John page williams
The following review was written by John Page Williams, Editor-at-large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine. John, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been a regular contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 30 years, specializing in environmental issues, nature, wildlife, fishing and boats. He has been testing new and used boats for the magazine's Time-Tested and New Boat News departments since 1998.
Chaparral 310 SC
APRIL 2011
 
   
Length overall  31'
Beam  10'
Draft  3' 3" (drives down)
Deadrise  19 degrees
Weight 10,600 lb
Fuel 125 gals Water 40 gal
Max. power 540 hp
Base Price  $228,836

Chaparral's 310 Signature Cruiser makes a good package for families or couples who want to cruise waters like the Chesapeake and its rivers. The extended V-plane hull pops onto plane easily with twin 270-hp small-block V-8s driving dual-propeller outdrives. Its moderate-V hull and wide reversed chines provide an easy, dry ride for passengers in the large, comfortable cockpit.

The transom offers a storage trunk, with an optional electrically operated rear bench that converts to a sunpad, with a wide swim platform just aft. With the cabin companionway on the port side, there's room for a two-person companion seat beside the helm chair. In front of the companion seat is a molded set of steps for easy access through the split windshield to the foredeck.

The cabin provides a roomy, comfortable island queen berth with privacy curtain, a dinette aft to port, opposite a galley and full head with shower. The dinette converts to a double bunk. Beneath the helm deck is an aft cabin with lounge that converts to a double berth with privacy curtain. The most ingenious feature here is the foot of the forward island berth, which retracts electrically to provide extra seating for the dinette.The $228,836 price tag includes twin 270-hp Volvo GXi 5.0 EVC (catalyst) DP inboard/outboard drives, a 5-kilowatt Onan gas generator, air conditioner, Garmin GPS/sounder with 12-inch display and linked DSC VHF radio. Chaparral Boats, Nashville, Ga., 229-686-7481; www.chaparralboats.com.