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100-Mph Chaparral Update: First On-Water Tests Promising

With a single unfinished bucket seat bolted behind the helm station in the gutted-for-renovation interior of his 1986 Chaparral Villain project sportboat (see related story below), Chris Uzzolina of Charlotte, N.C., reports that he water-tested the V-bottom for the first time a couple of weekends ago. Uzzolina ran the 23-footer, which is powered by a 650-hp engine, with Bob Shutter of Boat Repairs Plus, the outfit that has handled much of the boat’s restoration work.


Shown here before renovation began, Chris Uzzolina’s 1986 Chaparral Villain sportboat hit the water with its 650-hp engine for the first time a couple of weeks ago.

“We started with a left-hand rotation Bravo One, 28-inch pitch prop, and the boat didn’t really like it,” said Uzzolina. “The engine had no problem spinning it, but the boat was leaning really hard. So we came back to test the next day with a right-hand Bravo prop, 26-inch pitch and it was a lot better. The engine has a 6,000-rpm chip and we were able to turn 5,800 rpm, so there’s still more work to do.

“We first put it in the water just to see if we could get it on plane, and that was no problem,” he added.

(To watch a video of the 650-hp engine running in the boat for the first time, click here.)

Uzzolina, who long ago abandoned his initial goal of getting his renovated sportboat to 100 mph, declined to reveal the 23-footer’s speed at that engine rpm output. He did say he’ll likely lower the drive height and plans to add trim tabs from Eddie Marine. And he also plans to try a five-blade propeller.

“I’ve been in touch with Jeff Johnston at Hering Propellers and Brett Anderson and BBlades, and they’ve been really helpful,” said Uzzolina. “It was our first day of testing and we’re still working on setup.”

Uzzolina said he plans to get the boat back in the water for additional testing while the interior is being finished in the next two weeks.

Related Story: 100-mph Chaparral Project Update—Interior Progress