Shoji screen door keeps people away while you recuperate, and a 19" TV is optional ($1,492).

Guests will like the cabin because it has its own private wet head and sink. It is an ideal place for one person to sleep, but two will have to install the filler cushion and crawl in. Remember that this is a 42' (12.8 m) boat and virtually all mid cabins in this size range and type have restricted headroom over the bed and tight quarters.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

Rather than install a crawl-in double berth in the mid cabin, Chaparral created a den, with an Ultraleather-upholstered lounge that converts to a berth when needed. Why waste cabin space on a fixed berth that's rarely needed? Chaparral turned it into usable space that we predict Premiere owners will use all the time.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

A filler cushion converts the den into a berth for two.

The Engine Room and Power

There are a number of things that we think are noteworthy about the engine room in the 420 Premiere. First, the surfaces of the compartment are all gel-coated and not raw fiberglass. This makes an important difference when it comes to clean-up. Second, an automatic fire suppression system is standard. Going along with that is an automatic shutdown system for the engines, generator and blowers, with a manual over-ride.

Not only are there bilge pumps but there is also a high-water alarm, something that every large boat should have. Finally there is a 2" (5 cm) vinyl foam sound barrier. There are twin 150-gal. (570 L) aluminum fuel tanks and Racor filters for both the engines and generator.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

A place for everything and everything in its place. Note the cleverly concealed placement of the electrical outlet -- there are never enough on a boat.

Propulsion. We haven't tested the 420 Premiere, nor her earlier incarnation, the 400, so cannot comment on speed or performance. However, Chaparral installs Volvo Penta IPS500 diesels (370-hp each) as standard, with 435-hp IPS600s optional (about $44,000 extra). Both engines use a 5.5 L in-line 6 cylinder block that was made specifically for marine applications. It is not a warmed over truck engine.

The IPS propulsion system uses the most widely-used pod drive system on the planet which has forward-facing Duoprops. Not only are these units remarkably fuel efficient, but they also provide positive joystick control when docking.

We suspect that the Premiere's performance will be more than satisfactory with the standard engines. Chaparral isn't known for building sluggish boats, and we don't think the Premiere will be their first.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

If all the sunpads aft aren't enough, this one on the foredeck ought to do the trick. It's an $825 option – the view may be worth it.

Details We Like

As noted in the mission statement Chaparral has loaded up this boat and done many things that are a bit unusual in this class of vessel. Here are a few standard-equipment things that caught our eye--

*Custom anchor, 30' of chain, 200' of line, and ss anchor guard on the stem.

*Transom stereo remote.

*55-oz carpeting and real hardwood in the salon/galley.

*Walnut wood blinds over all portlights.

*VacuFlush ceramic toilets with 42 gal. (160 L) holding tank, macerator, and overboard pump out.

*Cockpit table with dedicated storage.

*Freshwater bibs at transom and in the anchor locker.

*Lofrans 1000 low-profile windlass.

Chaparral 420 Premiere

While flat screen TVs are standard equipment below, Chaparral has made the pop-up screen behind the grill and option. It is probably best used at night.


Figure on spending a little under $700,000 for a standard Chaparral 420 Premiere. Add $50,000 with the hydraulic swim platform and a few other options such as the electric grill, a flag pole, oil change system, a VHF radio, possibly a chartplotter, the USCG safety package and that's about all that's needed.


When we compare the Chaparral 420 Premiere to other express cruisers in class we find she falls roughly in the middle of the fleet on basic specs. She is not the heaviest or the lightest, nor the widest or narrowest. We suspect that Chaparral was careful not to bring out its first large express cruiser at either extreme so that it could more ably compete with other boats in this class in the important areas of performance, room, amenities, and price.

As noted we have not yet tested the 420 so there are some important areas about the boat's performance, handling and ergonomics that we don't feel qualified to comment upon. Nevertheless, a few important things are obvious:

1) Her IPS propulsion system is state-of-the-art.

2) She is loaded with amenities.

3) She has attractive styling both inside and out.

4) A lot of accommodations have been squeezed into just 42.'

Chaparral 420 Premiere

Visibility from the helm is excellent and the mullions are kept to a minimum width. There is full standing headroom for the skipper at the helm.

Every boat is a compromise and the 420 is no exception. In order to get the room below in the salon/galley Chaparral has taken some space from the sleeping compartments. If you've ever been in a salon that is slightly too small, then you know that the designers have made the right call on this one. They have put the room where people spend most of their waking hours below.

Also, to get the room in the cockpit for entertaining as many people as possible, the molded-in swim platform is on the short side, but still serviceable. As suggested above, we would go with the standard 370-hp IPS package and spend our option money on the hydraulic swim platform. It adds a lot of utility to the boat and in many respects effectively makes her a 45-footer. Looked at that way, it’s a low-cost investment.

Standard and Optional Equipment

Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Electronics
Autopilot Optional
GPS/Chart Optional
Radar Optional
VHF Radio Standard
Air Cond./Heat Standard
CD Stereo Standard
Head: Fixed Standard
Power Steering Standard
Shore Power Standard
Trim Tabs Standard
TV/DVD Standard
Washdown: Raw Water Optional
Water Heater Standard
Windlass Standard
Coffeemaker Standard
Icemaker Standard
Microwave Standard
Refrigerator Standard
Stove Standard
Exterior Features
Carpet: Cockpit Standard
Hardtop Standard
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Transom Shower Standard
Wet bar Standard
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Generator Optional
Oil Change System Optional
Vacuum Optional

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Warranty

Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.

Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Price

Chaparral 420 Premiere (2011-) Price
Pricing Range $700,000.00
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Test numbers for this model are archived.