by Dani Limback
Chaparral have entered the jet boat market with the announcement of an agreement with BRP to power a brand new line of jet boats slated for official release over the coming months.
The new Vortex
The first boat, currently undergoing performance testing, was shown to a select group of dealers in mid December where test drives were also offered. Chaparral Australia was included in that group and has reported stunning performance from the first and smallest of the three new models to hit the water.
Scott O’Hare from Chaparral Australia said 'When we were told about Chaparral’s entry into the jet boat market we had concerns about economy, reliability, noise and low speed handling. In all areas Chaparral and BRP have not just solved these issues but have raised the bar; with engine redesigns that boost reliability backed up with an exclusive three year warranty and with Chaparral’s engineers developing a new docking system that hugely improves low speed manoeuvrability, as well as working overtime to get the noise levels down.
'The new jet boat range is more about offering a mainstream alternative to family boating with all of the benefits of Chaparral’s renowned innovation, quality and performance, mixed with the stunning handling and go anywhere capabilities of jet propulsion. The Rotax light weight 4 stroke engines matched with our brand new hull design will make these the most economical jet boats on the market,' said O’Hare.
Scheduled to debut at 15 boat shows across the U.S in early 2014, the just-christened 203 Vortex is the first in a three-boat series that also will include the 223 Vortex and 243 Vortex.
Family features such as wet bars and toilets will be offered in the larger boats with all models boasting class leading deck layouts, high performance & economical hulls and stunning up to the minute graphics. At this stage the Australian distribution of the Vortex range is to be determined with both the existing Chaparral network and the previous SeaDoo jet boat dealers in the mix.
Alan Villemure, Vice President and General Manager of BRP’s marine propulsion division, said; 'BRP is excited to begin this relationship with Chaparral, a company with a proud heritage, excellent reputation and one that shares our commitment to the marine industry. We believe that this strategic relationship promises to deliver consumers a best-in-class boating experience that is supported by an outstanding dealer network.'
The inclusion of the Vortex jet boats takes the Chaparral/ Robalo range up to 47 models with entry level H2o sport and Ski/fish bowriders, SSi premium bowriders, Sunesta deck boats, Xtreme saltwater wake boats, SSX premium sports and Signature Cruiser range along with the Robalo fleet of outboard hulls with centre console, dual console bowrider and walkaround cabin boats.
'We are excited with what R&D are working on for 2014/15; we know there will be some other surprises to round out our 50th anniversary year and can’t wait to share them with our Australian and New Zealand customers,' said O’Hare.
'Chaparral and Robalo are both number one in market share in the US at the moment which is testament to the innovative R&D team and production crew who strive to build better performing boats of the highest quality.'
For more information on the Chaparral and Robalo range of boats visit www.chaparralboats.com or www.robalo.com
To find your local dealer call Chaparral Australia on (03) 9397 6977.-