We Say: The R5 has all the spring of a racehorse and the agility of a barrel turner. If you’ve ever ridden a well-behaved horse, you know it knows what to do — all it needs from you is to understand your intent. Cobalt’s R5 is that way. During testing it offered me a oneness with the feel of the ride that’s rare in boats. I nudged the wheel to port and fed in throttle; it carved a rodeo turn so tightly, so smoothly, it was infectious. Its cut to starboard was equally graceful; not many boats are so ambidextrous, suffering from the effects of prop torque or poor X-factor placement of the sterndrive.
The R5 had the luxury interior appointments one would expect from a premium bowrider, but the fit and finish spoke “megayacht.” Sisal mat flooring is waterproof, and the vinyl is protected from ultraviolet rays but still as supple as leather.
Cobalt’s signature swim-platform step flips into the water, forming a step one foot or so below the waterline. It makes reboarding a breeze — without a bolt-on ladder.
If it’s fair to liken the R5 to a racehorse, it’s fairer still to call it a triple-crown winner. You know it in the way it steps out of the gate at a punch of the throttle, and in terms of bringing pride to the owner, it’s more than a nose ahead.
Who’d Want One: Day-boaters who want a thoroughbred on the water.
Another Choice: Formula’s 240 Sun Sport has a luxury ride and fit, and with the Volvo Penta 380C runs $111,270.
Bottom Line: $101,931 (base with test power); cobaltboats.com