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Cobalt 26SD WSS
Draft: 2'3" (drive up)
Displacement (approx.): 5,500 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 21 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 4'11" (without Bimini)
Fuel Capacity: 50 gal.
Max Horsepower: 430
Available Power: MerCruiser and Volvo Penta sterndrives
Cobalt runs in a small, nimble pack of premium boatbuilders. You know who the others are. Now there’s a new wolf in the pack that bridges Cobalt’s proven luxury performance to the crowd-pleasing spaciousness of a deck boat. Cobalt’s 26SD WSS (Sport Deck Water Sports Series) sacrifices not a smidgen of sound performance or a square inch of opulent luxury to bring boaters a distinctive ride that is water-sports-ready.
The profile retains Cobalt’s signature lines, and it’s not until you step up and board the 26SD WSS that you see how the company has widened the bow into a stealth-angled wedge that adds bow seating while blending sleek, proud chines from the stem to the stern. The boat is as stable as can be at rest, so a big crew can feel free to move about the cockpit. On the fly, its sharp 21-degree transom deadrise cleaves wakes and hooks up solidly in turns.
Months after my test drive, the feeling of the upholstered helm in my left hand and the throttle comfortably in my right hand is as crisp a memory as the clear mountain air of Coeur d’Alene Lake, where I tested it. Top speed was modest at 52 mph but the altitude had its impact, and a Midwest lake or coastal waterway might see another two miles per hour whether powered by the Volvo Penta or MerCruiser system.
No, Formula doesn’t make deck boats, but that’s where you’d have to go to find a luxury day boat as well steeped in performance DNA. Formula’s 270 BR ($110,700 with test power, tower and color gelcoat) stretches nine inches longer but remains comparable in seating and luxury. That’s thanks to the broad bow area, and the 270 BR’s aft rumble seat — the closest competitor to Cobalt’s. Chaparral’s 264 Xtreme ($117,703 with test power, tower and colored hull) is another beauty, a true deck boat with sporty luxury. Its rumble seat is similar to Cobalt’s but slightly narrower, accommodating a wide walk-through transom as a result.
The 26SD WSS also boasts a walk-through. Both the Chaparral and the Cobalt sport the coolest wakeboard arch, of cast powder-coated aluminum and color-matched to your choice of hull colors. Cobalt’s tower folds down for compact storage at the push of a button. This feature is handy for those who keep their boats in a garage, and it’s great for trailering as well.