Boat Reviews

Chaparral and Robalo

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The new ‘dynamo’ in the SA marine marketplace

Honda Marine South Africa’s decision last year to sign up an exclusive distributorship for both Chaparral sports boats and Robalo offshore boats in SA and the West Indian Ocean islands, was without doubt a major coup for the company

Not only are they differentiating themselves from the rest of the market in a very dynamic way by offering potential customers these top end, superbly-crafted, imported-from-the-US boats, but they’re also establishing an exclusive trading environment for their dealers at a critical time when the market is slowly but surely showing signs of recovery. Manufactured in Nashville, Georgia, under the ‘Marine Products Corporation’ banner and with over 40 years experience and a worldwide reputation for building high quality craft, both Robalo and Chaparral are very much interlinked and constantly striving to be the best at what they do.

It’s generally accepted that Chaparral is the world’s leading manufacturer of quality pleasure boats, cruisers, yachts and wakeboard boats which range in size from 18 to 42ft. Similarly, Robalo builds top quality, performance-orientated fishing boats, focusing strongly on the family fisherman who is passionate about what he or she does. When all is said and done, fishing boats is their business and their range extends from 18 to 29-foot options.

Originally launched to the South African public at the Johannesburg International Boat Show last August, models currently available and on display in Honda Marine showrooms throughout the country are the Chaparral 224 Xtreme and 226 SSi. On the Robalo front, the R240 CC is available for viewing. Our first Robalo to be sold in South Africa was the R247 Dual-Console, powered by twin Honda BF150 outboard engines. The first Chaparral to find a home was an SSX 287 Sports Boat.

Certainly the initial reaction to both the Chaparral and Robalo products from both the public at large and the boating media is that these boats want for nothing. They possess state-of-the-art designs and are fully appointed and crafted to levels of quality that are unmatched. But in this financially pressurised age, you may well ask as to ‘how do they achieve such quality standards?’. Apparently, it’s fairly straightforward; all you need do is take a walk through their 63-acre manufacturing facility, with its 1.25 million square feet of operating space. There, you’ll see 2nd and 3rd generation boat builders raised on the company’s time-honoured tradition, working side-by-side with 20- and 30-year-old employees.

It’s this sharing and passing on of many years of boat building knowledge and experience with younger boat builders that allows Chaparral and Robalo to differentiate from the rest and to continue delivering quality products, enabling them to extend their reach beyond the US and Canada, and to spread their well-earned reputation across the world – now finding themselves doing business on five continents. With their arrival in South Africa, potential customers are now being exposed to the ultimate in quality and craftsmanship, and to making a lifelong investment in one of two different boating lifestyle options that represent much more than being just another boat. For more information contact your local authorized Honda Marine dealer or call the Honda Careline on 0800 466 321.


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