Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
It became very noticeable at boat shows across North America this past winter/spring that an evolution was taking place – an evolution in power – especially among the major pleasure boat builders. Outboard power is back and is making a major statement in how traditional mainstream family boats are being powered.
And the renowned and respected Cobalt brand is no exception. For 2018, Cobalt offers three models in its exclusively outboard powered SC series of bowrider runabouts in twenty-three, twenty-five, and its all-new thirty foot model. Cobalt refers to this as its “unmistakable contributions to the revival of the outboard engine.”
Even as the smallest of the three outboard-powered SC models, the 23 SC exemplifies all that is Cobalt in both standard equipment and available options. The single 225, 250, or 300 horsepower outboard motor is mounted near the outer edge of the swim platform thus allowing easy full-width access across the platform between the motor and the “transom.” The extended starboard side portion of this platform houses Cobalt’s flip-down swim step.
The starboard side transom walk-thru to the cockpit from the swim platform passes alongside a large aft sunpad featuring a full-width adjustable backrest which allows rear or forward-facing seating or lounging. Of course, with no sterndrive engine housed within this sunpad space, it is mostly all devoted to storage.
Aft of the adjustable starboard side helm seat with forward flip-up bolster is a single fixed position seat with storage beneath the seat cushion. Opposite the helm seat, the passenger seat also features an adjustable backrest allowing forward facing seating with a single seat behind it or rear-facing lounging utilizing both portions of the seat. Once again, storage is found beneath this combination seat.
Through the standard bow walk-thru door, individual forward-facing high-back seats with folding armrests are located on the forward face of each helm console. Ahead of each of these seats is a rear-facing single seat cushion which utilizes the surrounding padded cockpit coaming as a backrest. Port and starboard side filler cushions are optionally available to convert each of the above combinations into a stretch-out lounge seat on each side. Again, storage is found beneath all seat cushions.
A center step between the two cushions of the aft-facing bow seats allows access to the anchor locker which includes a standard telescoping stainless steel bow boarding ladder complete with hinged cover. Within the passenger helm console is a head compartment complete with a standard Porta-Potti. A porcelain electric head with holding tank is optionally available as is a sink console. Snap-in bow and cockpit carpet is standard.
Cobalt helm consoles are always sumptuously finished. The 23 SC features a gloss black dash console with stainless steel accents and switches, colour-matched aluminum dash panels, a composite helm eyebrow with custom stitching, a unique black leather and polished stainless steel steering wheel, hour meter, depth plus water and air temperature, and not one, but two standard in-dash Garmin 7607, seven-inch Glass Cockpit screens digitally providing all engine operating data plus navigation. A Bluetooth compatible stereo with iPod, USB, and MP3 ports, six speakers, plus dash and transom remotes is also standard. Sound system upgrades are optionally available.
Optionally upgrading your Cobalt 23 SC will require some, perhaps difficult, but totally pleasant and rewarding decisions. For example, you will no doubt want the optional bow cover, cockpit cover, and possibly even the mooring cover, but then do you choose the bimini top, or the Premium Easy-Fold bimini top, or perhaps the aluminum folding arch with bimini, or perhaps the sport tower with sunshade, or go all the way with an electrically operated folding aluminum arch with bimini. Then, with the arch, do you want Triton or Elite wakeboard racks and with or without stereo speakers. Perhaps just the ski tow pylon will suffice.
Other notable accessories you may wish to add include a cockpit table, Sea Grass and/or Sof-Trac Marine mat, LED interior accent lighting, remote-controlled courtesy lighting with key fob, a powered Captain’s chair, air compressor, four or ten weighted throw pillows, stern port side boarding ladder, bow and transom showers, underwater and/or swim platform lighting, battery charger, trim tabs with indicators, and even a tool kit.
With this outboard powered SC series, Cobalt’s stated objective is “to at last bring to market boats redrawn, reoriented, reweighted, renewed toward a single purpose. That is, to add convenience and economy – and quiet, blessed quiet -- in a new way to the traditional Cobalt virtues of performance, handling, comfort, luxury, and room, lots of livable room.” Objective achieved.
|Dry weight:||4,200 lbs||1,905 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||59 US gals||223 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury, Yamaha Outboard|