Some boat companies achieve the perception of luxury through marketing (think of Grey Poupon ads). Some companies, like Cobalt, build a boat of such quality that it speaks for itself. The new Cobalt 252 is such a boat, a runabout with the meat to support the mustard.
Start with the way the 252 is laid up in the mold-high-quality vinylester resin and chines reinforced with Kevlar. Then the hull-to-deck joint features a backing strip for extra bite and support. The gel coat on my test boat looked flawless-no surprise.
The 252 performs at a high level on the water, too. It exceeded the 50-mph mark with test power and always felt dialed in throughout the rpm range. What's more, even hitting other wakes at high speeds, nothing rattled. I could execute lock-to-lock turns at 30 mph with no slippage or ass-end blowouts. The 252 proved its worth for towing or going slow in rough water, holding plane at 14 mph and just 2000 rpm.
At the helm, the standard black leather steering wheel never obstructs the gauges from any tilt position, and there's a comfortable spot for your elbow to rest when working the throttle. The stainless-steel switches on the dash all have LED lights and are clearly labeled. I liked the recess to the right of the wheel, a little insert with felt padding to hold your phone, keys, or whatever in place.
The in-sole ski locker, located in the walkthrough between the main and bow cockpits, has enough space to stow all your water toys. The double-finished hatch lifts on two gas-assisted struts. The transom seating backrest adjusts for aft-facing seating or reclines to create a sunlounge. Stainless-steel cupholders are strategically placed throughout the boat, as are six speakers. The removable ski pylon and extended swim platform with a wraparound stainless-steel rail should cover all in-water activities. What's missing? The cockpit wetbar that other competitors offer standard.