Friday, March 30, 2012
A blue norther has been gathering up in Nebraska, the wind cranking it another knot or two, and I’ve come inside just now with thick fingers and wet eyes to think about spring. About my first bold Cobalt trek across an unfrozen lake. About the memories that wait for all of us on our boats, as we go back to the water again.
I’m feeling right now the thump of a Cobalt hole-shot, the middle-of-the-chest certainty that a bunch of Mercruiser power is under some very tight control. I’m resting easy in wrap-around, deep-down comfort and security of the captain’s chair, listening to the squeals of my grandson riding happy portside, his face lifted into the breeze. He is learning the thrill that comes with command, the unmistakable satisfaction of a new boat responding just as directed. His strong suggestion that “we go fast, grandpa” is not to be taken lightly, but our Cobalt — he’s coming to understand — is about performance beyond speed. At nine years of age he can appreciate the trueness of our turns, the ease and smoothness of our cruising.
He, like his elders, loves this boat, because of the way it makes him feel. And not just the exhilaration that our Cobalt brings, not just the visceral stuff, but the quiet times as well, those perfect minutes with the engine off, rocking just a little on waves that invite a nap, him telling one silly story after another. Those good times are coming, I tell myself. But nothing like a Cobalt in the last days of winter to make a kid impatient.
Thanks to John Brown for contributing
Categories: Cobalt Boats, Lifestyle | Tags: Cobalt Boats, Luxury Boat, New Boat
Thursday, March 22, 2012
In no way reasonable do I pretend that the looming, if warm and well-lit, interior of an exhibition hall can reproduce the joys of your favorite cove. But you can visit the arena nearest you in these latter, all-important days of America’s boat-show season, and you can check out the new Cobalts on display there. Yes you can.
In every way reasonable I argue that those few precious hours in the company of these boats will remind you that a new Cobalt can become a place set apart in space and time, even under the domed concrete ceiling of a trade show. Even there, with the popcorn smell and the undertones of a thousand conversations, a new Cobalt will incline you toward a state of mind that says, “Let’s slow down here. Let’s sit and enjoy each other’s company a while longer.” Yes, you should.
And then you can come to the point of this particular afternoon, and you can take a hard, work-manly look at the Cobalt models for 2012, four of them brand new to the line. You might then dig around in the Cobalt of your choice. You might look at the stitching of the upholstery. You might run your hand along the gleaming finish of a perfect gelcoat. You might open some storage bins, and notice their the fit and finish of a boat that’s way, way more than meets the casual eye. You might decide that right here is a boat ready to take you down to the sea in style, safety, dependability, and obvious comfort. Yes, you might.
So here’s the deal. Make the sea level rise. Roll up your pants, and visit a boat show near you. You deserve an up-close and very personal look-see with some new friends from a Cobalt dealership near you.
Yes, you do.
Categories: Shows and Events | Tags: Destination, Family Boating, Lifestyle, Luxury Boat, New Boat
Friday, March 16, 2012
I’ve known Cobalt boats with an arm’s length sort of intimacy since 1991, the year I saw at first hand these remarkable watercrafts being built in a landlocked small town. In the two decades since, I’ve written thousands upon thousands of words about these boats, not one of which was, not one of which came close to . . . “fishing.”
I caught my first bullheads from a farm pond in 1952, my first big catfish on Blood Creek in Barton County, Kansas, and my first bass from a lake supplying the steam engines my family conducted for the Missouri Pacific Railroad.
At no time in those early outings, in fact at no time until the Nineties and my association with Cobalt Boats, did I hear the terms “wraparound lounge,” “swim platform,” “reversed chines,” or “bow filler cushion” in the context of having fun around water. As I came to know Cobalts better – the handmade perfection of their construction, the familial nature of the boatbuilders themselves – it became clear that here were boats intent for waterbound good times apart from worms and spinner baits and jigs-and-pigs. Listen to the language there, the genteel and the not so much.
These days I fish almost exclusively with a fly rod – my grandpa’s well and wildly weathered bamboo, the eight-weight gift from my best friend, the three-piece I carry always in my pickup, a fish or two forever imminent in these hills and their steams to which the cattle will soon return. And I am happy now to introduce the realized notion that a man might stand secure in the cockpit of a 220 drifting oh so nicely into a mossed-up rock bottom cove and might in a moment of pure, solitary joy cast a Montana, the yellow-and-black slow-sinking fly so thoroughly enjoyed by big bluegill and angry largemouth bass around here).
Cobalts have always been, will always be, the most social of boats, with yacht certification on the larger models that suggests come one-come all welcome to a St. Patrick’s Day party at sea. But bear this thought of early morning fog, the family still asleep ashore, when your Cobalt might be yours and yours alone.
You could do worse than be a long-rod floater, a quiet Cobalt cruiser among God’s submersed and splendid creatures. Leather steering wheel, and all.
Categories: Cobalt Boats, Lifestyle | Tags: Cobalt Boats, Cruiser, Cuddy , Luxury Boat, Saltwater
Friday, February 24, 2012
As the years go by, we hear time and many times again that the most memorable, and therefore the most critical, component of the Cobalt Experience is The Ride. You sit in the bow of a 220. You captain a 232. You relax rather completely on the lounge of a 276. And you notice almost nothing. No discomfiting thump as your Cobalt comes on plane. No unpleasant bouncing about at cruise.No slip and slide in the turns.
And no component of the Cobalt Ride matters more, contributes more, than the extended running surface, an abstract sort of deal if ever there were one. The marine engineering says that a boat’s ride smooths and stabilizes as more of the hull maintains contact with the water at speed. Existential, the effects of this contact.
The hull’s surface forces against the water – Cobalt fiberglass touching gulf and lake and river at cruising speed. And the results are unmistakable: quicker planning, firmer and truer turns, minimized bow rise, more lift astern and, when combined with the deep-V shape of the prototypical Cobalt hull, comfort and security so nearly perfect that . . . well . . . let’s tear across the bay again.
Just to feel The Ride once more.
Categories: Cobalt Boats, Innovative Features, Lifestyle, Watersports | Tags: Boat Builders, Boat Dealers, Cobalt Boats, Luxury Boat
Monday, February 20, 2012
Imitation, the old saying goes, is the purest form of flattery. For a boat manufacturer – no, for a bunch of boat manufacturers – to copy Cobalt ideas can be downright up-puffing. And so, you’ll please forgive the folks in Neodesha for a quick mention of the ways in which they’ve been imitated, the Cobalt innovations that have gone on to become industry standards.
All perfectly legal, you understand, this borrowing of what once were fundamental differentiations in the design and building of these boats. Legal after a sufficient period of exclusivity, and therefore and thereafter flattering. Over the years, would-be competitors have seen the wisdom of metal backing plates installed in the fiberglass below hardware on the deck, multiplying the strength, increasing the longevity of hard-working cleats and eyes and rails. Cobalt has added muscle and bone to the most vulnerable areas in a boat’s design – at the bow, for instance, where the now-legendary Cobalt scuff plate stands guard. And everywhere, deep down in the fiberglass behind every bolt, every screw on every hardware attachment, there rides plated reinforcement, ruggedness belied by the friendly reflections of a perfect gelcoat.
And next time you pass by a Cobalt windshield, pause for a moment to understand the stresses inevitably applied there. Feel the cold rigidity of the stainless steel designed everywhere in the windshield, its mounting, and its supports. Know that Cobalt has anticipated the worst, has designed the best possible resistance to wind, to the force of years of happy use of your boat. Next week, we’ll talk about the often, if unsuccessfully, copied Cobalt ride, an extended story in itself. Stay strong, you who go down to the sea.
Categories: Cobalt Boats, Industry News, Innovative Features, Lifestyle | Tags: Boat Builders, Boat Dealers, Family Boating, Lifestyle, Luxury Boat
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