Cobalt’s goal is simple: to design and build the world’s most innovative, well engineered, and best-performing boats imaginable. For over 40 years the company has succeeded in that mission, offering a level of quality and fit and finish that has placed them among the
world’s elite boat builders. Runabouts, from 20’ to 33’ have long been the brand’s bread and butter. Today, deckboats, cuddies and cruisers round out the line, each showcasing a level of handcrafted quality and sophistication that make the name Cobalt an industry benchmark.
Asked to create a mid-sized runabout with traditional elegance and the smoothest of quiet rides, we went to the prototype shop with an exterior profile first in mind. Sleek, low, and aggressive. Very, very aggressive, per the R5's Edge graphics, set forward of the sculpted truth that is the R5's transom, swim platform, and sunpad -- cohesive in their integrated design, free-flowing in their easy functionality. The transom is walk-thru, of course. The back-rest is convertible, and the space forward is wide and wider still, with an interior beam almost a foot wider than the ever so super-spacious 242's. We then followed with yachtesque, wraparound seating to capitalize on those wishes for a flawless ride, a ride begun of course in that legendary Cobalt hull. This seating configuration, by the way, belongs only to Cobalt in boats of the R5's size. The twice wide passenger seat forward makes the cockpit even more flexible in its service of a good time -- fully convertible in direct reflection of seating aft. A console door, elegant in its woodgrains and crafted vinyls, opens to a head larger above and all-around than any other boat in the class.
The helm gleams in hand-craftsmanship, in oil-rubbed ebony Makassar trim and duotone aluminum dash panels and switches of stainless steel and five-inch digital gauges with multi-function readouts and, over all, a form-fitted eyebrow in everlasting vinyl. The wheel wraps in leather: one of the most time-honored of Cobalt traditions, this masterpiece of a steering wheel. Our owners have always insisted on comfort and convenience and accessibility -- "ergonomics" to our designers -- and so the R5's armrests and footrests and controls and cupholders and every last little amenity aboard arrives with a form and a function just too ergo for words. And one more name to drop: the Rockford Fosgate stereo, optimized and ready, as we say, to crank.