Bowriders are making a comeback, particularly larger ones — rebranded as day boats — that are decked out to serve the needs of today’s boater. In the R7, Cobalt Boats delivers a day boat that can meet the increased demand for size and spaciousness combined with performance and versatility.
Space? Check out the R7’s cockpit. Cobalt re-engineered how it builds its boats’ hull and deck liners in a process called free space reclamation, and it results in an extra foot of interior width in the cockpit. Cobalt uses that space wisely. Check out the double-wide seat in front of the port console with an adjustable backrest that lets passengers face backward or forward. (Score one for versatility.) The rest of the cockpit seating is designed to create a conversation pit, from the L-lounge that extends along the transom to the love seat behind the helm. The transom-bench backrest also adjusts so it can be used to kick back on the sun pad. A cushion in the sun pad flips up on starboard chocks to create a backrest for a rumble seat. All of the seating is covered with durable, weather-resistant Nautiflex vinyl.
Forward, the bow lounge does not wrap completely around but stops to starboard to allow for a forward-facing seat. A filler cushion can complete a traditional lounge. The anchor hatch on our test boat hid a windlass, and the anchor deploys from underneath, which keeps it out of sight and also safe from dinging other boats in tight confines.
Other versatile innovations include the flip-down step on the standard extended swim platform. Recessed, it seamlessly integrates into the platform. When you’re ready for a swim, it smoothly flips down on beefy stainless-steel hinges to provide quick water access and an easy, safe reboarding point.
With a 50 mph top speed and the ability to climb onto plane in four seconds and to hit 30 mph in 7.3 seconds, the R7 has the performance bases covered too. On test day the wind kicked up an insanely tight bay chop that would have hammered lesser boats. But we climbed on plane and ran through it with rugged and rattle-free aplomb, returning to port no worse for wear but with a slight dousing of the windshield.
Comparable model: Sea Ray 270 SLX