2013 Cobalt R5 Bowrider

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Richard Crowder

cobalt r5 bowrider running Cobalt R5 Bowrider

Cobalt Boats of Neodesha, Kansas offers a total of twenty-six models for 2013 in six series from twenty to thirty-three feet. At twenty-five feet, eight inches length overall on an eight foot, six inch beam, the R5, subject of this review, is third smallest of the eight bowrider models offered by Cobalt which themselves range from twenty-three to thirty-three feet.

Cobalt refers to what it calls the “Superior Construction” of all of its boats and the R5 is no exception. The 100% hand laid fibreglass hulls which are deeper and have an extended running surface are reinforced with Kevlar® and include honeycomb composite construction. A fibreglass stringer backbone system is bonded into the hull; the transom is of composite material, not wood, and the cockpit inner liner composite floor is of Nida-Core. A proprietary barrier coat is applied to the outer hull for improved cosmetics and blister resistance and a “Buffback” gelcoat is used to resist fading. Hull graphics are in the gelcoat and not vinyl applied on the outside. All seat construction is wood free “Vara Dense” with StarBoard/Kelron seat bases.

The R5 Bowrider is a Cobalt through and through starting with its fairly deep 21° deadrise deep-vee hull design and continuing through its interior appointments and optional selections, some of which are only available on a Cobalt. For example, the standard extended swim platform also comes standard with Cobalt’s exclusive recessed flip-down swim step and this platform also features a tubular stainless steel perimeter rail to help prevent any impact damage to the fibreglass of the platform.

A very short step up from this platform gets you into the R5’s cockpit via the starboard side walk-thru. Seating here is luxurious and fills the cockpit with a three-piece L-shaped lounge starting at the forward edge of the double-wide passenger bench, down the port side, and across the transom to the walk-thru. I say three-piece since the passenger bench is sculpted as one piece with an adjustable backrest which allows forward-facing seating, or flipped the other way, is a headrest for an aft-facing lounge.

The transom portion of this lounge is sculpted as a separate bench seat and between these two, in the middle of the port side is a single-width bench, opposite which, on the starboard side is a sculpted two-person bench seat. An optional cockpit table can be mounted here to provide virtual four-sided seating around it. Storage is found beneath virtually all seat cushions.

More needs to be said here about the rear bench seat portion of the L-shaped lounge. The backrest for this rear bench can be flipped forward to act as a headrest for a huge rear-facing sunlounge which extends over the motorbox like normal. However, if people are sitting on this rear bench and don’t wish to lose their position to a sunlounge, two more persons may lift the forward portion cushion of the rear portion of the sunpad behind this headrest and create a smaller rear-facing sunlounge behind this transom seat. Nifty!

Moving forward and through the standard walk-thru bow doors of the opening centre portion of the polished stainless steel trimmed windshield, the bow seating area is also classic Cobalt. To starboard and immediately ahead of the driver’s helm is literally a high-backed chaise chair with fold-down armrests. Opposite on the port side is an identical looking chair only with a permanent filler cushion which extends this seating forward and around the inside of the bow to the starboard side. A starboard side filler cushion is standard to convert this bow area to full U-shaped seating and the optional centre cushion converts the entire bow area to a huge sunlounge. Again, underseat storage is supplied as is a forward deck-accessed anchor locker.

The driver’s helm is perhaps best described by Cobalt. “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.” A Garmin 740 GPS is optionally available.

The hinged forward portion of the passenger helm opens wide to access the head compartment within. A porta-potti is standard and may be optionally exchanged for an electric porcelain toilet. A sink console is optional. Entertainment on board is supplied by a standard AM/FM Bluetooth stereo with iPod/USB/MP3 port, six speakers, and dash remote. A premium sound system and a transom remote are optionally available.

Other notable options include all canvas coverings including a bimini top, docking, underwater, and transom lights, transom shower, electric motorbox actuator, upgraded cockpit carpet, air compressor for watertoys, automatic fire extinguishing system, trim tabs, anchor windlass, and a very fancy Del Mar helm captain’s chair, among many more.

The Cobalt R5 is perhaps best summed up by Cobalt itself. “Attention perfectionists, idealists, and the truly obsessed everywhere. Act as though comfort and luxury are chief requirements to life. Because nowhere in your life do you accept mediocrity.”

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Length: 25' 8" 7.82 m
Beam: 8' 6" 2.59 m
Dry weight: 4480 lbs 2214 kg
Fuel Capacity: 50 US gals 189 L
Base Engine / Drive: MerCruiser 350 Mag MPI B-3/Volvo Penta V8-300 DP
Engine HP: 300
Fuel Type: Gas
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