- Checkmate Pulsare 2400: Top Speed — 84 mph
- REGAL 2700 BOWRIDER: Top Speed — 60.1 mph
- CHAPARRAL 280 OSX: Top Speed — 59.5 mph
- CARAVELLE INTERCEPTOR 232: Top Speed — 58.6 mph
- REGAL 3300: Top Speed — 58.5 mph
- FORMULA 350 CROSSOVER BOWRIDER: Top Speed — 58.2 mph
- FOUR WINNS HORIZON 290 OB: Top Speed — 57.8 mph
- CHAPARRAL 300 OSX: Top Speed — 57 mph
- BAJA 202 ISLANDER: Top Speed — 56.8 mph
- FORMULA 310 BOWRIDER: Top Speed — 56.1 mph
- FOUR WINNS H230: Top Speed — 56 mph
- GLASTRON GT 245: Top Speed — 56 mph
- TAHOE 700: Top Speed — 55.7 mph
- TIARA SPORT 38 LS: Top Speed — 55.6 mph
- FOUR WINNS H190: Top Speed — 55 mph
Those interested in purchasing a boat and also have a need for speed make the right choice if they settle on a bowrider. The V-shaped bow and hull of a bowrider are designed for a fast ride, which makes the bowrider the optimal model for water sports and day cruising.
But even after you’ve decided on a bowrider, the obvious next question is the specific make. Though almost every bowrider is sufficient for a smooth, fast ride across the water or even fishing out in the ocean, there are certain models built for even greater speed.
We examined more than 100 bowriders and their top speeds and have compiled the 15 fastest, giving you the essential information you need in your purchasing decision. One key area to note is top speed is a result of numerous factors, such as engine type and number of people on board, so some bowriders not on this list could reach these speeds with modifications.
Checkmate Pulsare 2400: Top Speed — 84 mph
As tested with an Evinrude E-Tec 250hp outboard, this 2,000 lb water rocket tripped the gates at 84 mph. Max horsepower capacity is listed as “unlimited,” meaning a larger outboard and experienced captain could make this 24 footer approach 90 mph.
With a 22 degree deadrise at the transom, you can travel faster than if you were on the highway, but that doesn’t mean you should, because safety — not speed — is the priority.
REGAL 2700 BOWRIDER: Top Speed — 60.1 mph
Tested with a 1 X 375-HP Volvo Penta sterndrive, the Regal 2700 hit 60.1 mph at 4,800 rpm. Its build is a basic bowrider design, with a walk-through windshield that leads to ample bow seating. The transom is split, allowing easy access to the swim platform.
Towing eyes are standard, but for serious work, a towing tower would help. The overall length is a little more than 28′, and a head-spinning 11 engine options are available for build-your-own customers. Regal does not skimp when it comes to options, so it could take days to build the perfect bowrider, but you can’t go wrong with Regal.
CHAPARRAL 280 OSX: Top Speed — 59.5 mph
Equipped with two 250-HP Yamaha outboards, the Chaparral 280 OSX reached 59.5 mph at 6,000 rpm. It’s not too big to trailer, and not so small that you feel every other ripple on the pond. A center helm gives the feel of a large boat, and the port side pass-thru makes getting around in the cockpit easy.
Options include a hard-top or folding radar arch, wide range of color combos and 200 hp or 300 hp Twin Yamaha Powerplants. Blue underwater lights are optional, and the 14 lb GTX anchor is tucked up under the bow on a roller with remote controls.
CARAVELLE INTERCEPTOR 232: Top Speed — 58.6 mph
To hit 58.6 mph, the Interceptor used a single 320-HP Volvo Penta 5.7GXI engine. It’s 23’ and 3,500 lbs of dry weight, and with it only needing 3.2 seconds to plane, you can get wherever you’re going in a hurry.
Though the 232 hasn’t been manufactured in a number of years, there are still many out there to be found, and a second or third hand one can be a perfect family tubing toy for likely less than $30,000. It’s fast and responsive, and you won’t need a huge truck to pull it, making it a good choice for water ski racing at a local, beginner’s level.
REGAL 3300: Top Speed — 58.5 mph
It took two 380-HP Volvo Penta 6.2L’s for the Regal to reach 58.5 mph. We’re really getting into the category of small yachts with an open bow, but technically, it’s still a bowrider.
This one comes with a genset, bow thruster, a built-in grill and optional hard top. There is even a queen-size bed for overnight excursions. It’s a bit large for any serious skiing or wakeboarding, but a slow speed stroll around the bay with a 10-person party tube is not out of the question. A 9′ beam makes for a comfortable cruise and plenty of walking-around room whether cruising or entertaining dockside.
FORMULA 350 CROSSOVER BOWRIDER: Top Speed — 58.2 mph
It took three 350-HP Mercury outboards to reach 58.2 mph at 6,250 rpm, and at 35’, this crossover has a dry weight of 13,850 lbs, so it takes some serious power to give it that speed. As in the automotive world, a “crossover” is a vehicle that combines the best of two different designs.
In the case of the Formula 350 Crossover Bowrider, you get the fun-in-the-sun layout, design and functionality of a toy-towing day boat, and the luxury, solid feel and overnight capabilities of a cruiser. What you don’t see in many bowriders is a set of three Mercury’s pushing seven tons of bowrider.
FOUR WINNS HORIZON 290 OB: Top Speed — 57.8 mph
Four Winns makes more than one appearance on this list, and this time, it’s with the Horizon 290 reaching 57.8 mph, as tested with two 300-HP Evinrude E-Tec G2s.. The 290 hit its top speed at 5,950 rpm while weighing in at 8,500 lbs.
Being one of the larger bowriders on our list also makes it one of the most expensive, starting at over $200,000. Large and stylish, it could be a sandbar-going, tube-towing fun machine by day, and then switch gears for the evenings dress-up cocktail cruise or dockside entertaining. If sun becomes too much of an issue for you, there are plenty of bimini top options to choose from.
CHAPARRAL 300 OSX: Top Speed — 57 mph
Sporting two Yamaha F300XCA outboard engines, Chaparral’s second appearance on our list of fastest bowriders reached 57 mph. The Chaparral 300 OSX is one of the most technologically advanced bowriders out there and is not a budget option.
The first thing you notice is that this is both a center cockpit and a bowrider. A large hardtop covers the vast array of electronics and dual 9″ plotter and engine monitor displays. If you purchase it from a dealer, it will likely come equipped with twin outboards at either 250 hp or 300 hp. It’s “yacht certified” rating means that it can carry more passengers than it has seating for, but common sense should dictate passenger load.
BAJA 202 ISLANDER: Top Speed — 56.8 mph
Newer versions are no longer in production, but the Baja 202 remains one of the 15 fastest. At 56.8 mph with a 260-HP Mercruiser 50.L MPI, that’s quick in an open-cockpit boat, and in a 20-footer, it seems even faster.
One of the sleekest looking small boats on our list, the bigger, faster Baja Outlaw models are related to this feisty little bowrider. The cockpit lacks fancy electronics, electronic extras and chrome; therefore, it is easy to maintain.
FORMULA 310 BOWRIDER: Top Speed — 56.1 mph
Reaching 56.1 mph with an Ilmor 380-HP MV8 6.0L engine, the 310 is one of three bowriders from Formula to make the fifteen fastest bowriders boat list. Indeed, the Formula name is synonymous with fast and has speed in its bloodline.
Available with an incredible 13 different engines and outdrive options from 300 hp to 400 hp, it just depends on how fast you and your money want to go. We would go as far as describing this bowrider as a “pocket yacht,” as it has many of the creature comforts found on much larger boats, such as lounge seating, wet bar, well equipped helm and dazzling chrome accents throughout.
FOUR WINNS H230: Top Speed — 56 mph
The Volvo-Penta V8-380 with DuoProp pushes this 3,800 lb, 24′ fiberglass fashion show along at 56 mph, along with 10 of your closest friends. Speed isn’t everything, as there’s something to be said about getting there in style, too.
Seven different color schemes are available, and with beautifully appointed pleather trim and color combinations, you might forget how fast you’re really going. Trick it out with a board rack, tow tower and killer sound system, and you’ve got yourself a real head turner. The walk-through transom makes access to the swim step easy, no slip-and-falls here.
GLASTRON GT 245: Top Speed — 56 mph
The name Glastron itself sounds futuristic and fast, and it is. With a 380-hp engine, it can reach 56 mph. It starts at $57,400, so it’s more than a value bowrider but doesn’t reach the point where you are essentially buying a yacht.
Several different engine options are available, with the largest being a 380 hp Volvo V-8, but be prepared to shell out $75,000 for that particular engine package. Glastron has a neat website where you can build your own dream boat, and like the Four Winns, has a transferable hull warranty.
TAHOE 700: Top Speed — 55.7 mph
Let’s come back down to sea level, so to speak. Back into the range of affordability for most of us at $40,595, the Tahoe 700 still has not broken the 56 mph mark with its 300-hp Mercruiser 6.2 DTS Bravo engine, but with it’s sleek good looks and room for nine, who really cares.
It is more than fast enough for watersports but can also serve as a fishing boat, and the 21′ bowrider, equipped with a choice of six different engine packages from 200hp up to 300hp, will cause the top speed to vary slightly, and the bottom line to vary as well. All in all, it’s a well-appointed, stylish bowrider with get-up-and-go power.
TIARA SPORT 38 LS: Top Speed — 55.6 mph
The Tiara Sport is less than a mile per hour faster than the Four Winns H190, but consider that it weighs more than five and a half times more, (a dry weight 16,320 lbs) and is twice its length. Three 350 hp Yamahas are needed to get this bowrider up to its top speed, and at over 5,900 rpm, it will suck the 331-gallon tank dry in a little over three and a half hours. So top off before you return from your lunch.
The test vessel weighed a whopping 10 tons with a full load of fuel and engines, making the top speed of 55.6 mph that much more impressive. There are four different engine options available, and top speeds vary with each.
FOUR WINNS H190: Top Speed — 55 mph
Equipped with a 4.5L 250 hp Mercruiser, this 19′ Bowrider weighs in at 2,620 lbs., so we’re a little surprised with it’s top speed of 55 mph. You can use either a MerCruiser or Volvo Penta to power it. This bowrider boat also comes with transom lounge seats and other features such as a fiberglass cockpit floor.
Its top speed is twice what is needed for tubing or wakeboarding. Not that you need to tow the kids that fast, but it is nice to know you can make it back from offshore in a hurry, should the weather turn nasty.