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Chaparral 310 Signature (2013-)
(w/ 2 x 225-hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI)

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Brief Summary

The design team at Chaparral set out to create an express cruiser with sportboat handling characteristics and an interior and cockpit that could compete with far larger boats when it comes to utility. By making the hardtop standard and adding important other equipment that is often optional in this size boat the builder is making the 310 Signature compelling. Our boat review of the 310 Signature with standard dual prop lower units and twin 225-hp 4.3 L engines recorded a top speed of 43.6 mph.

Key Features

  • Cockpit Drainage System (CDS) with Self Bailing Fiberglass Liner
  • Cockpit Table and Dedicated Storage
  • Wet Bar with Solid Surface Countertops, Sink, Faucet, Pressure Water, Storage and Trash Receptacle
  • Digital Instrumentation with Glass Lenses, Brushed Aluminum Faces, and Stainless Steel Bezels
  • 40 Amp Battery Converter/Charger
  • Water Heater with Heat Exchanger
  • Integral Swim Platform with Three-Step Stainless Steel Swim Ladder
  • Aft Cabin U-Shaped Seating - Converts to Double Berth with Backrest as Filler
  • Lockable Opaque Sliding Cabin Entry Door
  • Enclosed Fiberglass Head with Shower, Stainless Steel Handrails and Wood Flooring
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 31' 0''
    9.45 m
    Beam 10' 0''
    3.05 m
    Dry Weight 10,600 lbs.
    4,808 kg
    Tested Weight 11,320 lbs.
    5,135 kg
    Draft 39''
    99 cm
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 19-deg.
    Max Headroom 6' 3''
    1.91 m
    Bridge Clearance 10' 6''
    3.20 cm w/ hardtop
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 118 gal.
    447 L
    Water Capacity 40 gal.
    151 L
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

    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

    Std. Power Not Available
    Tested Power 2 x 225-hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI
    Opt. Power Five MerCruiser engines from 220-hp to 300-hp
    Five Volvo Penta engines from 225-hp to 300-hp

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    600 3.6 3.1 1.8 2.0 1.7 212 185 61
    1000 5.6 4.9 2.8 2.0 1.7 212 185 68
    1500 7.9 6.8 4.2 1.9 1.6 198 173 72
    2000 9.6 8.3 8.0 1.2 1.0 127 110 73
    2500 11.6 10.1 12.9 0.9 0.8 95 83 80
    3000 20.2 17.6 16.4 1.2 1.1 131 114 81
    3500 28.5 24.7 18.3 1.6 1.4 165 144 83
    4000 34.4 29.9 22.7 1.5 1.3 161 140 84
    4500 40.1 34.8 28.1 1.4 1.2 151 132 86
    4900 43.6 37.9 33.3 1.3 1.1 139 121 89
    600 185 341 5.80 6.81 0.85 61
    1000 185 341 9.00 10.60 0.85 68
    1500 173 319 12.70 15.90 0.80 72
    2000 110 204 15.40 30.28 0.51 73
    2500 83 153 18.70 48.83 0.38 80
    3000 114 211 32.50 62.08 0.52 81
    3500 144 266 45.90 69.27 0.66 83
    4000 140 259 55.40 85.93 0.64 84
    4500 132 243 64.50 106.37 0.61 86
    4900 121 224 70.20 126.05 0.56 89

    All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 6.5 sec.
    0 to 30 16.7 sec.
    Ratio 2.2 : 1
    Props 22.5''
    Load 2 persons, 3/7 fuel, 0 water, minimal gear
    Climate 70 deg., 76 humid.; wind: 0 mph; seas: calm

    Captain's Report

    Captain's Report by Captain Steve--

    Mission Statement

    The mission of the Chaparral 310 Signature is to offer boaters a performance luxury cruiser with innovative features and a robust list of equipment which is often considered optional. She comfortably sleeps two couples, and easily entertains even more. By making the hardtop standard, with the addition of some isinglass, the boat can easily become a three-season vessel and protect occupants from the rain. This important detail gives her a lot more utility than conventional open express cruisers.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    Notice how there is standing headroom behind the helm under the standard hardtop.

    Distinguishing Features

    23 Engine Choices.

    Chaparral makes engines available from both MerCruiser and Volvo Penta. Electronic controls, dual prop outdrives and joystick functionality are all also offered.•

    Standard Hardtop.

    While certainly not new in the industry, it definitely is not the norm as standard equipment. •

    Forward Hardtop Hatch.

    This hatch permits stand-up access to the windshield walkthrough -- no ducking or fear of banging a head against the hardtop.•

    Standard Wet Bar.

    In a boat clearly designed for entertaining this is a "must-have" feature and fortunately Chaparral decided to make it standard. Options include an electric grill and a cockpit refrigerator.

    Chaparral 310 Signature

    Expandable V-Berth.

    At the touch of a button the forward salon seatback elevates to form an extension of the berth in the bow. This allows for more space and more seating in the salon when the berth is not being used.•

    No Portside Bridge Deck Lounger.

    Most express cruisers this size have a portside "lounger" opposite the helm which forces passengers to sit sideways when the boat is moving forward at 40 mph. Builders do that so there is head room below by which to crawl into the mid-cabin. Chaparral has solved this design compromise, and has an extra wide companion seat next to the helm seat.•

    Extended V-Plane Hull.

    This design extends the running surface well past the outdrive collars, which our tests have shown provides quicker times to plane as well as lower planing speeds.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The wide-band gel coat hull colors are optional ($1,438).

    Kevlar Keel Laminate.

    There is a layer of Kevlar in the keel to protect the boat's bottom if an underwater obstruction is hit. Only a few builders use this material.


    The Chaparral 310 Signature has a LOA of 31’ (9.45 m), a beam of 10’ (3.05 m) and a draft of 39” (99 cm). With an empty weight of 10,600 lbs (4,808 kg), 50 gallons (189.3 L) of fuel and two people on board we had a test weight of 11,320 lbs.(5,135 kg).With a pair of 225-hp Mercury 4.3 L MPI engines turning Bravo III outdrives we reached a top speed at 4900 rpm of 43.6 mph. At that speed fuel burn was 33.3 gph giving us a range of 139 miles. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 28.5 mph. That reduced the fuel burn to 18.3 gph which the 310 Signature could keep up for five hours and 48 minutes and 165 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.We had a time plane of 6.5 seconds, reached 20 mph in 10.6 seconds, and continued accelerating through 30 mph in 16.7 seconds.


    The 310 Signature exhibits a nearly 10-degree bow rise upon acceleration which keeps the bow to below the level of the horizon while she gets on plane just seconds later. She leans nearly 9-degrees into the turns which eliminates any tendency for the occupants to get forced to the outside of the turn. I noticed that she remained solid throughout the turn exhibiting no chine walk or oscillation.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    A gentle nine-degree turning angle keeps everyone comfortable while maneuvering the 310 Signature.

    Once on plane, advancing the trim to about the one quarter mark on the gauge brings the spray from the helm to the stern quarter with the accompanying boost in speed easily being felt. Additional trim that will result in operator induced oscillation. When taking power off, the 310 Signature settles back into the water stern first, but this time the bow remains farther below the level of the horizon.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The 310 Signature cuts through waves cleanly and throws water well out to the sides producing a dry ride.

    Features Walkthrough


    The 310 features a welcoming boarding area from a full beam swim platform that extends 2'5" (.74 m) from the transom. An optional double wide aft facing seat ($2,838) replaces the standard transom wall and creates a comfortable spot to relax at any time the 310 is not underway. A switch at the helm lowers the optional set-up into a sun pad. A stereo remote is recessed into the side of the seat. To starboard is trunk storage and this is also the location of the city water inlet and shore power connections.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The aft seat lays flat at the push of an optional button from the helm and even converts to a chaise lounge.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The aft facing seat makes a great spot to relax at any time the 310 is not underway. Notice the stereo remote.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    In the aft facing seat at the swim platform, lifts to reveal cavernous wet storage underneath that will eventually dry thanks to the heat of the engines.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    Plenty of storage for fenders or water toys. 50' of shorepower cable comes standard.


    The cockpit deck is elevated 6" (15.2 cm) from the swim platform, and the walkthrough measures 16" (41 cm) across. Opposing bench seats provide a welcome conversational atmosphere and lie in front of, and behind, the molded steps leading to a non-skid caprail to facilitate boarding from a fixed pier.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The cockpit allows plenty of room for entertaining while the overhead speakers provide the atmosphere.

    A side-mount base for the standard cockpit table, as well as two drink holders, are mounted to the starboard bulkhead. All upholstery is two-tone and includes a hand stitched diamond pattern sewn into the premium vinyl with nano-block technology. Snap in carpeting is standard.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    Between the cockpit seats is a step leading to the caprail. Notice the side-mount pedestal base underneath. We would add another drink holder, it's even okay if it gets stepped on.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The hand-stitched (with a sewing machine) diamond-quilt pattern adds a classy look to the two-tone upholstery with premium vinyl.

    A standard wet bar is to port that features a sink with pullout sprayer mounted in a solid surface counter. Our test boat had plenty of open counter space that can accommodate an optional gas grill ($1,078). Beneath is a trash receptacle, stainless grab handle, an optional cockpit refrigerator ($1,275) and a cabinet housing the main circuit breakers and standard battery switches for up to three batteries. Ahead of the wet bar is a cabinet housing storage for a standard 25-quart (23.7 L) carry-on cooler.

    Chaparral 310 Signature

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    A standard wet bar to the port side will accommodate an optional gas grill and refrigerator. The battery switches and main circuit breakers are located in the cabinet to the left. Notice the step leading to the non-skid cap rail.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    Rather than have a lounger over to the portside, Chaparral instead went with three across seating at the helm and cleverly stuck a standard 25 quart (23.7 L) carry-on cooler in a cabinet to port which utilizes space under the side deck.


    The bow is accessed from molded steps leading to the walkthrough windshield. A hatch in the standard hardtop allows transiting the walkthrough without ducking or risk of hitting one’s head.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    Access to the bow is via a molded in stairway between the helm and companionway to the cabin.

    Rail height at the working end of the bow was 20“ (51 cm). Fully forward a hatch, which is held open by a gas assist strut, opens to expose the optional windlass ($1,962). It includes 30’ (9.1 m) of chain, and 200’ (61 m) of rope that leads out to a stainless anchor roller. The characteristic Chaparral pickle-fork bow adds a surprising amount of roominess to the working area fully forward.The boat has 8 cleats, two are pull-up, and the six are fixed.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The contour of the rail follows that of the pickle fork bow adding roominess to the working end.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    A hatch conceals the optional windlass. An open space to the right allows access underneath for managing tangles. Notice the perimeter is guttered with a drain leading overboard.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    A hatch in the standard hardtop eliminates any need for ducking and concern about banging heads.


    The helm is well laid out with square gauges flanking the sides of a blank space designed to accommodate an optional 12” (30.5 cm) Garmin display ($5,269 for GPS, $9,392 for GPS/radar). The helm console features a dark tone to reduce glare.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The helm is simple and has room for a 12" nav screen. Three across, forward-facing seating allows for plenty of eyes looking ahead.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    Both seats offer flip up bolsters and the double-wide has storage underneath. Notice the hand stitched diamond pattern in the lumbar supports. To the right of the helm seat is a storage panel with breaker switches.

    A four-spoke mahogany wheel (with cover) is standard, a leather wrapped wheel is optional ($500). Power steering and tilt are standard as are trim tabs with indicators. A single helm seat wraps around for stability and has the usual adjustment handles elevated to the sides of the pedestal. The seat also features a flip-up bolster, open ventilation to the back and a diamond pattern lumbar support. The companion seat is double wide with all of the same features of the captain’s seat minus the adjustments.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    We like the four-in-one air craft-style gauges. Trim tabs are standard in the controls with LED indicators that can be seen below the gauges.

    Engine Compartment

    A switch at the helm activates the standard electric lift engine hatch revealing a wide open installation, leaving plenty of room for servicing the engines. There's plenty of space ahead of the engines and convenient steps lead into the compartment. Our test boat was fitted with a pair of 225-hp Mercury 4.3 L MPI engines turning Bravo III outdrives. Options allow for up to twin 300-hp engines from either MerCruiser or Volvo Penta. All optional engines come with dual prop lower units. Our test boat was also fitted with the optional 5 kW Kohler CO-Safe gas generator enclosed in a soundproof shield that was easily swallowed up in this cavernous engine compartment.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The engine compartment offers an immense amount of room for installations and servicing. Two steps lead down to a platform ahead of the engines. The optional CO-Safe Kohler gas generator is in a soundproof shield. An automatic fire suppression system is standard.

    An automatic fire suppression system in the engine room is standard. The boat also comes standard with a hot water heater.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The interior of the 310 Signature is well-designed to maximize the use of all available space.

    Below Decks

    The companionway on our test boat was outfitted with optional hardwood steps that were packaged with the hardwood deck ($1,326) which replaces the standard fiberglass deck with removable 55-oz. carpeting. Courtesy lights were on the risers of the stairs and I'd like to see these stair treads be hinged to allow access to the void areas underneath for additional storage or perhaps a trash receptacle.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The main electrical panel is located at the entryway to the cabin.

    The cabin lights were conveniently -- and correctly! -- located right at the entrance to the companionway, just above a door leading to the ship's electrical panel. Why other manufacturers cannot grasp the concept of locating light switches at the entrance to a cabin continually escapes me. The cabin door screen is optional ($992) and should definitely be considered, unless owners would be more comfortable with the 10,000 BTU air conditioning/heating system ($4,905).


    The mid-cabin is just one step down from the companionway and features 3'10" (1.17 m) of headroom. Chaparral correctly went with the primary configuration of seating making a secondary gathering area below decks. Naturally the area easily converts to a berth that comfortably sleeps two, and all it takes is inserting a pair of cross bars and relocating one of the seatbacks to a lowered position. Once complete the berth measures 6'4" x 3'9" (1.9 m x 1.14 m). The port bulkhead features dedicated space for a 22” (55.9 cm) flatscreen TV ($1,248). A curtain provides privacy and a bulkhead with door is offered as an option.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The seating in the mid-cabin easily converts to a berth by adding the two support bars (on either side of my legs) and relocating the center seat back.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    Completed, a mid-berth that comfortably seats two is enclosed behind a privacy curtain.


    The salon and galley are basically a combined area with an L-shaped settee having storage underneath lying opposite the galley unit itself. I measured 6'3" (1.9 m) from the optional hardwood deck ($1,326) to the fiberglass headliner. There's plenty of cabinetry to the sides and above the settee and surprisingly, opening portlights are offered as an option ($217) in the galley and salon. Upholstery was plush with multiple tones and a quilted pattern seen on deck is continued here. Speakers are hidden in the sides of the overhead cabinets.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    L-shaped seating in the line has storage underneath all of the seat cushions. More of the diamond quilted pattern can be seen here. Capt. Steve's back is what would otherwise be the foot of the forward bed. A side-mount pedestal base can be seen underneath the seat to the left.
    Chaparral 310 Signature
    An optional air mattress allows the settee to be converted to a berth for two.


    The galley to starboard seems modest but is appropriately sized for this boat. A solid surface counter offers a recessed stainless steel sink adjacent to a single burner electric stove. To the right of the stove is a powered vent but this is a location that I would seriously consider adding the optional opening portlight ($217) for improved ventilation. A microwave oven is mounted above, and below the counter is a stainless steel handrail and a single drawer and storage cabinet. The stainless steel refrigerator is just to the right.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    All of the usual appliances are present. The portlight is fixed, and opening portlights are optional.

    Forward Berth

    At first glance the forward berth seems relatively short, and after measuring it I came to realize that it is in fact short. But, as it turns out, the design team at Chaparral was not out of their minds but instead thinking outside the box. A press of a button to the side of the berth elevates the forward salon seatback forming an extension to the berth, thereby increasing its size to 6'1" by 4'3" (1.9 m x 1.3 m).

    Chaparral 310 Signature

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The undersized forward berth is quickly converted to full-size at the push of a button that raises the seatback of the forward salon seat.

    It's a clever setup that adds more useful space to the salon until the owners are ready to turn in for the night. Hanging cedar lockers are to port and additional storage is underneath the side shelves. Options include fitted sheets ($325) and an innerspring mattress with comforter ($1,069). Natural light comes in from dual portlights and an overhead hatch. Just to starboard is a cabinet housing the standard flatscreen TV and stereo/DVD player just above. A switch on the side panel rotates the TV from a position viewable from the forward berth to being viewable from the L-shaped settee.


    The wet head is to starboard and features a stainless sink recessed into a solid surface counter with a pullout sprayer acting as the shower head. A standard electric exhaust fan was fitted along with the standard opening portlight. (High marks to Chaparral for the exhaust fan. Many very large, very expensive boats don't have them!) A VacuFlush head with holding tank, china bowl and level indicator are all standard. A gray water system ($997) and macerator ($772) are offered as options.

    Chaparral 310 Signature
    The head is small, but much like the galley it is appropriately sized for the 310.


    Base price for the Signature 310 is $200,957 when equipped with a pair of 225-hp Volvo Penta V-6 engines. At the top of the power plant food chain are a pair of 300-hp Volvo Penta V8-300 C EVC engines with OceanX (anti-corrosion) outdrives and joystick functionality for $236,452.

    Chaparral 310 Signature


    Overall we were very impressed with the layout and handling of the 310 Signature. Her attractive lines flow nicely through her design while her features and roominess make her a pleasure to be on.As this report points out there is lots of needed or useful equipment that comes standard on this boat and I am impressed with what Chaparral has put into this vessel. The builder has solved what is in my mind an unfortunate compromise that many express cruisers have, namely the port side lounger as a companion seat. Below the drop-down foot of the bed creates two more seats in the salon and makes the boat much more cozy and functional below than she would be without it. She is certainly a capable small cruiser and she should provide a young family with a lot of fun on the water. Certainly no matter what the size of one's check book, this boat can be owned with pride.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Chaparral 310 Signature (2013-) is 43.6 mph (70.2 kph), burning 33.30 gallons per hour (gph) or 126.04 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Chaparral 310 Signature (2013-) is 28.5 mph (45.9 kph), and the boat gets 1.55 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.66 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 165 miles (265.54 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 2 x 225-hp MerCruiser 4.3L MPI.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    GPS/Chart Optional
    VHF Radio Optional


    Air Cond./Heat Optional
    Battery Charger/Converter Standard
    CD Stereo Standard
    Head: Fixed Standard
    Power Steering Standard
    Shore Power Standard
    Trim Tabs Standard
    TV/DVD Standard
    Water Heater Standard
    Windlass Optional


    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


    Cockpit Cover Optional
    Full Canvas Standard

    Boats More Than 30 Feet

    Generator Optional


    Hull Warranty
    Lifetime Limited

    NMMA Certification Yes


    Pricing Range: $222,265.00

    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.