2022 Cobalt R4

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Richard Crowder

cobalt r4 main

Cobalt’s new R4, at a little over twenty-four feet LOA, is the smallest of its R series of five models of bowrider day boats. The R4 model subject of this review is sterndrive powered, but it is also available in R4 Surf and R4 Outboard designations in order to cover all segments in this expanding portion of the marketplace.

Aside from the smooth, classy, conservative, high freeboard exterior lines of the R4, one of the first features your eyes will focus on is the helm. It the same helm as the R6, having a broad expanse of custom stitched composite eyebrow which provides protection and shading for the standard equipment dual flush-mount Garmin 743 Glass Cockpit screens on a gloss black dash console. Together these screens provide all instrumentation, diagnostics, and navigation. No more analog gauges. Depth and water temperature readouts as well as an hour meter are included. Also on the dash is the remote control for the AM/FM Bluetooth compatible stereo with iPod/USB/MP3 port and six speakers. A high-back, form-fitting, swivel, adjustable Del Mar Captain’s chair with flip-up forward bolster faces a thick-rimmed black leather and stainless steel tilting steering wheel.

Opposite the helm on the port side is a forward-facing bench passenger seat with flip-forward backrest with aft-facing sitting or stretch-out lounging. This port side lounge seat continues across the stern to the starboard side transom walk-thru. The backrest of the stern portion of this lounge has three positions to provide sit-up lounging or lays flat to make a large sunlounge over the sterndrive motorbox.

On the starboard side of the cockpit is a two-seater bench seat with a built-in cooler beneath the seat cushion. Storage is provided beneath the port side lounge and more storage is found within the motorbox on both sides of the engine. The molded integrated swim platform features Cobalt’s signature flip-down center swim step along with tubular stainless steel perimeter grab rails on each side of the platform.

A center walk-thru opening of the stainless steel-topped windshield and past the standard bow wind door leads to the full surround seating in the bow. This area is fully upholstered and padded throughout and provides seating for four or five. There are safety stainless grab rails on each side, as well as stereo speakers and cupholders. On the bow is an anchor locker with accommodation for a thru-stem anchor.

The port and starboard bow seats have console bulkhead padded backrests affixed to them so that the seat bottom and backrest together lift up with assist struts revealing huge storage compartments beneath the seat cushions and extending into the helm and passenger consoles respectively. These seats also provide comfortable stretch-out lounging in the bow area. There are not one but two in-floor lockable storage compartments; one in the bow and one between the helm and passenger seat.

Additional standard equipment includes bow, cockpit, and transom walk-thru removable carpet, removable ski pylon, and Kevlar reinforcement in the hull. Standard power is supplied by a 300 horsepower Volvo Penta V8-300CE-G Duo-Prop but most customers will likely choose upgraded 350, 380, or 430 horsepower selections from Volvo Penta or MerCruiser, all with digital electronic controls. Active Trim is available with MerCruiser engines.

There is a considerable selection of optional equipment, the most notable include trim tabs with indicators, all-chain anchor and windlass, cruise control particular to Volvo Penta or MerCruiser, automatic fire extinguisher, and battery charger. You may also want a manual or electric fold-down arch with rotating sunshade or a bimini. For watersports, choose the PTM rear view mirror, rear-facing camera, PTM, Triton, or Elite wakeboard racks, with or without covers.

Without the arch, you will want the Premium or Premium Easy-Fold bimini, and perhaps bow and/or cockpit tonneau covers, a mooring cover, and even bow and/or aft shade sails. Bow filler cushions are likely a must-have. You may want to upgrade your electronics with dual Garmin 8610 or 743 XSV (advanced sonar) or 8610 XSV Glass Cockpit screens and add XM Satellite weather. Also available is a wireless phone charger with holder.

Upgrade your entertainment with Premium or Platinum Sound systems with transom and/or arch speakers with or without covers. How about a transom stereo remote and perhaps satellite radio. You may choose a wood interior accent package, electric helm seat adjustments, red, green, blue LED accent lighting, and storage compartment lighting.

Choose Sea Grass or Sof-Trac flooring, solid teak or teak accented dinette table, soft-side cooler, cockpit heater, air compressor, or weighted throw pillows. An electric motorbox actuator would be handy as would be an electric swim step, transom tilt switch, transom shower, docking lights, underwater lighting, transom lighting, fender clips, as well as classy R4 LED model designator lighting. Finally - are you ready for it - choose Cobalt’s aft-facing rumble seat which is a flip-up section of the sunlounge.

Cobalt says its new R4 was developed to “address the day boating needs of discriminating boaters.” It would appear to do so in spades while advancing the lineup of this “premium luxury manufacturer.”

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Length: 24'3" 7.39 m
Beam: 8'6" 2.59 m
Dry weight: 5,290 lbs 2,399 kg
Draft: 3' 91 cm
Fuel Capacity: 50 US gal 189 L
Base Engine / Drive: Volvo Penta / MerCruiser Sterndrive
Engine HP: 300 - 430
Fuel Type: Gas
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