Friday, October 12, 2012

Cobalt: A Long Standing Tradition

 

My oldest friend died last week. And I have become thoughtful. About things that last and those that do not. I’m old, and my examples of life’s swift passing reflect my age. You youngsters out there, please substitute appropriately.

Now, Cobalt owners and those of you who would soon like to become such, look at your boat. Look there. And there. And over here.  And here.  And recognize again that genuine style operates outside of Time. Look at your Cobalt: its classic lines, its amenities, its so carefully chosen comforts, the technology that underlies every inch of its hull, the elegant simplicity of its profile, its effortless grace at cruise and anchor alike.

Mood rings and pet rocks have come and gone, and we all must continue to pray that neither earth shoes nor disco balls ever, ever return. You know, Cobalt design has not once admitted a passing whim, a fad of the moment. We build boats in long traditions of craftsmanship which in Neodesha, Kansas have come to stay.

I think of my old friend with his Beatle bangs and his bell-bottom jeans. And then I see him again, on his Harley, the bike he had bought two months before he died. And on his boat, his Cobalt another American icon, a throwback to a simpler time. A time when dreams seemed as real and attainable as the malt shop down on Main Street’s red bricks, when the latest pop record spun at 45 revolutions per minute. I think now that my old bud wanted his Cobalt 202 just for its looks, for its classic three-color graphics, glorious and unfading, beautiful today and tomorrow, just like Betty Lou in that summer we all did the Twist.

I’ll miss him, and those long, slow cruises into a summer sunset that, we thought, would not ever end.

Thanks to John Brown for contributing.

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  Categories: Lifestyle | Tags: Cobalt Boats, Lifestyle


Friday, September 21, 2012

Cobalt Enthusiasm

 

The rains have finally come to Neodesha, Kansas.  After fifty-plus days above a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, we’ve become a bit philosophical. About our work. About its obligations and its rewards.

We’ve been thinking about you.

We believe in thoughtful fanaticism.  We value enthusiasm in the pursuit of personal and collective standards of performance determined by the specific, identifiable needs and wishes of our customers.  We understand the particular relationship between boats and their owners, the deeply personal nature of a product whose principal function is to introduce families to boating.  The big abstractions matter: “quality,” “innovation,” “service,”.

But we understand that the such words find meaning in the ten thousand daily completions of small, carefully defined tasks.  Quality begins in the integrity of a wiring circuit.  Innovation is subsumed in the first flicker of an idea for a better brace for a windshield.  Service is a phone call.

We build boats so that your expectations are established after the first ride in your new boat.  Boating is visceral.  It’s adrenalyzed, physical, full of sensations felt, first, in the middle of one’s chest.  And so Cobalt builds boats that thump, subtly sometimes, but thumping nonetheless, full of your family’s best feelings about yourselves and your time together.

Cobalt builds boats for families and for friends. In the realization of individual dreams we find a corporate identity. Cobalt boats have become timeless in the terms that make them uniquely valuable: first the integrity and then the skills of our associates.  To the degree that the people of Cobalt anticipate your needs, your wishes, we will succeed.

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  Categories: Customer Service, Lifestyle | Tags: Boat Dealers, Family Boating, Luxury Boat, New Boat


Friday, August 17, 2012

A Cobalt Boat Trip to Table Rock

 

My family has just returned from an extended Fourth-of-July stay at Table Rock Lake. A group of people from back home (Wichita, Kansas) built cabins in a rugged, wooded strip of shoreline west of Shell Knob, Missouri, the Cobalts waiting at a dock called “The Have-Nots Hangout.”

Deep-down, bedrock happiness, drawn from the rock formation that serves as a scenic overlook off Highway 165, large and flat this rock, above what was to be original site for Table Rock’s dam and the heaven-sent water that backed up behind the dam’s 1.2 million cubic yards of concrete. Water that, per the younger Cobalt riders in our group, “lets you see your feet.” So clear and, in this year of such very strange weather, so warm, Table Rock’s waters are so deeply green, so often calm that the mountains reflected there mirror in a shimmer the Ozarks’ grandeur.

Even during the Independence Day frenzy, the chop was manageable in a lesser boat, simply not a factor in a Cobalt boat – Table Rock is that big, that fingered. And when a mid-afternoon thunderstorm rolled quickly through and the lake cleared of boats, the lake settled immediately into dimpled glass.  Boaters love Table Rock first, last, and always for that miraculous water.

And for what it makes possible: the cliff jumping with family and friends at anchor to shoot video of the daredevils, many of them barely in junior-high school; the wakeboarding at preternatural, but survivable speed; and the quiet, smooth corner where a little kid first comes up on skis.  That warm, clear Table Rock water gives rise even to retail traditions – taking the Cobalt for ice cream at Big M marina, to Shell Knob for pizza, to Kimberling City for live music.

With its winding origins in the White River, Table Rock can be a fine and private place for hundreds of people, all at once, here and there, with little coves and inlets the defining features of the lake.  At the same time, massive anchorings of party-minded boaters are also a Table Rock deal from the get-go.

And did I mention that you can see your feet?


Thanks to John Brown for contributing

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  Categories: Lifestyle | Tags: Boat Dealers, Destination, Luxury Boat, New Boat


Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Cobalt Boater’s Dictionary

 

Your ownership of a Cobalt boat entitles you to use loud and often nautical terms of every stripe: those that have come fully into the vernacular — “learn the ropes,” for example – and those that remain damp and obscure — the onomatopoetic “garbling,” for example,  “the illegal practice of mixing cargo with garbage.” No garbling around here.  None whatsoever, as we invite you to talk the talk just as confidently as your Cobalt  . . . er  . . . walks the walk.  Do be careful then, as nautical terms do sometimes make for unworkable metaphors.

  • Anchor’s aweigh: Your cry to all aboard once the anchor has just cleared the bottom, signaling that you’re underway on a morning of absolute fun.
  • Amidships: midway between the bow and stern of your Cobalt
  • Astern: at the rear of your boat
  • Ballast: a sophisticated set of tanks and their controls used to control buoyancy and stability on the Cobalt WSS boats
  • Beam: the width of your Cobalt at its widest point
  • Belay: to secure a rope by winding on a pin or cleat
  • Bilge: the lower part of the inner hull, the deep-V hull that contributes so mightily to your Cobalt’s smooth, oh so smooth ride
  • Binnacle: the case in which a compass is kept
  • Brightwork: exposed polished metal on your Cobalt, pretty much everywhere on your Cobalt
  • Buoy: a floating object of defined shape and color, anchored at a given position to serve as an aid to navigation, a floating object frequently struck by other boaters staring at your beautiful new Cobalt 243
  • Chine: an angle on the hull, reversed on Cobalt hulls to enhance stability and  strength
  • Escutcheon: that area on the stern where you have lovingly displayed your Cobalt’s given name
  • Freeboard: distance between the waterline and the gunwale on your Cobalt, a safe, eminently workable distance
  • Gunwale: upper edge of your Cobalt’s side
  • Handsomely: in a slow, even motion as in the retrieval of a line, as in “My, my, my. That Cobalt surely does leave the dock handsomely.”
  • Keelhauling: maritime punishment in which the condemned sailor is dragged under the keel of a wooden ship, the barnacles doing their worst on the poor man; in fact, keelhauling simply will no longer work as a punishment for or deterrent to on-the-water misbehavior, such is the smooth perfection of the Cobalt hull
  • Knot: a unit of speed – one nautical mile (1.1508 landlocked mile) per hour
  • Land lubber: a person unfamiliar with being on the sea; also; a person unlucky enough to have never boarded a Cobalt
  • Lanyard: a rope or line for fastening aboard your boat
  • Larboard: the left side of a Cobalt, less common of course than portside, the counterpart of starboard, the right side of the boat
  • Marina: a docking facility for boats and yachts, the scene of obvious and uncontrollable envy on the part of otherwise quite decent, quite lovable owners of boats manufactured somewhere other than Neodesha, Kansas
  • Planing: when a fast-moving Cobalt skims over the water instead of pushing through it; the adverb/adjective pair most frequently attached to a Cobalt’s planning – “essentially instant”
  • Scuttlebutt: a barrel with a hole from which sailors would drink; hence, a shipboard drinking fountain and therefore, in modern naval slang, “gossip”; a term now used almost exclusively at boat shows in the context of the Cobalt innovations about to be introduced for the new model year
  • Skipper: the captain of the boat, as in “Skipper, are you truly this talented, or are you relying on the Livorsi engine controls, standard on all Cobalt twin-engine powertrains to dock your 303?”
  • Transom: the transverse members of the boat’s construction at the stern, an aft wall of sorts to which the drive portion of the sterndrive is attached
  • Windlass: a winch used to raise your boat’s anchor

Anchor’s aweigh fer sure, me hearties!  And the scuttlebutt is that the skipper is just about to stand abeam and order an extra ration of grog for the entire ship’s company.

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  Categories: Lifestyle, Tips and Hints | Tags: Boating Industry, Cobalt Boats, Lifestyle, Luxury Boat, Saltwater


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A Visit To Lake Norman

 

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.

Photo Courtesy of Lake Communities

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.

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  Categories: Cobalt Boats, Dealer Partners, Lifestyle | Tags: Cobalt Boats, Destination, Family Boating, Lifestyle


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