About the Builder
Campion is a builder in British Columbia, Canada that has been making sportboats and express boats for over 35 years. It is the largest boat builder in Canada with 50% of its production exported. Worldwide, it is well distributed with dealers in at least 33 countries, including 11 states in the U.S.
Campion builds 27 models in four lines going from 16’ to 30’, covering everything from wakeboard boats to sportboats, to fishing boats and small express cruisers. The company is noted for its exceptionally "green" footprint thanks to choice of environmentally-friendly components.
The Campion Chase 550 OB is one of a growing number of outboard-powered runabouts in recent year classes. She's got the sporty lines, graphics, and interior style we see on jet boats and other sportboats. With a weight of just 1,995 lbs. and a relatively narrow beam of 7'8", she makes a sprightly performer. The Canadian company is also justly proud of durability factors, including a 10' strip of Kevlar protecting the keel area and the molded in graphics, as opposed to stick-on decaling.
Three-color French-stitched upholstery and piped edge trim distinguish the bow seating, which offers two lounge-type seats facing forward and a more compact aft-facing seat front center. A filler cushion is optional to turn the area into a sunpad. Speakers for the Clarion stereo are located in the inwales between the coaming pads, as are stainless steel grab rails within reach of those reclining on the lounge seats. The standard snap-out carpet should be easy on bare feet, and it can be removed completely for off-season storage.
The companion seat as well as the helm seat offer deeply-padded, sculptured foam styling and silver seam piping, as well as flip-up bolsters to ease the ride in rough going. The backs of these seats are covered in pinhole vinyl to assist in faster drying, and both feature cutouts to reduce sweating.
The glove box has a large flip-up opening on the console, and there's a shelf adjacent where the usual assortment of sunglasses and sun screens will wind up. Two stainless steel cup holders and the Clarion stereo are located here as well.
There's an added stainless steel cup holder within reach on the deck next to the port inwale. There's also a small-netted storage compartment here.
The storage box in the sole between the consoles is designed to hold skis, wakeboards or auxiliary paddle, and other gear. The hatch lid is finished on the underside, and is supported by two gas-assist pistons to keep it out of the way for accessing gear.
There is no mat or pad on the floor of the compartment -- those who own expensive ski gear will probably want to add a quick-draining soft mat.
At the Helm
The stainless steel and aluminum trim on the racing-style steering wheel is a real eye catcher, complete with the Canadian maple-leaf flag inset, but the grip area is soft composite offering a comfortable non-slip grip. The BRP digital control sits low on the starboard inwale, and there's also a stainless steel cupholder within reach of the captain's right hand here -- it's likely to become the de facto cell phone holder because a 12-volt plug is found just above it on the dash.
A full package of seven Faria analog gauges is stacked across the black composite dash panel, and an overhang prevents glare on the faces. The lighted rocker switches are all clearly labeled and easy to view from the driver's position, but it might be helpful to the skipper to put a red label on the horn rocker to quickly distinguish it from the others in an emergency. Circular remote controls for the Clarion stereo are high and to the right on the inwale.
U-shaped seating in the aft cockpit has space for three -- more if they're youngsters -- and three stereo speakers here, two in the backrest and one at floor level, assure wrap-around sound. Like the bow, the upholstery is covered in stylish tri-tone vinyl. The seats flip up to offer the usual storage underneath.
Snap-out carpet provides sure footing throughout the cockpit areas, and there's a cutout in the aft section to accommodate the optional cocktail table that fits next to the stern bench seat.
Evinrude's 150 E-TEC G2 is a good match for the lightweight Campion 550 OB. The 60-degree V6 weighs just 541 lbs., including the built-in steering system and power tilt/trim, and over 400 color choices for the cowling and trim make for a sure match with the bold color schemes of the Campion. The motor also proved exceptionally quiet: our test team recorded just 88 dBA in the cockpit at full throttle. The prop was a Rebel 15 1/8" x 20" stainless steel three-blade.
At 5500 rpm WOT, the Campion/Evinrude package maxed out at 45.5 mph (73.1 kph) while consuming 11.9 gph (45.0 lph) and attaining 3.82 mpg (1.62 kpl). Since this is a sport boat that's likely to be run at or near full throttle with some frequency, the moderate fuel use at WOT is significant. Note though, that she's only got a 25-gallon (94.6 l) fuel tank, so those with a heavy hand on the throttle will need to keep a close eye on the fuel gauge.
The most economical on-plane speed in our tests was 27.6 mph (44.4 kph) at 3500 rpms, at which the engine used 5.20 gph (19.7 lph) for a 5.31 mpg (2.26 kpl) rating, giving a range of 119 statute miles (192 km) or around four hours of constant running. This speed is in the heart of the velocities needed for most tow sports (except barefooting), so it's significant that best cruise is found here.
The Campion got on plane in just 3.2 seconds, making her competitive with some jet boats we've tested. She hit 20 mph in 4.8 seconds, 30 in 7.5 -- clearly, the Evinrude E-TEC G2 H.O. was doing its job.
The Campion rides on what the company calls their "Apex" hull, which is a small pad near the transom. As in bass boats and many other small boats, this pad is designed to give a bit of a boost on takeoff, as well as reducing drag at top end and improving speed or reducing fuel burn as compared to a full-length V bottom.
The 19-degree deadrise overall is adequate to soften the ride in a chop, and hard chines running all the way to the bow assist in keeping spray under control, though this is clearly a design intended to be run 'wet and wild'. She carved turns nicely in our test runs with no unusual tendencies to slide excessively or trip.
The Campion is an all-composite hull, including the transom, assuring long-term durability. A layer of Kevlar is built into the hull at the keel, greatly increasing durability there and reducing the possibility of holing the boat on hitting a rock or stump. The Kevlar strip is 15” wide and extends from just below the towing pad eye on the stem a full 10 feet aft in the keel of the boat -- a real plus in damage control.
The Fiberglass Integrated Stringer Technology (F.I.S.T) system allows for larger bonding areas than a conventional stringer system, according to the company, and allows the bulkheads and floors to be bonded directly to the stringer system, reducing hull flex. Gel coat graphics and feature stripes are laid out and sprayed right into the mold, eliminating tape graphics that are prone to dock rash and lifting.
The company notes it is the first boat manufacturer in the world to use Envirez®, a renewably sourced bio-derived resin from Ashland Performance Materials. Envirez resin is the first resin that uses a substantial amount of soybean oil and corn-derived ethanol in its formulation. The use of Ashland’s MAXGUARD LE gelcoats further reduces emissions.
All wires on Campion boats are labeled every few inches on the wire sheathing itself as to what system it is for so that trouble-shooting is a snap. The wires themselves have heavy-duty cross-linked insulation and automated crimp/seal connectors to make them more durable in the marine environment.
$25,260, boat only
- • KMC20 Premium Media Center (upgrade)
- • Satellite radio with standard three-month subscription (requires KIcker KMC20)
- • Stereo power package -- amp, subwoofer & KMC20 upgrade (recommend dual batteries)
- • LED cup holder & cockpit lighting package
- • Rigid Industries LED under water lighting package
- • Dual battery switch
- • Samson wake tower
- • Cannon board racks
- • Chrome SMT65 speakers
- • U seat filler cushion
- • Black Sunbrella acrylic convertible top, side curtains, sloper & boot
- • Black Sunbrella acrylic convertible top only
- • Black Sunbrella acrylic Bimini sun top (n/a with wakeboard tower)
- • Black Sunbrella acrylic wakeboard tower Bimini
- • Color coordinated standard canvas
- • Delete canvas (credit)
- • Mooring/storage cover
- • Color-coordinated gelcoated dashboard
The Campion Chase 550 OB comes well equipped with some extras not found as standard gear on some of the abundant bowrider competition, including Razor racing-style suspension bolstered seats at the console, snap-in marine carpet, a stylish stainless steel and composite wheel, and Sunbrella snap-on covers for bow and cockpit seating areas.
Her exterior graphics clearly mark the sporty mission of the boat, and the fact that all color is built right into the gelcoat means she'll continue to look good for years.
Test Result Highlights
- • Top speed for the Campion Chase 550 OB was 45.5 mph (73.1 kph), burning 11.9 gallons per hour (gph) or 45.0 liters per hour (lph).
- • Best cruise for the Campion Chase 550 OB was 27.6 mph (44.4 kph), where she got 5.31 mpg (2.26 kpl), giving a range of about 119 statute miles (192 km), allowing a 10 percent reserve.
- • Tested power was 1 x 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 H.O.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Campion Chase 550 OB (2016-) is 45.5 mph (73.2 kph), burning 11.90 gallons per hour (gph) or 45.04 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Campion Chase 550 OB (2016-) is 17.5 mph (28.2 kph), and the boat gets 4.01 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.71 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 90 miles (144.84 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x Evinrude E-TEC G2 150 H.O..
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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