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Boat Reviews By Owners

1998 -- 29' 3" CHAPARRAL

Model: Signature 300

Cockpit: Laid out for a party with wet bar and icemaker, comfortable seating in the starboard side and fold-away seating in the transom. Mine came with removable carpeting in the cockpit area. Cafe table can be set up in the cockpit or removed and stored. Access to the engine room is through sectional floor panels. This allows full access, but I wished they had power-assist hatches instead. Gauges at helm well laid out. Chaparral went to this layout in 1998 and it is basically the same throuth 2003 model. Get the swim platform. Mine does not have it and I miss it.

Cabin: Cabin is well laid out and an improvement from earlier models. (The 1997 Signature 31 had the head directly opposite the cafe dining seats, with the galley aft.) Corian counter top, stainless sink, microwave, coffee maker. Vee and aft berths are curtained for privacy. Storage found in galley cabinets, drawers at the vee berth and under the berth itself. One of the dining benches is storage; the other holds the A/C unit. Additional cabinets aft just before the berth/lounge area. This is adequate -- you can never have too much storage area. :)

Construction: Tight and solid, but then, this is my first boat. I have no first hand comparison. When comparing brands, I noticed Chaparral used stainless thru-hull fittings where other brands used plastic. This and other small things give the impression that Chaparral attends to the details.

Handling: Handles well in the Chesapeake Bay. I've only been out in fair weather (winds less than 12 kts, 2 ft. waves or less). Ride is comfortable and smooth. Handles turns with minimum crabbing.

Engine Room: This boat is powered with twin 4.3L Mercruisers (205HP) with Alpha I outdrives. I had some concern with with the size when I bought the vessel - most Sig 300s are equipped with twin 5.0 or 5.7 Mercs - but she cruises 26 kts at 3600 RPM. That's about as fast as I ever want to go. I think she will approach 35 kts at wide open throttle. At 3000 to 3500 RPM, fuel usage is under 10 gallons per hour

General Comments: First season used for day cruising. Planning more overnight and weekend cruises this season.

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Date Submitted: 2005-01-10

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