Captain’s Report by Dan Armitage
Chaparral spokesman Bill Pegg said the challenge of the H2O Series was merging the style and quality characteristics for which the company is known in an affordable boat model. And that statement pretty much sums up the mission of the Chaparral 19 H2O and it is a tall mission, indeed.
There are a dozen low-price point brands on the market in this entry-level category, so finding distinguishing features on the new Chaparral H2O 19 will be difficult. Most brands do a good job at one aspect or another of the build, or even many aspects, however few do a good job of all things. And that is, perhaps, the most distinguishing feature the H2O -- the builder has done a pretty good job in all critical areas. But here are a couple of other things to note--
Extended V-Plane hull.
This is a Chaparral exclusive and you will not find it on other price-point boats. You will find it on Chaparral's traditional line.
Uniformly good quality component list.
This is a long way of saying that Chaparral didn't "cheap out" when making up the boat's bill of materials and components. If it is a needed item, it is there, and it is of good marine quality. For example, 316 stainless steel hardware is used, the same grade that you find on expensive boats. The seats are wood-free. The upholstery is well-made and is cut, stitched and fabricated in the same shop that makes upholstery for the up-market Chaparral lines.
It is no secret that the automobile industry and some boat companies add margin to their boats by having options that people need to buy that are priced aggressively. In looking over the 19 H2O option list we find the prices quite reasonable and as low if not lower than other builders in class.
The 19 Sport’s Extended V-Plane design allows the boat’s waterline to extend aft of where the outdrive fits the transom to give the hull a longer running surface. The added length creates a more comfortable ride in rough water and the added buoyancy allows the boat to both get on plane faster and remain there at lower speeds.
Chaparral capitalizes on the bow-seating option on the H2O, offering wide, adequately padded seats set deep enough to allow protection from the gunwales that surround the space to height of 32 inches.
The Chaparral’s one-piece fiberglass molded dash panel has multi-gauges in full view of the operator. Gauges are trimmed with stainless steel bezels surrounding glass lenses and all the electrical components are protected by circuit breakers. The magnetic compass pictured is part of an optional Convenience Package ($325) that includes a tilt steering wheel, two spring-line cleats and a digital depth gauge. This is a good price for these options and we recommend the package.Because the helm console is a separate molding it can be a different color. In this case it is a neutral gray which reduces glare in the windscreen.Other popular options available on the 19 Sport include a folding arch tower ($2,150) with wakeboard racks ($715), snap-in cockpit carpeting ($315), canvas packages and four color and graphic schemes.
Engine and Prices
Engine options for the 19 Sport ranging from the Mercury 4.3L TKS Alpha 190-hp engine, to a Mercury 4.3L MPI (Catalyst) Alpha 220-hp engine. Prices, including trailer, start at $26,185 for the 4.3L 190-hp package and range up to $30,185 for the catalyzed 4.3L 220-hp engine.
We like it when a company that has built its reputation on making quality vessels at the higher end of the price scale decides to build a price-point boat because it can be a good opportunity for the consumer. Companies, factories, and shop floor employees have a culture, be it good or bad, that is usually hard to break. Happily Chaparral has a culture of building quality boats and doing things right. For that reason alone, we suspect that the builder is producing in the H2O line a product that will have a fit-and-finish and a quality of systems installation that will be in line with its elevated shop floor culture. That is much better than what we have seen in some price-point factories where low price becomes an excuse to overlook careless or shoddy workmanship. We have all seen examples of this in the past. We have not yet tested any boats in the new Chaparral H2O line including the 19, so we can not give you our impression of the fit-and-finish and attention to detail. However, we are testing one soon and will let you know what we discover.In the meantime, if you are in the market for an entry-level bowrider our advice is to check out this new entry into market.
Standard and Optional Features
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