When we attended Cobalt’s dealer meeting in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, the company’s entire line stretched out before us, but time allowed for testing just six. The R5? We kept coming back to it and actually snuck it out a second time for personal fun.
It has the spring of a racehorse and the agility of a barrel turner. If you’ve ever ridden a well-behaved thoroughbred, it knows what to do — all it needs from you is to understand your intent. The R5 is like that, offering a oneness with the ride that seldom comes along in boats. Nudge the wheel to port and feed in throttle, and it carves a rodeo turn so tightly and so smoothly that it’s infectious. The starboard curve is equally graceful; not many boats are so ambidextrous.
It had the luxury interior appointments one would expect from a premium bowrider, but the fit and finish spoke “megayacht.” Sisal matt flooring is waterproof but fabriclike, and the vinyl is UV-protected but as supple as leather.
Cobalt’s signature transom platform step flips over into the water, forming a step about a foot or so below the waterline. Sit and enjoy here, protected from bumping the drive with your feet. 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.