Jet powered water sports.
Boat Test #1480
The Chaparral 223 Vortex VRX is inspired by decades of boat building history with family and memory making in mind! She’s a classy sport boat that allows you to surf, drive, and ride in style. This twin engine jet propelled power house provides the driver with superior handling and a smooth ride in calm and rough waters. The flashy gel lines aren’t the only head turning asset to the 22’ VRX 223. It’s impressively spacious interior provides comfortable seating for 10 people, with ease.
My first impressions of the Vortex 223 interior are its visible depth and width in the entirety of the boat. The bow is a generous width, and allows passengers the ability to sit back and stretch out in comfort. An optional bow filler cushion can be added to the mid-section making a great play pen feature for more relaxed seating, and a great spot for the kids. The front center seat removes to reveal a non-skid step up to the bow, and a handy self-draining cooler is located directly underneath. The forward bow compartment includes a fold-up ladder to make entry to and from the water with ease.
The cockpit area is just as spacious with an optional snap-in carpet, removable table with inserts both in the cockpit, and off the rear of the boat. Each seat section removes into commodious storage for carry-ons, and the center panel on the floor includes a larger storage compartment for oversize equipment and gear. Beneath the port side seating you can find a removable igloo cooler for food and beverages. What really sets the features of the 223 Vortex cockpit apart from any other in its class is the convertible passenger flip seat, that effortlessly folds forward into an aft-facing seat option. The glove box is a padded vinyl exterior which doubles as the back rest for the aft seating. Whether you want to sit to face your friends, or join in on the excitement behind the boat – this feature is genius!
The helm seat is a premium bucket design, with the controls located on the side of the chair vs. underneath, which make adjustability easy. The dash comes standard with a Medallion 7“ touchscreen that allows you to scroll through functions and commands with your fingertips. The engine start/stop is located to the left of the steering wheel, and analog gauges are located on either side of the steering wheel displaying your temperature and voltage.
With all the features included in the Vortex VRX, we can’t forget its’ versatility with watersports. Reach waterski speeds from 26 – 34 MPH and the wakes of the vortex smooth right out for any recreational waterskiing. Slow down to 18-20 MPH and you have a nice rampy wave for wakeboarding, and take it down to 10 MPH with the help of the Vortex Surf System, you have the latest and greatest option of wakesurfing! I was pleasantly surprised with how straight forward you can program the surf system and settings to get your ideal wave. Optional ballast is available for each Vortex model if you wish to add height and push to your surf wave.
The Vortex VRX handles like a dream, with minimal plane time, the driver is able to keep their line of visibility with the shoreline in front of them. It hugs turns tights, and cuts through chop like a pro. The vortex comes standard with twin 200 HP Rotax 4 – Tec engines, reaching a top speed of 52.9 MPH. With the benefit of the Chaparral Rotax lateral thrust control, this entails the reverse gate being separated from the steering nozzle which allows lateral thrust control making docking and reversing precise!
By Timmy McNamee