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Old    Jonathan Bay (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-03-2011, 7:25 AM Reply   
I was trying to look up whether Cobalts ran PCM engines (or Volvo-Penske ??? or what).

But anyway, I got sidetracked by this.

To be sure, tow-sports includes tubing, but I think the claims are broader than that.
Old    Steve (NuBu)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-03-2011, 7:53 AM Reply   
I read the link and I can tell you that a cobalt is a great boat! Honestly I agree with pretty much everything the link says but it's what it doesn't say that makes the difference. Hole shot/torque/pulling power (whatever you want to call it) is better with the inboard. The boats are designed differently for a reason, one is designed to sit high, ride smooth, and go fast. The other is designed to make an awesome wake and you cannot surf behind a stern drive boat. It's just not safe. There may be a few people argue that but do your research and you will see that's true. We have owned both and the bottom line is what do want to use the boat for.
Old    Adam R (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-03-2011, 7:56 AM Reply   
I think Cobalt has Merc or Volvo as powertrain options.

I think their claims are suspect. I'll stick with the inboard.
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-03-2011, 8:13 AM Reply   
Most if not all Cobalts run volvo engines and outdrives. this probably has something to do with brunswick owning bayliner, sea ray and a couple other brands as well as Mercury/mercruiser. Why help you competition by buying their engine? Cobalts are amazing boats, for sure but as far as I am concerned they are just a really nice runabout. If your goal is to cruise around a big lake, river, bay with the occasional wakeboard set then they are a great way to go. If wakeboarding or skiing are important to you then Cobalt is not the choice for you. If you surf Cobalt isn't even an option.
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-03-2011, 8:41 AM Reply   
Most of the Cobalts I have dealt with in the Chicago area have been Mercs. I would go with Mercs if I was buying one, many more service options across the country. Volvo has some advantages though when it comes to the outdrives.

Cobalts are nice boats, but after spending many years on runabouts from a lot of brands, I feel Cobalt is more name than substance. (In terms of build quality) I think people see all the little trim pieces and new gimmicks, and they associate that with build quality quality.

The videos are amusing on that site. My favorite has to be claiming a stern drive has very little bow rise. Compared to what?
Old    Mattgettel (mattgettel)      Join Date: Jan 2009       06-03-2011, 9:02 AM Reply   
If I had never been on an inboard I would prob believe some of what they are saying on that site, and some is true. But you just can't argue that the wake and pull power is going to be anything near an inboard. It's just not happening.
The comment about very little bow rise is quite comical.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-03-2011, 9:18 AM Reply   
My Cobalt has mercs in it. Like mentioned, that link is for the non inboard crowd. Anyone with inboard knowledge will know its BS.
Old    D. Cooper (dcooper)      Join Date: Mar 2005       06-03-2011, 9:25 AM Reply   
I know someone with a Cobalt and have ridden behind it a couple of times. The owner has ridden behind both of my Supra's and prefers them to the Cobalt. But, he spends time on a large lake mostly cruising with the family which is why he has the Cobalt.
Old    Joe B (sailing216)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-03-2011, 9:29 AM Reply   
Inboard you can surf without dying, better holeshot, better bowrise, little fins in the middle so a skiier or boarder dont rip the boat around if riding a course, backs up in only one direction.

Cobalt will be faster, deep V hull means better rough water ride, higher freeboard to stay dry and take bigger waves, can steer backwards, can have the rear pulled out by a good skiier or boarder, Trim tabs are probably standard, probably has a crapper for you to smell all day.

Cobalt compared to what inboard??? Apples and Orange comparison really.
Old    Fred (olmoomba)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-03-2011, 9:38 AM Reply   
that was a huge generalization of inboards. That thing would be accurate if it were still 1985 with low freeboard ski only boats.

The one and only thing I will completely agree with is prop damage but I keep a spare, so I have 2 props too! haha.
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-03-2011, 9:45 AM Reply   
a few of the facts make sense, but fir the most part, thats a load of bologna haha. if you were buying a boat just to cruise around in, that would definitely apply, but not for people who want to surf and wakeboard...
Old    Scott (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       06-03-2011, 10:38 AM Reply   
Last weekend while at a neighbor's house on a small private lake in Iowa, a boat parked in our cove and started blasting some tunes. The lady standing next to me looked over at me and said, "oh that's a Cobalt... the cadillac of boats..." She said it with a touch of bitterness, envy and admiration all rolled into one. I looked at her, smiled, and said, "oh"... thinking to myself, "I'll take my SAN." This is a lake with about 400 houses, and about 5 inboards, and my SAN is not one of them, but I think it is representative of the vast majority of casual boaters (i.e., not the wakeboard / ski / surf / wakeskate / hydrofoil crowd). Most people I meet do not even know what an inboard is. For those people, and for people who have maybe heard of an inboard but never been on one, this little gem of marketing will probably work as intended. For those who know... not so much.
Old    Steve (NuBu)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-03-2011, 12:31 PM Reply   
^ +1
Old    Steve (NuBu)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-03-2011, 12:34 PM Reply   
Cobalt, Chaparral ...They are all trying to pirate from the "wakeboat" craze.
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-03-2011, 1:21 PM Reply   
If I lived on Lake Washington I would have a Cobalt. Then again if I could afford to live on Lake Washington I would have a cobalt, a MC/Malibu/Nautique, 2 Sea doos, maybe a stand up, an Ocean Sport fishing boat, a Donzi Classic 22', a Nortech 44 roadster, a 70' Ocean Alexander and maybe a zodiac dinghy.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-03-2011, 1:42 PM Reply   
Speaking of Chaperral, check out their new 327. It nice!
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-03-2011, 2:14 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by psudy View Post
Speaking of Chaperral, check out their new 327. It nice!
32' open bow boats are awesome and stupid at the same time.
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-03-2011, 3:03 PM Reply   
Chaparral had the same kind of comparison a couple years ago. It really represents the growth of inboards in the recreational market more than anything else. Some of the higher end manufacturers now feel the need to work at avoiding sales loss to similar priced inboards.
You can view this as a clear indicator of the growth of interest in the inboard market.
Old    KDA (idaho_hillbilly)      Join Date: Jun 2009       06-03-2011, 5:18 PM Reply   
Comparing an inboard with a I/O is just stupid. Two completely different purposes and two completely different boats.

I would take back my old '94 Sanger DXII before I would own ANY I/O.
Old    S. Newby (scooby76)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-03-2011, 6:02 PM Reply   
Some of it is contradictory and other part help prove why I own a inboard.

I think its funny how at one point they point out that the prop of the inboard only goes as deep as the bottom v of the stern drives hull. But when it comes to running into an object all of a sudden it runs just as deep as the stern drives skeg.

Either way there is a market for both types. I just know my requirements.
Old    Michael Hunter (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       06-03-2011, 6:02 PM Reply   
Cobalt is the Cadillac of RUNABOUTS. This is like comparing a Lincoln to a corvette. If they are just as good why dont I see them pulling a national event?
Old    James (Silverbullet555)      Join Date: May 2010       06-03-2011, 6:08 PM Reply   
I have a cobalt and love it. It's not an inboard and if I was serious about watersports I would be in an inboard. They are not the same thing. Cobalt really shouldn't be trying to go after the inboard market. They should be trying to differentiate themselves from the other i/o boats.

That being said, there are many inboard owners that don't really need one. They would be better served with an I/O and cobalts fit nicely into that bill.

But, when we have rough water, I wouldn't want to be on anything other than my cobalt. Or if I need/want to get somewhere in a hurry. 65mph on the water is a blast.
Old    James (Silverbullet555)      Join Date: May 2010       06-03-2011, 6:10 PM Reply   
Oh, and about the powerplant, mine has a Volvo but they can be ordered with a Merc. If I had to do it over again, I would get a merc. So much more in the way of aftermarket. I would love to do some upgrades to my motor, but there is very little available for Volvo motors in the way of aftermarket performance parts.
Old    Matt (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-05-2011, 9:41 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by Silverbullet555 View Post
I have a cobalt and love it. It's not an inboard and if I was serious about watersports I would be in an inboard. They are not the same thing. Cobalt really shouldn't be trying to go after the inboard market. They should be trying to differentiate themselves from the other i/o boats.

That being said, there are many inboard owners that don't really need one. They would be better served with an I/O and cobalts fit nicely into that bill.

But, when we have rough water, I wouldn't want to be on anything other than my cobalt. Or if I need/want to get somewhere in a hurry. 65mph on the water is a blast.
Which Cobalt, and what does it have in it to hit 65 mph?
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       06-05-2011, 10:29 PM Reply   
I had some good sessions behind my buddies I/O before he sold it and bought a Malibu. He took me out on one of the first "wakeboarding" outings on it. I threw my rope out at 75' and messed with the speed and trim until I liked what I saw. We ran it at about 21mph with the trim as high as possible without cavitating and put a 550lb sack up in the bow. It was a decent clean little wake, plenty for the crew at that time. It was a really nice boat and served his needs better than the Malibu would have at that time. He was doing quite a bit of fising, he was spending time with the family up at Lake Tahoe, doing some tubing until I cured him of that sickness, and generally using the boat as an entertainment tool. Once he stepped up his wakeboarding game I was about the only person that could give him a decent tow behind the I/O. After a year of frustration with nobody wanting to ride behind his boat he broke down and traded it in on the Malibu. He has zero regrets but has also given up fishing and now spends less time boating and more time boarding.

If you really take a look at the usage patterns of lots of wakeboat owners, I would say you would find many that would be better suited with an I/O (any I/O not just a Cobalt). The first clue is the big tube thing strapped on the sundeck.

If you want a consistent pull with a consistent wake for any wakesport, don't bother with an I/O. If you find yourself feeling like V-drives are always pulling you too fast or the wake is too big, then a I/O or direct drive could be a better boat for your needs too.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-06-2011, 9:05 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by polarbill View Post
32' open bow boats are awesome and stupid at the same time.
Curious as to why you think they are stupid.
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-06-2011, 9:20 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by psudy View Post
Curious as to why you think they are stupid.
I guess I wish I had one because it would mean I had unlimited amounts of money to blow, I would have 10 boats, but a 32 foot run about is a little on the ridiculous side. It all depends on how someone is going to use it but there about 500 other boats in that price range that I would rather have that would be a lot more useful. They might say it is a cruiser but having a small cabin to pack a couple people in doesn't qualify as a cruiser in my opinion. Then again I don't really like any of the sport cruisers because all their interior room is down in the hull of the boat and most of light is artificial. Give me a a nice sedan or pilot house over one of those any day of the week. It is obviously my personal preference so it is pretty unfair to call it stupid. Maybe I meant it like "man, that boat is stupid sick". IDK
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-06-2011, 9:28 AM Reply   
I agree on the price point of view. Like you said, you could get a used flybridge. I just can't stand the large cutties that have less space than a 30 ft open bow.
Old    Dave Sutherland (suthaforce)      Join Date: Feb 2004       06-06-2011, 10:34 AM Reply   
Scott, that lake didn't happen to be Lake Ponderosa did it?
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       06-06-2011, 10:49 AM Reply   
The big cobalt open bows are awesome. I'd love to have one for Tahoe. That said... If you have the coin for that boat and the house to park it at you could probably afford to have a v-drive sitting right next to it.

I grew up on I/O's but have thousands of hours on inboards/v-drives. I could never go back and don't see why anyone would. I hate having an outdrive on the back of the boat. I'll leave that to the offshore boats and fisherman.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       06-06-2011, 5:11 PM Reply   
I've had a few I/Os and just one inboard. Funny they say about a drying smoother ride. My Saltare gives a much dryer and smoother ride than my last I/O ever did. i hav a nice deep V up front and lots of freeboard. I don't get wet, even plowing through 3' tug wakes at speed.

Then they say about top speed. Says an inboard won't do 50 MPH? Guess what, mine does, and gives a damn good ride at 50 MPH. I/Os can go faster though, it's the nature of the drive design. Inboards aren't good for top speed. You buy one knowing this.

An I/O typically gives better fuel consumption. This is true. My only comparison though is from ittle bitty engine I/Os ranging from 2.3 liter 4 bangers to 350 Chevy's. My Supra has a 454. Not a fair comparison, but it's common knowledge an inboard will not be as efficient.

Not sure on running depth and hitting things. Technically you can trim an I/O higher to have less draft at the prop but by the time you trim that high your ujoints in the outdrive input shaft are at some pretty extrme angles and won't last long before destroying the needle bearings or ripping an ear off a joint. I wind up riding behind my Saltare in 3' of water more often than I'd like at low tide, but have never hit bottom.

That aside, keeping an I/O at a good wake speed sucks, even with a big engine. Try getting a new driver to give you a good pull in a typical I/O at 20-21 MPH, heck even try an experienced driver. It's very challenging and take a lot of experience. That may be the #1 reason I went to an inboard. Even before I got PP for my Saltare anyone could give me a good pull with minimal speed variation.

They're different driveline designs for different purposes. Cobalt is doing some shady marketing. If you want to do any watersports you should be looking at an inboard. They are completely different boats. I would never go back to an I/O since 95% of my time on the water is spent riding behind the boat, and the other 5% is mostly spent idling through no wakes to get to the riding spots.

As for handling, yeah an inboard doesn't handle as nicely around the docks. Personally I don't find it's a huge difference and it hasn't been enough to bother me since I got my inboard. It's just a different way of driving. Kind of like driving an automatic trans vs a manual, or evena synchronized manual vs. a non synchronized manual. Personally I'm minimalistic. I've daily driven vehicles with unsynchronized transmissions and it never bothered me to rev match and double clutch every shift.

Cobalt doesn't mention maintenance. I find my inboard requires a lot less maintenance. Servicing a direct drive is faster, cheaper and easier than servicing and outdrive. Hands down inboard is the winner in maintenance.

If I wanted a good all around family cruising boat an I/O would be fine, so would most inboards though. If I wanted a go-fast toy, it's gotta be an I/O hands down. Personally I'd do a 26' twin 460 Liberator. I've always wanted one and almost pulled the trigger on one a while back for a great price but couldn't justify two boats, it was no good for watersports, and the sole purpose would be cruising around at 70+ MPH burning 30+ GPH. As far as I'm concerned a boat like that has two speeds, idle and WOT. I can't afford to do that enough to justify owning a boat like that. Much less the endless tinkering and power improvements I'd want to do... x2 for twin big blocks. Just ain't gonna happen. Different designs for different uses.
Old    James (Silverbullet555)      Join Date: May 2010       06-06-2011, 6:12 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by MattieK27 View Post
Which Cobalt, and what does it have in it to hit 65 mph?
It's a 226 with a Volvo 8.1Gi DP. Used to get to 65 on GPS. With the tower and bimini it does 63. If I had a Merc in it I would upgrade it to get closer to the 450hp mark. As it stands now, there is so little in the way of aftermarket parts for Volvo motors which is why the next one will be a Merc.
Old    Clayton191 (clayton191)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-06-2011, 9:14 PM Reply   
Not saying anything new here -- but all of my friends have caravelles, sea rays, crownlines, and a few cobalts. The lake we frequent is mostly I/O runabouts, pontoons, and baja hotboats. I would guarantee that each of them would trade for my old direct drive Malibu after riding in it. Its not an apples to oranges comparison. Cobalt knows that wakeboats are hot right now and is just trying to grab a share of new boaters...

I enjoy inboards because there are very few on our lake and I personally love driving them...

Also, completely off topic, but over the last few weeks I have had multiple people ask about Yamaha "wakeboats" - I have tried to steer them clear but the price points on used yamaha's w/ towers is hurting my argument...
Old    Aaron (alindquist)      Join Date: Mar 2004       06-07-2011, 4:45 AM Reply   
I personally love my Cobalt... It's been a great boat. As for the IO vs. v drive vs. inboard I think it has a lot to do with where you boat. We are out in the inter-coastal in salt water with huge bays. Just seems like the IO's handle the rough stuff a lot better than any v-drive I have been in. Also seems like the v-drives I have been in get torn up a lot faster in salt than the IO's do. Granted I haven't spent anytime in any of the Salt water series v-drives.

As for the wake and "ride-ability" I have found most v-drives are better, but for me it's not worth the trade off. The last thing that is hold me back from progressing is my boat. I have no ambitions to ride professionally and the wake behind my boat is just fine for myself and the rest of my crews skill level.

That said if I was still up north in MN and boated on small lakes I would have probably bought a v-drive, but down here there is no way I would trade my boat for a comparable v-drive. If we are talking new, then get me an Cobalt A25 with the 8.1 Ocean-X Volvo, that boat looks freakn awesome!!!


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