There was once a time when outboard power was reserved for the likes of fishing boats and center-consoles, but as noted in Outboard Engines on Runabouts; a Match Made in Heaven, that’s been changing. Way back when the noise, smoke, and exposed rigging weren’t dignified, and they might spoil the fun and sophistication of taking guests to dinner on your boat. Thankfully, those days are over, and Cobalt has taken full advantage of outboard power with its new 25SC.

Modern outboards are quiet, clean, and work out quite nicely on a top-shelf runabout like the Cobalt 25SC.

Modern outboards are quiet, clean, and work out quite nicely on a top-shelf runabout like the Cobalt 25SC.

A quiet and comfortable luxury runabout, the 25SC isn’t afraid to get a little salty, and that’s something outboards do better than stern drives. The ability to lift the engine out of water—and flush it while the boat is still afloat—is a big advantage for those weekend trips to the Intracoastal. Yet at the same time, the 25SC does everything you expect from a luxury runabout.

Quiet cruises to your favorite waterfront grill? Check. Thanks to four-stroke outboards from Mercury and Yamaha, the 25SC delivers the Cobalt experience even with outboard power.

Watersports? You bet. Of course, it will help if you equip the boat with the optional arch, which is available as a manually folding piece or electrically-actuated. Either arch includes a Bimini top.

Room for everyone? Yep, it’s got that, too, and the outboard powertrain certainly frees up a lot of room at the stern and gives designers a little more freedom. Because there’s no stern-drive engine, the rear stowage compartment is cavernous—and your life vests won’t smell like gas and oil when you pull them out.

At the stern, the 25SC comes fitted with a wide rear bench that converts to an aft-facing sun pad and lounge.

At the stern, the 25SC comes fitted with a wide rear bench that converts to an aft-facing sun pad and lounge.

The swim platform is right at water level and it’s where the outboard is mounted. Just three lines for the engine controls and steering connect it to the boat. The rigging is clean, so it doesn’t detract from the luxury experience.

Inside, the cockpit is straightforward, and it has lots of room for passengers to move around thanks to ample deck space and Cobalt’s “blade style” windshield, which frees up more room compared with a conventional wraparound. There’s a jump seat behind the driver and one to port with a backrest that converts to forward- or aft-facing. There’s also a head compartment, which comes with a portable MSD but also can be fitted with an optional fixed head with pump-out and macerator.

Because of the 25SC’s bow design, the forward-most portion of the boat is spacious and comfortable. The bow has an anchor locker that also conceals a boarding ladder. The forward lounges offer room to stretch out, but they’re arranged in such a way that they can accommodate four adults up front. The bow seats also feature fold-down armrests, which, because this is a Cobalt, are through-bolted and strong enough to stand on.

Of course, with a base MSRP (with a 250 HP Mercury Verado outboard with power-assisted steering) of $101,602, the boat isn’t an entry level model. For that kind of money, a Bimini top should be standard. It isn’t. Canvas should standard. It’s an option. The rest of the available equipment is genuinely optional stuff, things like underwater lighting, the arch, and an air compressor. There are plenty more options, so you can outfit the boat any way you like.

Outboards have evolved to the point where you won’t miss the inboard. What’s more, the ease of use of an outboard will become apparent your first trip out.

Other Choices: The Chaparral SunCoast 250 is another outboard-powered runabout cruising similar waters. Same goes for the Sea Ray Sundeck 240, which is available in both outboard and stern-drive models.

For more information, visit Cobalt.

See Cobalt 25SC listings.
Deadrise21 degrees
Displacement4,500 lbs
Fuel capacity73 gal.

Written by: Brett Becker
Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered the marine industry for 15 years. In addition to covering the ski boat and runabout markets for, he regularly writes and shoots for Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.