Power Boat Review Chaparral SignatureThe jet black hull sides of our Chaparral test boat were impressively free from ripples or imperfections which is a hallmark of a well-built fiberglass boat; the black color minimizes the height while the white decking which sweeps up from the swim platform and arches towards the bow gives the boat a racy appearance.

Our Signature 350 test boat was a particularly good choice for Canadian inland cruising waters. The designers extended the interior accommodations right to the maximum by eliminating the side decks and giving more room for deck access through the windshield. They've also given the 350 Signature a coupe type roof with zip-out window sections rather than fixed glass.

Targeted for long distance getaways, the Signature 350 is available with gasoline or diesel and either stern drive or V-drive propulsion (including MerCruiser Axius with joystick docking control). The 350 comes standard with an impressive inventory: a generator with sound shield and a 16,000 BTU air conditioner/heater system; a windlass; a premium sound system; an extended swim platform; a transom shower; and a complete array of stainless steel hardware.

Bucking stiff winds and a nasty chop out on Lake Ontario, the Chaparral still planed off in only 9 seconds and hit a top speed of 48.6 mph on our GPS throwing spray in all directions but delivering a remarkably smooth and controlled ride. With very little bow rise, we planed off on light throttle and at a mere 2900 rpm we were traveling at 30.2 mph.

The smooth and powerful twin MerCruiser 496 HO engines and Bravo drives have all the SmartCraft features including Auto Start. Turn the key and the engines start themselves. The SmartCraft controls include a docking feature that allows easier and more precise control of the engines at low speeds. With the twin engines, an experienced driver will find this boat easy to dock Our test boat had Lewmar thrusters making it a breeze to put the boat just where you wanted it .

The double-wide helm seat allows for a very comfortable standing or sitting position. There's a passenger grab bar, an angled foot rest for added security and the multifunction SmartCraft instruments are attractive and provide a wealth of information, but we felt they deserved more precise markings. Other good features were the Leno trim tabs with LED indicators, a fume detector and an absolutely gorgeous wooden steering wheel that tilts for comfort.

The cockpit layout divides the space into two distinct areas: the helm and companion seat area and the aft space where you enjoy a U-shaped seat to starboard with removable table and abundant under-seat storage and a refreshment centre to port that has the battery system switches in a locker by the transom gate, a U-Line ice maker, sink, storage and a welcome hand rail.

The curved companionway makes it easy to get below boasting a generously high head that includes an opening porthole, mirrored medicine cabinet, stainless steel sink and hand-held shower and a VacuFlush toilet system. Like the refreshment centre and galley, granite-look composite counters are featured.

Where many boats in the size range have an aft cabin that's fairly low, the Chaparral has a full sitting height that makes the flat screen TV, opening portholes, Cedar-lined locker and center mounted table all seem very usable and accommodating. There's a privacy curtain for making it into berth and a larger flat screen television mounted on the bulkhead that can be seen from the salon.

The dinette is good for at least four people. The electrical panel is there along with the Clarion stereo system, four overhead lockers, two opening portholes with curtains and a high/low table if additional sleeping accommodation is needed.

Another strong point was the galley. This is handsomely finished but spacious too. A two- burner Kenyon stove with potholders and a counter that looks like granite is just the start. Chaparral gives you a large, round stainless-steel sink, handy trash locker, impressive food prep space and four drawers. The test boat had a Tappan microwave, Cuisinart coffee maker and, best of all, quite a large Isotherm refrigerator.

Normally, a cruising couple will choose to sleep on the big forward queen-sized berth. This area can be curtained off and has port and starboard opening portholes as well as a deck hatch. Our test boat had both a stereo and a flat screen television for entertainment in the vee. Other things we liked included a side seat for dressing and a Cedar-lined locker.

The key exterior features start with a swing down, stainless steel boarding ladder, a clever storage feature that is a booster system to get the engine hatch up (if the batteries aren't available). Our test boat had a mounting plate to put a barbecue out on the swim platform too.

The accommodations are very complete – especially in the galley– but what will sell this boat is a full throttle dash through the waves.

By Andy Adams

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!

Destinations

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At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...


The Marina at Blind ChannelOne of my favourite places

By Marianne Scott

Sailing north of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and the Broughton Archipelago offer cruisers a bevy islands with ample anchorages. Tides cause swift currents to run through the islands’ waterways. Few marinas are found in this large, sparsely populated region but one that provides all the services boaters need and especially enjoy is Blind Channel, a marina and resort operated by the Richter family located on Mayne Passage on the east side of West Thurlow Island (50 24. 82N, 125 30. 00).

Read more about the Blind Channel Resort...

 

Lifestyle

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At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
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On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
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This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...

Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

DIY & How to

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Sea to Sky SailingSea to Sky Sailing has just been approved as the only Royal Yachting Association (RYA) recognized training centre on the west coast of North America just in time to deliver an epic 2019 season!

“This transition from our previous International Yacht Training (IYT) certification to RYA is a huge benefit to our students as it provides them certification that is known globally as the gold standard for yacht training.  The RYA requires training centres to undergo annual inspections of their vessels, business practices and training delivery in order to maintain a strong standard and guarantee a high quality experience for students. 

Read More about Sea to Sky Sailing......

 

  

Marine Products

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Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
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After developing the Figaro Beneteau 3, the first production foiling sailing yacht, Groupe Beneteau ...
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...