Cobalt 200 | Boating Magazine

Cobalt 200

The 200 is ideal for those looking for a small runabout with big luxury.

We Say: Cobalt’s new 200 may be the smallest boat in the company’s lineup, but it lives up well to Cobalt’s quality and luxury standards.

That became evident in short order during my test. Wrapping my mitts around the black-leather-and-stainless-steel wheel, I admired the clean dash in front of me, particularly the upholstered eyebrow that deflected glare from the gauges. Hand-stitched. Very classy.

And cutting edge too — a handy port awaited an iPod for transferring tunes through the boat’s standard six-speaker system. I was on a 20-foot boat, right?

That’s the thing with a Cobalt — the company builds ’em right. And I was similarly pleased with the 200’s performance. The 4.3-liter MerCruiser popped the boat onto plane in 3.2 seconds and carried us to 30 mph in 10.4 seconds. It topped out at just under 48 mph, carved nicely in turns and hit a stride at 3,000 rpm, in which it burned a lean 3.4 miles per gallon.

Did I mention the hand-stitched dash upholstery? Well, that look continues throughout the bow seating area to the chaise lounge astern. An aft sun pad borders a walk-through at the transom, which descends to a large swim platform. My tester was also equipped with Cobalt’s new flip-down swim step, an ultracool option ($810). Access to the engine is a snap — and there’s enough storage on the boat to stay on the water for a week.

Like they say, good things come in small packages.

Who’d Want One: Those looking for a small runabout with big luxury.

Another Choice: Check out the Chaparral 206 SSi ($42,395 with 4.3-liter MerCruiser MPI Alpha).

Bottom Line: $44,932 (base with test power);