**More pictures below**
New for 2005, Chaparral introduced the 236 SSi in response to consumer demand for larger bow riders. The boat was based on the company’s extended V-plane hull, which was basically a semi-V with a radiused keel and four strakes.
The bottom has been a proven winner in other models and it resulted in the same crisp handling in the 24-footer we tested. Chaparral equipped it with a 300-horsepower MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI fitted with a Bravo Three drive turning a 24-inch propeller set.
That allowed the boat to get on plane in 4.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 51.5 mph on Florida’s Sarasota Bay. Top-end speed is low on the list for most runabout owners but acceleration is important, especially when it comes to water sports. And we know the boat will see a lot of skiers and boarders behind it at the local lake.
The 236 SSi reached 26 mph in five seconds and in 15 seconds was doing 48 mph. In a midrange acceleration test, it took the runabout 5.9 seconds to go from 20 to 40 mph. Throttle response was average for a 24-foot boat, but it was more a reflection of the mild engine choice. We always like to have more power but the 350 Mag MPI worked just fine.
A nice bonus will come at the end of the day when the boat’s 54-gallon tank is still close to full. The hull and engine package yielded better than 3 miles per gallon except at the top-end where fuel economy “dropped” to 2.3 mpg.
During our handling tests, the boat earned the highest mark in slalom turns at 20, 30 and 40 mph. Turns at cruise and full-speed were superior for the runabout breed and something we expected from the simple hull design.
Model: 236 SSI
Engine: Mercruiser 350 Mag
Weight: 4,338 lbs
Fuel capacity: 54 U.S. gal.
Boat cover, bimini top, swim platform, two swim ladders, trailer not included but available.