This sport boat more than lives up to the hype
Chaparral says the 243 VRX jet is one of the finest sport boats the company has introduced in its 50-year history. That’s a pretty strong statement, especially in view of the company’s credentials as a leading builder of high quality sport boats. But the Rotax-powered Vortex more than lives up to the hype.
Just one look at the 243 VRX is enough to affirm that this is not your father’s runabout. With its sweeping shear line, aggressive, forward-leaning sport arch and extended rear swim platform with twin, rear-facing transom seats, this is clearly a boat that was designed expressly for fun in the sun. Its inviting, open layout is tailor-made for water sports, with seating for 12 and a mountain of storage space to keep everything tidy.
The oversized rear swim platform features a standard platform mat for greater comfort on bare feet and a secure, non-skid surface even when wet. Those hinged transom seats are flanked by twin stereo speakers, and offer storage in their bases, making the ideal spot to store wet gear like swimwear and tow ropes. There’s also a large ski storage locker in the floor, large enough to accommodate most standard-sized wakeboards.
The comfortable, wrap-around lounge seats in the cockpit are broken at the stern by neatly formed transom pass-through, allowing easy access to and from the rear platform. Four LED courtesy lights and stainless steel grab handles on the transom and in the cockpit are an elegant touch, while bases in the cockpit and on the swim platform accommodate a removable, pedestal-mount table. There’s even a nook under the stern bench seat to house a removable 25-quart cooler, and no less than 10 stainless steel drink holders scattered throughout the cockpit.
Up in the bow, there’s further comfy seating with storage spaces beneath each of the hinged seat cushions. An anchor compartment keeps the hook under control, and houses a convenient ladder that makes re-entry from any beach super-easy.
The co-pilot gets a special seat – the Oasis Lounge – which features an adjustable back cushion that can be set for forward-facing seating while underway, and rear-facing seating when it’s time to watch the tricks out back. There’s even an enclosed, locking head compartment for additional comfort, with an available Porta-pottie. Overhead, a standard black or white folding arch tower and Bimini top adds the perfect high performance accent. The standard, satellite-ready premium sound system includes an AM/FM tuner, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and a remote control and display.
With 500 ponies waiting in the engine room, it’s the driver who gets truly spoiled on this boat. The helm seat is super-comfortable, the wheel is perfect and the dash panel keeps all the important information easily visible. Select the available 6.5-inch Medallion color touch screen panel for the ultimate in convenience – it even includes an integral GPS. Put the throttle down, and feel the power as twin 200 or 250 horsepower Rotax 4-TEC ECT engine options can’t help but put a smile on your face.
With its twin jet power and performance hull design, the Chaparral Vortex 243 VRX is a ton of fun to drive, and even more fun to be pulled behind. This is a well-made family boat that’s equally at home pulling the kids on a tube or taking the family for an offshore picnic or a twilight cruise with friends. In short, it’s a winner.
Chaparral Vortex 243 VRX Specs
- Length: 24’ 3”
- Beam: 8’ 6”
- Draft: 15″
- Dry weight: 4,000 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity: 52 gals.
- Power: Twin 1.5L Rotax 4-TEC 200 ECT