Cobalt 336

Cobalt's 336 is a big sporty bowrider with a ton of creature comforts.

Cobalt 336

LOA: 32'10"
Beam: 10'7"
Draft (max): 2'11" (drive down)
Displacement (approx.): 12,300 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 22 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 8'10" with hardtop
Max Cabin Headroom: 4'9"
Fuel Capacity: 154 gal.
Max Horsepower: 720
Available Power: Twin MerCruiser or Volvo Penta sterndrives to 850 hp total; twin Volvo Penta diesel sterndrives to 860 hp total
More Information: cobaltboats.com

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Cobalt 336

Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho may be the only inland waterway that challenges Lake Tahoe for elegance and beauty. Its deep, open waters can be rough and glassy on the same day, depending on where you boat in relation to the wind. It is a perfect testing ground for Cobalt’s 336 luxury bowrider, and its broad expanse makes it an ideal place for weekend overnighting and touring.

So what’s overnighting got to do with a bowrider? Cobalt has tucked a double berth, flat-panel TV and spacious head into this clever vessel, and it’s done it while preserving plenty of sun-kissed cockpit and bow seating space.

At first glance, it could be just another big bowrider. But upon closer inspection, this Cobalt shows great attention to detail. Check out the lounges. These have finely stitched, ultraviolet-light-protected upholstery with the rich feel of leather but the water resistance of premium marine vinyl.

In the port side of the cockpit is a wide lounger that provides wraparound seating in one configuration and forward-facing passenger console seat plus an aft lounge in another. Recline this seat, and it makes an ideal lounge for facing aft. With your feet up, there’s a cup holder within grasp of your fingertips to handle refreshments.

I also liked the cool cocktail table that pops out of the portside lounge amidships. It comes from underneath the lounge with three easy motions: Lift the seat cushion, raise the seat back to reveal the table, swing it out, and the seating re-forms behind it.

But Cobalt’s engineers weren’t done with convertible seating, as we learned when we stepped into the bow. On the starboard side, there is a double-wide lounge equipped with a fold-down armrest that adds comfort along with a secure ride.

Belowdecks, I found a flat-panel TV and DVD player along with jacks for auxiliary and USB devices. The convertible berth is perfectly angled for watching the TV. Air conditioning and heat give four seasons comfort.

Now, all this luxury would just be another opulent place to sit if it weren’t for the high-performance design of the 336 hull wrapped around it and the easy-to-operate MerCruiser Axius ($26,915) or Volvo Penta 380 Joystick ($22,985) system that makes it perform. The joystick is worth the extra cash.

Joystick control systems in boats today are legendary for eliminating the fear factor in boaters graduating to larger, more luxurious rides. For any captain they make close-quarters maneuvers intuitively easy. To many new boaters reared on video games, the joystick makes boating as familiar as Xbox Grand Theft Auto.

Each system sports dual prop drives that give the boat a tremendous boost in midrange torque. That helps maintain slow planing speeds for tube riding or wakesurfing, should your pampered self long for a little adventure. With 22 degrees of deadrise cleaving waves and wakes, it’s at home whether on the Chesapeake or Lake of the Ozarks.

The Chaparral 327 SSX offers the joystick with the 380, but it's packaged with the OceanX drive, making the base package with test power cost $268,252. The Chaparral comes within 1 inch of the Cobalt's length but falls 7 inches short of its beam. Still, the Chaparral sports a berth and a full head, and the hardtop is standard.

At the Cobalt’s helm station, a custom-molded dash is covered with snug-fitting vinyl with a full-grain leather look. Contrasting double stitching is arrow straight and perfectly parallel. Instruments are set in solid aluminum plates. This gives the sturdiest support, ensuring a longer, fog-free life. The dash panel has plenty of space for MerCruiser SmartCraft or Volvo Penta instrumentation, plus a GPS if you elect that option. If you’re tempted by navigation equipment, let Cobalt put it in for you — it eliminates much of the haze around warranty claims and ensures your dealer will not be punting to another vendor should you need service. (One thing that makes Cobalts popular is their top-shelf dealer network and strong reputation for standing behind what the company sells.)

The portside console pivots outward on Fort Knox-heavy hinges and latch, revealing a large head compartment trimmed with granitelike surfaces and rich vinyl accents.

Our test boat had the optional radar arch with hardtop ($18,150). Cobalt also offers a Bimini top ($2,520) if you’re inclined. Though Cobalt clearly built this rig to cruise, relaxation is at the heart of boating, and its signature transom boarding bench makes the greatest place to enjoy the water at anchor or when reboarding from wakesurfing. The nice thing about the 336 is that, if your crew can’t decide whether to cruise, ride or hang out, it can go with the flow and satisfy them all.

Comparable model: Chaparral 327 SSX