The new CS3 from Cobalt Boats is truly a new design from stem to stern. Cobalt designed the CS3 to be a gateway boat the way the 3 Series is to the BMW line of cars. That is to say, Cobalt did not skimp on quality and performance to build a bowrider with an affordable sticker price.
You can see that quality at the dock in the CS3’s sporty profile and graphics. The swim platform extends well aft of the transom and features Cobalt’s patented flip-down swim step. When actuated by a simple stainless-steel lever, the swim step drops down to create a seat or step in the water that makes reboarding easy after a towing session or a swim at anchor. Note too how the swim platform is protected on either side by integrated, L-shaped fenders — they look like hockey sticks — with stainless-steel rail inserts. Also note there are two transom walk-throughs, one to either side of the sun pad that is mounted on the engine hatch.
Once inside the cockpit, you’ll note the spacious feel of the interior. Cobalt achieves this with its Free Space Reclamation process during the build, which adds nearly an extra foot of interior width to the cockpit. There’s seating along the transom and both gunwales, and an adjustable backrest on the port console seating so the co-pilot can face forward or backward.
Performance? The Cobalt CS3 does not disappoint. When paired with the 300 hp Volvo Penta sterndrive package, it topped out close to 50 mph. Planing speed was particularly impressive and took just 2.9 seconds from a dead stop. It reached 30 mph in a zippy 5.5 seconds. The boat tracks true at low speeds, gracefully carves sporty turns at 30 mph, and handles any lake chop thrown its way without discernable pounding, flexing or rattling. That’s a testament to Cobalt’s design and build process. Our test boat featured Volvo Penta’s EVC (electronic vessel control); with the Trim Assist button, we always cruised at the right attitude, without having to touch the trim on the throttle.
*Fold-down sport arch is easy to deploy and helps with trailering, off-season storage or even going under low bridges on the water.
*New Titanium interior fabric choice provides a fresh and aggressive style in the cockpit upholstery.
*Flip-down swim step makes reboarding from the water a nonissue.
How We Tested
Engine: Volvo Penta V8-300
Drive/Prop: G-DP/F6 Duoprop stainless-steel propset
Gear Ratio: 2.14:1
Fuel Load: 20 gal.
Crew Weight: 380 lb.
$79,995 (with test power)
Cobalt Boats Neodesha, Kansas; 800-468-5764; cobaltboats.com