Home Monday, February 01, 2010 

 The Cobalt A25 Will Change Perceptions of What a Large Runabout Can Be.

  (NEODESHA, KANSAS – JANUARY 31, 2010) With the introduction of the first model in its new “A” line, Cobalt Boats has returned to its roots in marine design, to fundamental enhancements of the boating experience in the tradition of, say, Cobalt’s legendary “extended running surface.” As the prototypes of the A25 make the rounds of the big winter shows, Cobalt is emphasizing the depth of “genuine innovation” on the boat. “In the pressures of recurring new model years the industry has too often been content to claim ‘innovations’ that amount to little more than window-dressing,” according to Cobalt President Paxson St. Clair. “With the A series our thinking has taken us deeper into our customers’ expectations of change for the better. The features of the A25 represent specific new ideas for making boating more enjoyable.”

A first glance at the A25 suggests certain enjoyment for the eyes. Incorporating technologies learned in building Cobalt yachts, the A25 presents a profile never before seen in its class. The look did not come easily. The hull’s shape requires a five-piece mold, a no-shortcuts exercise in hand craftsmanship. The results bear out the effort involved, for these are the lines of a far larger boat: inverse, simple in their elegance, stunning in their short-term effect.

Throughout the A25 its new owners will find, as here, thoughtful insertions of functionality among the aesthetics. A larger rubrail -- with its broadened stainless steel, its narrowed vinyl -- accents the subtle sweep of the profile, and a tread molded into the aft-starboard gunwale creates seamless movement from dock to boat and back again – no more giant steps, no more hopping.

More big boosts in form and function come at the transom. The A25 looks longer than its 25-feet; it rides much, much longer. Because of new structural design mandated by the A25’s optional deployable swim step, the running surface is more that of a 27-footer, with consequent reduced bowrise upon acceleration, more stability in turns, and even more comfort at cruise for all aboard. An added benefit: the new design tucks engine and props even farther away from nearby swimmers.

A quantum leap in safety and convenience in a runabout, the A25’s swim platform stretches an extravagant 39 inches aft and then its optional step deploys 10 inches below the water’s surface for easy entry to and from a morning’s dip. While certainly not intended to be an elevator, the step will support a full ton of weight in any position up or down, thanks to typical Cobalt use of oversized hydraulics, the same cylinders in fact used to raise and lower the outdrive. Stainless steel is everywhere, electropolished stainless steel that refuses to rust, even in saltwater. A detailed set of switches and warnings prevents any adverse positioning of the platform while underway.

At the stern the A25 continues its emphasis on functional innovation in the three-position backrest on the sunpad, offering extra room for tanning at anchor and, thanks to the vertical perimeter established in the full upright position, additional seating at cruise. Paired with a convertible passenger seat back, the cockpit converts into a massive, smartly designed outdoor living area – an outdoor area with upholstery worthy of an indoor setting. Handsewn, double-welted pleating and diamond stitching give the A25 an obvious quality of fit and finish – on the aft side of backrests, on the side panels, anywhere the eye might rest. Expected Cobalt understatement defines the interior which draws its overall theme from dark accents begun at the dash and helm. Tasteful Cobalt logos appear here and there. Cockpit lighting, all LED, illuminates quietly. Stainless caps the windshield.

The seating stem to stern is integrated, extra wide, with ergonomic sorts of support and arm rests as needed – at the helm, for instance, for easy control of the throttle. The passenger-side flip-lip seat – a Cobalt standard – multiplies potential seating configurations. The A25’s bow is rounded, broader in the beam, and fully upholstered. Its seating chart delivers the best of both worlds: an open floor arrangement first, before clever flip-out seating makes ample room, either forward or side-facing, for family and friends. Filler cushions add still more outboard seating.

The dash brings along more examples of the “genuine innovations” of which Paxson St. Clair speaks. A vinyl eyebrow, hand-pulled and sewn over fiberglass, increases contrast and, consequently, visibility for the all-digital displays, newly accurate and data-linked – speedometer, tachometer, digital compass, and coolant temperature, depth, water and air temperature, drive trim, fuel level, hour, volt, and oil pressure gauges all standard. Optional gauges include a center-mounted Garmin 620 GPS or the new Cobalt Touch Tech, it too center-mounted with GPS, maps, and full engine data on a touch screen. The switch panel features backlit fiber optics, glowing at night in a soft red rather than the usual bright white with its consequent impingement on night vision – this last little improvement a direct response to requests from current Cobalt owners. Portside, a large lit glovebox, with drainage, offers a key lock, a 12-volt receptacle, and a USB port for attaching digital toys. A wood package in Mascar-Ebony dresses dash and glovebox alike.

The A25’s storage keeps pace with the boat’s overall spaciousness. Always at hand, always available, there’s storage under the bench seats, opposite the helm, in the protectively lined ski locker, and at the transom walkthrough where a huge netted compartment uses engine heat to dry life vests. The anchor locker features a hydraulically assisted lid and a safety connection for the bitter end of the anchor line. The fender storage, port and starboard, will quickly win admirers with its easy accessibility and no-stress lifting in and out.

As will be the case with all the new Cobalt A models, A25 options complement the comfort, convenience, safety, and all-around performance that come standard. The most overwhelming of the options – the deployable swim step and the stainless steel arch with its bimini – speak for themselves. More subtle touches add subtly but surely to the good times on the water. Premium sounds systems with speakers on the arch and at the transom. Sirius satellite news and music programming. Retractable line systems. Additional lighting, even of the underwater variety. New snap-in flooring with stylings in water weave and sea grass sisal. A dinette table. An air compressor and cruise control and a transom shower with a 10-gallon tank.

A25 owners may dial in MerCruiser and Volvo Penta powertrains ranging up to 420 horsepower, all catalyst-equipped. The A25 is certified for a 15-person capacity, and, of course, the engine warranties are always included as standard, along with Cobalt’s own industry-leading guarantees of long and faithful service.

Among all its features the A25 shows forth the guiding hand of Cobalt craftsmanship. Hour upon skilled manhour -- in the upholstery, at the helm, in the rubbed perfection of the gelcoat -- knowledgeable boaters will recognize the value of their investment on a maiden voyage. Soon enough they will know an unprecedented sort of payoff in years of reliable, worry-free enjoyment.

Years that begin, right now, in genuine, truly Cobalt sorts of innovation.