Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Lake Norman stretches for more than 30 miles, with a surface area of 32,500 acres and a shoreline of more than 520 miles, earning thereby its nickname of the “Inland Sea.” Located just north of Charlotte, North Carolina, Lake Norman has become a favorite of boaters throughout the southeastern United States, both for weekend excursions and for extended vacations in which enjoyment of a new Cobalt comes amid other splendid leisure opportunities, both urban and rural. The mountains and the coast wait just a short drive away, in opposite directions of course.
Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville are the nearest North Carolina Communities, each with big-name hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns, most of the former located just off I-77, 20 minutes from Charlotte. Please be advised, however, that lake-front rentals remain scarce and difficult to obtain. The temperatures on Lake Norman – this unprecedented early season heat notwithstanding — will float in the upper 80s this summer. Oddly, July is the wettest month in the region. But enough of these dry facts. Enough, we say!
Let’s turn quickly to what might be. As you cruise the main channel of Lake Norman and you notice another Cobalt keeping pace several boat-lengths over, you might want to look a bit closer at the captain across the way. Because Charlotte is ground-zero of the cultural phenomenon that is NASCAR, there is a concrete possibility that a car-driver very comfortable at 200 miles per hour will be more than comfortable driving a Cobalt at 55. You do not want to race on Lake Norman! Despite the lake’s lack of a speed limit, a North Carolina Class B misdemeanor waits for recklessness of any sort. And besides who back home will believe that you shut down Joe Gibbs Racing? A strict no-wake policy applies around all man-made structures.
It’s also quite possible that you will see perched atop a buoy a bird you believe to be an eagle. It’s not. It’s an osprey. It’s somewhat possible that you will see a marine creature of huge bulk with significant dentition. And scales. Green scales, reportedly. With, as we say, many, many teeth. That would be Normie. Normie, the Lake Norman Monster. With, of course, a website: www.lakenormanmoster.com. And coloring books for children, the more contrarian of whom may color Normie’s scales purple.
And, by all means, drop in to say hello to Mark Kale, general manager, at Lake Norman Marina, your Cobalt dealer, at 6965 Highway 150 East, just over nine miles west of I-77, three miles east of Highway 16. (704-483-5546).
Normie can wait.
Categories: Cobalt Boats, Dealer Partners, Lifestyle | Tags: Cobalt Boats, Destination, Family Boating, Lifestyle
Friday, May 18, 2012
A boat is not a boat is not a boat and, at Cobalt, will never be just a boat.
Which is to say, we design our boats every model year to meet the evolving needs of ever more sophisticated owners, luxury boats that incorporate the latest technology and the very best of our most recent thinking, boats adapted to specific recreational opportunities. Which is not to say that we don’t build boats which adapt very well indeed to multiple recreational opportunities.
None more than the 26SD, a veritable Swiss Army knife among boats. With the 26SD we designed to a single over-riding principle, one unchanging truth. Fun follows function.
We know that the good times roll when a family boat has been built to answer your every demand for performance, for adaptability, for genuine innovation in the service of a happy, carefree day on the water. The 26SD is every bit as much about skiing and waterboarding as about quiet conversation on a leisurely cruise. The ride on the 26SD is dry and smooth – even on coastal chop. The coming on plane is sudden, the seating expanded, the choice of powertrains complete and specific.
The 26SD of course continues the recent Cobalt innovations of the water-level swim platform and its patented swim-step, flipped down for safe, quick, easy movement in and out of the water. A beach boarding ladder serves a similar function.
We’ve intentionally created a list of optional equipment essentially twice the number of standard features. Intentionally, so that buyers are free to come to Cobalt at an affordable base price, and then to decide for themselves what options will best serve the 26SD’s intended fun. From the look of the boat itself – with three-color hull graphics, for example – to the choice of carpet fibers, from the reach and heft of the sound system to cool functionality of a refrigerator to the addition of a stainless-steel arch with a bimini top, the 26SD waits to serve – functionally now, functionally — the fun of the moment.
Which is to say, the 26SD is a boat that can and will be the boat.
For you, the boat.
Categories: Cobalt Boats, Innovative Features, Lifestyle | Tags: Award Winning Boat, Bowrider, Cobalt Boats, Family Boating, Luxury Boat, New Boat
Thursday, May 03, 2012
It never, ever hurts to dream. To dream huge, fine, and faraway. And so today’s cruise to fantasyland involves land belonging to three different countries – Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – about 250 miles of shoreline surrounding Lake Constance. The Swiss Alps jut above, stunning in their vistadom, the ideal backdrop for life to be lived for a time on a Cobalt of European extraction, one of the cuddies in the line probably, a 273 let’s say, the 273 an amalgam of luxury, utility, convenience, comfort, and performance that speaks to the needs of essentially every owner, its broad beam welcoming to you, your traveling companions, and the sunset about to explode in this old, old part of Western civilization, where reconstructed dwellings from the Stone and Bronze Ages wait ashore.
As do other beacons of culture when you leave your Cobalt for a day trip to the vineyards, quite odd museums, historic town squares, ornate churches, and – yes, Virginia — castles surrounding Lake Constance. Maybe you’ll slip into Friedrichshafen, Germany, the city which gave the world the zeppelin, the cigar-shaped hot-air balloon invented there by old Count Ferdinand von Z. himself. Or maybe you’ll listen to /Tosca/ performed on the Constance-borne floating stage at the town of Bergenz in Austria. A lake festival in Arbon, Switzerland in June culminates in a massive fireworks display like unto that a few days later on the Grand Lake of the Cherokees. The German town of Konstanz gave the lake its name and its principal picnic item, Muenster so outrageously good that an accompanying wine is routinely forgotten.
Angling is prolific, and the lake serves up several species of incredibly edible fish, varieties of perch, pike, and trout at the top of the list – staples of the restaurants in every shore-town. Perfect beaches, both sand and pebble, punctuate the lake, made picturesque not just by the sleek Mediterranean lines of your luxury Cobalt boat, but also by the frequent regattas and sailing competitions throughout the summer months.
As the third largest lake in Europe, and the biggest lake in the region of the Black Forest, Constance is popular, and then some. By no means overcrowded, the area is nonetheless aflutter with leisure activity of every sort, and you’ll share Lake Constance with laughing, friendly people – locals and tourists alike – all attuned to a healthful outdoor lifestyle.
Please be advised that a license, easily enough obtained, is required to captain a Cobalt on the lake. For additional information about a dreamy vacation centered around a pre-alpine lake of pristine beauty with German airships overhead, you simply cannot find more informed, more helpful people than the happy folks at our Cobalt dealerships: Brunnert-Grimm AG Espen 9, CH-8274 Gottlieben Tel 0041 71 669 11 77 Fax 0041 71 669 15 56
Categories: Dealer Partners, Lifestyle | Tags: Boat Dealers, Destination, Lifestyle
Monday, April 30, 2012
Those of you boating along the Gulf Coast will surely have noticed more and more Cobalt boat owners waving back at you on open water. Over the past several years here in Neodesha, Kansas we’ve seen Cobalts obviously intended for saltwater use grow as a percentage of total sales, most especially in Florida’s coastal waters. You should know too that these sales increases have not been confined to our larger boats. Far from it, in fact, as even the 200 has shown itself particularly adaptable to big water.
Cobalt hull design, our legendary exteneded running surface, give our smaller models huge advantages over competitive models of similar length. Advantages in smoothness of ride and overall manageability of the boat in rough ocean chop. Those of you who frequent the on-line boating chatrooms – The Hull Truth, for example – will hear all sorts of discussion about the saltwater usage of boats of all sizes and configurations. A bottom-line value runs through that commentary: the quality of the manufacturer.
Regardless of add-ons, special saltwater-options packages, or particular preventive maintenance procedures, the craftsmanship of the boatbuilders and the seaworthiness of the boat’s raw materials determine your long-term satisfaction. End of song.
In this regard, as you continue to think about a boat for coastal ocean use, trot out the roster of Cobalt standards of construction applicable to your contentment today, to your sense of your wise self a decade from now: the Kevlar in the hull maybe with its Hydrolam processs, the profligate use of stainless steel – electropolished stainless steel, the tightly engineered integrity of the electrical system, the deep-V design, the closed cooling systems in all available powertrains.
In this last regard, our new owners in Florida and other Gulf States are fully engaged with revolutionary new responses to the corrosive effects of salt water on engines and drives – the Ocean-X option from Volvo Penta and Seacore from MerCruiser. A visit with your nearest Cobalt dealer begins the details of the discussion. Matey.
Categories: Boating Safety, Innovative Features | Tags: Boat Builders, Cobalt Boats, Destination, Saltwater
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
Monday, February 13, 2012
United States Patents do not belong to those terrified by paperwork. The application process calls for a black-and-white welter of forms, abstracts, descriptions, claims, amendments and, in some cases, appeals. We’re protecting intellectual property here, folks, and there are lawyers involved. A peculiar set of attorneys, odd in their wanting to wade knee-deep into the minutiae of what belongs to whom for how long and why.
So it comes with some pomp, some legal precedence, this Cobalt swim step and its patent. As is with so many great ideas – gravity, yeast, the hula-hoop – the Cobalt swim step operates as a beautiful simplicity, its form matched honestly to its function. Kiddos with inflatable wings pushing their pudgy little deltoids right up into the sunlight can scamper in and out of the water with natural-born ease and public safety, thanks to this step, this lift and soft drop, this elegant contraption of electropolished stainless steel deploying – and then retracting to its hiding place –in the splash of a cannonballer’s fun. We’re talking seconds here, folks.
As with so many other Cobalt innovations, other Cobalt creations of an industry’s standard, there will come imitators. From the bow scuff-plate to the backing on siderails to the flip-lip captain’s seat, Cobalt design has been copied and copied again by would-be competitors. And they will most certainly now be investigating the nuts-and-bolts of the swim step, eager to adapt it for their own borrowed use. But not for seven years or so. Not if this federal government of ours has anything to say about this particular little deal.
Categories: Industry News, Innovative Features, Videos, Watersports | Tags: Award Winning Boat, Boat Builders, Boating Industry, Cobalt Boats, Lifestyle, Watersports
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