While still in its slip on test day, the Cobalt R5WSS turned the most heads at the marina. Passersby couldn’t help but gawk at its vibrant graphics package (our test model had a red-and-black gelcoat combination) and striking sports tower. The WSS stands for Water Sports Series, and the new R5 lives up to its name.
The aluminum tower is constructed with beefy stainless-steel pipes that allow Cobalt to add a pair of Samson swiveling board racks. The tower also brings the tow rope to higher vantage point, allowing boarders more leverage for tricks and aerial displays.
With a 380 hp MerCruiser 8.2-liter Mag engine paired with a Bravo Three sterndrive, our test boat turned heads on the water too. We sprinted to more than 52 mph and planed in just over four seconds, a time water-sports enthusiasts will view very favorably. There’s torque in reserve, providing great midrange acceleration, and the dual propellers give the boat extra bite in turns.
The R5WSS earns more style points for its interior, with a champagne vinyl that has colored accents to match the hull graphics. The dash sports a hand-stitched brow with a new graphite inset that enhances its stylish look and blends nicely with the Garmin GPSMap 740. The cockpit feels especially roomy thanks to a construction technique Cobalt calls free space reclamation (FSR) that adds nearly a foot of extra interior width. A spacious head occupies the portside console, featuring a faux granite countertop and pump-out toilet.
Use the transom walk-through on the starboard side to access the extended swim platform with the flip-down swim step. The sun pad is a great spot for boarders to gear up before a session.
The R5WSS has a killer Rockford Fosgate stereo system, with tweeters inset into the dash just underneath the windshield to enhance the sound. The tunes carry forward into the bow lounge. The forward-facing recliners both have beefy flip-down armrests, and recessed stainless-steel grab rails adorn either side. To starboard, a filler cushion flips out from under the seat to create a full wrap-around lounge.
*Swim platform is protected by stainless-steel piping so you don’t have to worry about crunching or dings around the dock.
*Aluminum arch has supports to hold Samson board racks.
*Flip-down armrests in the bow lounge can support the weight of an adult boat tester standing on them.
Dry Weight: 4,880 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 14/2,250 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 50 gal.
How We Tested
Engine: 380 hp MerCruiser 8.2L Mag
Drive/Prop: Bravo Three/22.5-inch pitch B3 stainless-steel propset
Gear Ratio: 1.81:1
Fuel Load: 25 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$117,040 (with test power)
Neodesha, Kansas; 800-468-5764; cobaltboats.com