The Cobalt R7 is a 27’6” (8.38 m) bowrider with a 8’6” (2.59 m) beam which means it can be trailered. Her emphasis is on seating room and forward-facing seating. She is about as big a boat that is possible powered by a single sterndrive engine, and she can accommodate most towing sports. Her build quality and fit-and-finish are excellent.
- Double stitched/quilt pattern design cushions
- Leather wrapped stainless steel steering wheel
- Illuminated stainless steel switches
- Fender storage
- Bluetooth stereo with 6 flush mount speakers
- 21-degree deadrise at transom
|Length Overall||27' 6'' / 8.38 m|
2.49 m (max)
Currently no test numbers
1 x 300-hp 6.2 L MPI ECT-300 B3 DTS
1 x 350-hp 6.2 L MPI ECT-350 B3 DTS
1 x 380-hp 8.2 Mag ECT B3X DTS
1 x 430-hp 8.2 Mag HO ECT B3X DTS
4 Volvo Penta engines from 300-hp to 430-hp
Contents of Report
The mission of the Cobalt R7 is to be an up-market bowrider that can seat 15 people and have versatile watersports capabilities. She has a relatively low base price which consumers will find compelling for such a prestigious brand, and from that standard boat buyers can add a long laundry list of options.
- • Craftsmanship. Cobalt is well known as a company that puts an extra level of attention into the fit-and-finish of its boats – and that reputation is well deserved. It can be seen throughout, from the plush upholstery to the seats that add just a little more room to the seamless joinery where components meet.
- The craftsmanship also shows, even before stepping aboard. For example, the hullside graphics are molded in to the gelcoat, and the boats almost always have a pleasing profile with reverse transom and rounded stern quarters.
- • Storage. Under virtually every seat and in the helm console there is storage, plus dedicated storage. For example, the designated fender storage will keep the cockpit clutter free. According to Cobalt, its FSR (Free Space Reclamation) adds an additional 20+ percent of storage space.
- • Cobalt’s fiberglass cockpit liner is fitted over a composite honeycomb floor which sets upon the fiberglass stringer system, saving weight and providing a quitter ride, according to Cobalt.
- • Seating. Not only is there lots of it: comfortable seating for 12 adults by our count when running, and as many as 16 when at rest. Equally important is that eight adults can sit facing forward when running.
- • Build Quality. Cobalt’s build quality (16 layers of hand-laid fiberglass with Kevlar in the keel and one of the best gel coat finishes in the business), is one of the important aspects of the boat that sets her apart from the mid-line brands. The company does not cut any corners, or use less expensive but inferior material where they can’t be seen.
- • Classy Upholstery. Cobalt was one of the boats that started the cross-hatches stitching of upholstery to give it an elegant, rich look, as opposed to a solid sheet of vinyl wrapped over foam.
- • One of the Best Warranties. The 10/5/3 transferable warranty is one of the best in the industry and Cobalt prides itself on its warranty repairs. It provides for ten years on the hull and deck structure, five years on the components, canvas and upholstery and three years on the gelcoat.
The full-beam swim platform is covered in a rubberized non-skid. A patented feature that Cobalt owners will love is the submersible swim step that allows for easier reboarding when watersports are the order of the day.
It is also far enough aft of the running gear to ensure that swimmers remain safe of any sharp edges underwater. This is an important safety feature.
When the swim step is stowed, it lies flush to the swim platform. Swimmers will also appreciate the stainless grab handle that surrounds the platform. This also serves to protect the platform from an errant docking. A transom shower ($651) and an umbrella ($1,111) mounted where the ski pylon mounts, are welcome options.
The Stern and Seating
Just ahead, is the start of Cobalt’s innovative seating. The convertible rumble seat transforms from a sun pad to an aft facing seat. Just ahead is a reversible seatback with a stainless grab handle across the top. This allows the seat to flip fore and aft and convert from an aft facing chaise lounge to the forward facing cockpit seating. The optional filler pad ($546) changes the aft facing lounge to a large sun pad.
The start of Cobalt’s premium level quality can be seen with just a glance at the quilted patterned upholstery on the seats. Multiple densities of foam are used to add to the comfort level. A stereo remote is to the port side bulwarks, and comes standard with the Premium stereo. Ample self-draining storage is under the aft seat.
The 8” (20.32 cm) cleats are up high and well outside on the bulwarks, well clear of the trip zone. This outboard location also eliminates the need for chafing gear.
A stainless steel pylon comes standard, and fits through the hole in the stern seat.
Here, Maximum Seating is the Mission. The cockpit area is wide and expansive, with plush seating everywhere. Cobalt’s upholstery is as good as any in the industry, and the padded stitching patterns in the quality vinyl seats help make the boat look classy and elegant. The variable density foam in the seats and their contours surely make them comfortable even after a long day.
We enter the cockpit from an elevated starboard side walkthrough. 40-oz. snap-in carpet is standard, but optional snap-in Sea Grass carpeting ($1,696) is available. A gate at the transom would be a welcome feature, especially when kids are aboard.
An optional air compressor with holder ($230) makes blowing up water toys a snap and stows easily under the seat cushions. With the stern seat back placed in the aft position, two to three full-sized adults can sit, with room to spare.
This seat also covers the engine. The engine cover lifts with standard gas struts or the optional motorbox actuator ($901), to allow plenty of room to service the engine. An optional automatic fire extinguisher system ($966) or CE required auto fire extinguisher ($1,482) are essential for added safety.
To port is a large bench seat, large enough to accommodate two adults. Under this seat is a storage compartment which houses the battery switch and removable ski pylon. A battery charger 110v ($503) or 220v ($553) will help keep those batteries topped off. Add a dual battery switch with ACR (automatic charging relay) ($445) to help maintain any electrical additions to the R7.
Added Utility. With the passenger seat back flipped to the forward position, a second aft facing lounge is created. Add in the optional dinette table ($1,186) to create an al fresco gathering. This table can also be placed on the port side of the swim platform.
Flipping the passenger seat back to the aft position creates a wide forward facing passenger seat, with fold up bolster. There is a locking glove box, an open storage box with 12-volt plug, and audio inputs along with the head entry just forward.
The captain’s seat, with fold up bolster, can swivel aft to join in on the conversation when not underway.
Just behind the captain’s chair is more storage. An optional cockpit sink can be added ($1,020) here. Further aft and to starboard is the corner-mounted seat with a curved front so as to not interfere with the transition through the cockpit. A large cooler is located below.
Bimini Options. For most people, UV protection is not an option, and a Bimini is a good piece of equipment to have on any boat. The optional premium Bimini ($2,620) is a good start. But if the ease of deployment is important, the optional easy fold premium Bimini ($3,054) may be the way to go.
Many arch options are available. A manual folding one with Bimini ($7,579) or electric folding with Bimini ($9,285), a rotating sunshade on a manual folding ($10,149) or a rotating sunshade on an electric folding ($11,855)…the choices are seemingly endless.
An arch will not only help with watersports by placing the towline higher, but also additional speakers can add to the entertainment. Wakeboard racks, Elite ($2,099) or Triton ($3,850) can be a nice option to keep things clutter free.
When the sun sets, create atmosphere with the optional LED interior accent lights ($985). To further enhance that atmosphere, optional underwater lights ($1,784) illuminate the surrounding water. When underway or docking in the dark, the optional stainless steel docking lights ($518) can be welcome. Another cool option is the remote key fob courtesy lights ($326). These lights will help make boarding after dark much safer.
Cover the Cobalt. When the fun has ended, protecting the Cobalt R7’s plush interior is important. Choose from the optional bow tonneau cover ($434), the cockpit tonneau cover ($1,099) and/or the mooring cover ($1,518), to help keep the interior clean and comfortable. Even though Cobalt uses the most expensive vinyls on the market with Pre-Fixx, if the boat is downwind from a major highway or industrial area, there are particles in the air which are hard to get off of white vinyl and even fiberglass, without compounding.
The head is located on the port side of the forward cockpit, and the standard version includes just an inexpensive Porta-Potti which must be emptied ashore after each outing. A head with electric porcelain toilet ($2,278), or head with pump-out Porta-Potti can be added as an option. An optional portlight ($699) will not only add natural light, but ventilation, and we recommend it.
An optional sink ($1,883) is located on a solid surface counter outboard. An optional gray water system ($1,237) should be considered, if the wet head show option is selected. The head is large enough for a grown person to change into dry clothes after a day of watersports.
As we enter the bow area, a large in-deck storage compartment is located at the walkthrough. It’s large enough to fit any of the watersports equipment needed for the day on the water. For quick repairs, an optional tool kit ($84) mounts to the underside of the lid, something that we have rarely seen.
Forward seating consists of a wraparound to port that curves across the bow. To starboard is a single seat allowing the guest to sit while still having feet on the deck. Both seats include flip-down armrests, which we appreciate more than the flip-up style, as nothing needs to be released to deploy or stow.
The port chaise lounge is plush and big, with storage underneath. The starboard side seat can be converted into another lounge with the optional filler cushion ($712) creating two large lounges on the bow, much as we usually see in most other bowrider designs. The starboard seat opens to more storage and the helm service area. Just ahead of the windshield, and to starboard, is another storage compartment.
Anchors Aweigh. In front of this seating area is the anchor locker. An optional windlass includes an anchor with all chain rode ($4,489). The rode runs through a thru-the-stem anchor roller and a standard stainless steel scuff plate adds the necessary protection.
Sleek and stylish describes the dash, with or without the optional Makassar dash/interior trim package ($1,337). The composite helm brow with double stitching sits above the dual Garmin 7607 touchscreen units. The lighted stainless steel push-button switches help make the dash look and feel smooth.
The black leather and stainless steel wheel dresses out the dash with textured brown vinyl with double-stitched white UV-resistant synthetic thread. A small storage compartment is located to the starboard side of the wheel. An armrest is located just above the throttle controls. XM Weather ($1,099) is a welcome option to have when the skies turn dark.
An optional Volvo Penta rudder indicator ($233) or Mercury rudder indicator ($470) will ease the operators mind when performing close quarter maneuvers, and we recommend having one. When operating in any sea condition, or with an out of balance load, the optional trim tab with indicators ($1,523) will keep the boat at peak performance.
An optional windshield mounted driver side rearview mirror ($421) is needed when towing, and is something we rarely see on bowriders not specifically designed for towing. To finish off the helm, an optional stainless steel foot tread ($474) will give the operator added grip and foot comfort.
Set the mood with the standard Rockford-Fosgate stereo powering the six speakers. Included with the standard stereo are a dash remote and USB/Bluetooth/iPod, and MP3 connections. Multiple upgrades to the stereo and speakers are available as options.
These stereo options include a transom remote ($364), satellite radio ($367), premium sound with transom speakers ($2,848), premium sound with transom and arch speakers ($5,401), platinum sound with transom speakers ($3,416), and platinum sound with transom and arch speakers ($7,191).
Cobalt offers a wide range of engine choices for an owner to dial in the sort of performance being sought. Choose from either Volvo Penta or MerCruiser from 300-hp on up to 430-hp.
The standard engine is the Volvo Penta V8-300CE-G EVC DP included in the base price of $130,652.
Volvo Penta Engine Options to Consider Are: Volvo V8-350CE-G EVC DP ($137,096), Volvo V8-380CE EVC DP ($142,529), or Volvo V8-430CE EVC DP ($152,570). Protecting the Volvo Penta engine is important, and the Volvo anti-corrosion system ($539) and the Volvo Ocean-X ($2,558) will keep it clean and be corrosion-resistant in saltwater.
When towing with the Volvo engine, steady pace is key. The Volvo Tow-Mode ($1,025) lets the operator pre-set the rpm wanted. Simply give it full throttle, and the Volvo accelerates to the preset rpm. If the person being towed should turn sharply, the system compensates so the rpm stays constant. The Volvo cruise control Zero-Off ($1,827) is identical to the cruise control in your car, with one exception. Zero-Off runs off of your GPS. Simply set your speed and go.
MerCruiser Adds Plenty of Options Also: MerCruiser 6.2 L MPI ECT-300 B3 DTS ($131,142), MerCruiser 6.2 L MPI ECT-350 B3 DTS ($137,429), MerCruiser 8.2 MAG ECT B3X DTS ($143,398) or the MerCruiser 8.2 MAG HO ECT B3X DTS ($153,677) are all exceptional options.
The optional MerCruiser SeaCore system ($4,046) should be considered if using the boat in saltwater, as it is a special system with stainless steel parts, special coatings, and other details to reduce corrosion.
The optional MerCruiser active trim system ($779) will help keep the R7 riding smooth and comfortable without the operator having to worry about trim. If towing a skier, wake boarder, etc, the MerCruiser Smart Tow ($2,378) is an easy option to use. Simply choose from one of five of the launch settings, choose a cruise rpm, check on the person being towed and go. The Smart Tow system will do the rest. To return to idle just tap on the throttle.
We haven’t tested the Cobalt R7 as yet but when we do our attention will be focused on the benefits of the extended running surface. This design typically allows for quicker planning times, lowered planning speeds, and minimal bow rise upon acceleration.
The base price of the Cobalt R7 is $130,652. Fully loaded, she tips the scales at $242,948, and that is with her filled to the top with options. To see where this boat might price for the options wanted, simply re-read our report and add up the option prices which are given.
Cobalt is one of the marquee brands in bowriders today, and her $130,000 base price is compelling – just as it is intended to be. But virtually all owners will be adding many options, and it is not hard to push her over $200k.
How Will She Perform with Her Standard Engine? We don’t know as we have not tested her and that is one of the big questions consumers will have. She should ride well because of her 21-degree deadrise at the transom, but on the other hand, deep-V boats are harder to push and consume a bit more fuel. We’d like to know more.
Having said all of that, there is nothing quite like pulling up to the dock in a classy boat such as this Cobalt R7.