PDA

View Full Version : Cobalt vs Mastercraft


KBryant2007
09-04-2007, 10:01 PM
This is my Dad's site, but he said I could post a thread about my uncle's uncertainty about which boat to buy. He's narrowed it down between a Cobalt and either an X-Star or X-45. My family bought a Mastercraft Prostar 209 in March and we've had a great summer on the water.

I'm 9 and want my uncle to join the mc family. Any opinions would be appreciated.

limegreen
09-04-2007, 10:49 PM
He should read up on the difference between I/O (Cobalt is) versus Direct or V Drive (Mastercraft is). If you are towing any watersport consistently, the Mastercraft is clearly superior. The Cobalt would be very difficult to hold a steady wakeboard tow at 22mph. The Cobalt may have a slight edge at (extremely) high speeds, say 55mph+...but family boats typically don't frequent those speeds anyway.

Like anything else, define your purpose, get educated, then you will make the right decision. There is a reason Cobalts don't pull tournaments;)

TheOneandOnly
09-04-2007, 10:49 PM
Cobat ok all around rec boat. What does he want to spend? What is he looking to use it for?

JBaker
09-04-2007, 10:50 PM
You are comparing apples to oranges...granted the best apple to the best orange. Cobalt makes a fantastic runabout. Mastercraft makes a fantastic towboat.

Leroy
09-04-2007, 10:52 PM
Definitely X-Sstar or X45, you have a great ski boat and with this you will have a great wake, wakesurf boat.

I have always felt that is no sense having a boat that has a prop sticking out the back ready to chew your leg up!

limegreen
09-04-2007, 10:58 PM
Definitely X-Sstar or X45, you have a great ski boat and with this you will have a great wake, wakesurf boat.

I have always felt that is no sense having a boat that has a prop sticking out the back ready to chew your leg up!

WHOA somehow I forgot that part!! The safety portion of the outdrive on the Cobalt is huge deterrent for a tow boat!! AND the platform on the MC is HUGE and at water level.

Jim@BAWS
09-04-2007, 11:07 PM
This is my Dad's site, but he said I could post a thread about my uncle's uncertainty about which boat to buy. He's narrowed it down between a Cobalt and either an X-Star or X-45. My family bought a Mastercraft Prostar 209 in March and we've had a great summer on the water.

I'm 9 and want my uncle to join the mc family. Any opinions would be appreciated.


Where are you in the SE

Thanks

Jim@BAWS

Leroy
09-04-2007, 11:24 PM
Cobalt's are beautiful boats, but the prop out the back would scare me if you have any thought of kids playing off the back and the first post it is a nine year old.


WHOA somehow I forgot that part!! The safety portion of the outdrive on the Cobalt is huge deterrent for a tow boat!! AND the platform on the MC is HUGE and at water level.

KBryant2007
09-05-2007, 12:17 AM
Central Arkansas area.

KBryant2007
09-05-2007, 12:22 AM
Good point. I've always felt safer having the prop under the boat especially having two children. We boat on Greers Ferry in North Central Arkansas. It's a 40,000 acre corps of engineer lake that gets pretty rough and choppy at times. One selling point that the Cobalt sales guy makes is that their boats are far superior in handling the chop. Having never ridden in a Cobalt I'm curious how true this really is compared to an X-Star, or X-45. Another observation is how much torque would you get out of the hole with a dual propped I/0?

canadianskier
09-05-2007, 12:24 AM
one of the main resons I went with my MC is that of the prop is way under the boat, lots of kids in my boat. plus I love the wake when I ski. `92prostar

Leroy
09-05-2007, 12:52 AM
Depends on which Cobalt, but I would bet, similar size and either MC would match well in rough water.

Of course the only way to know is test ride each and tell us the results.

For me kids and prop out the back is a no go, but that is me. Everyone has their fell onto the prop story. Example, one partner I ski with has a I/O, knows it very well, grew up on I/O's and still sliced his leg once. If you are going to run around and never get in the water I/O's are ok, otherwise why have a razor fence below the water waiting for you........

Good point. I've always felt safer having the prop under the boat especially having two children. We boat on Greers Ferry in North Central Arkansas. It's a 40,000 acre corps of engineer lake that gets pretty rough and choppy at times. One selling point that the Cobalt sales guy makes is that their boats are far superior in handling the chop. Having never ridden in a Cobalt I'm curious how true this really is compared to an X-Star, or X-45. Another observation is how much torque would you get out of the hole with a dual propped I/0?

PendO
09-05-2007, 01:02 AM
I'm 9 and want my uncle to join the mc family. Any opinions would be appreciated.

are you really 9 ?

ridehype4life
09-05-2007, 01:22 AM
You mean some 9 year olds can actually construct a sentence and make a legit post on a bulletin board?! :eek: :)

RK@UST
09-05-2007, 01:33 AM
Here is the deal.
A guy needs both for that lake. Period.
Just depends on what you want to do that day.
You can't even compare. A 22 to 24 foot Cobalt is going to make the same size MC feel like a jon boat in choppy water.
The same size MC will make the Cobalt seem like a yacht for watersports.
I am sorry, but it's the just the way it is. Had both. Have both.
I like the reply earlier about top of the line runabout and top of the line for watersports. Pretty well sums it up.

03 35th Anniversary
09-05-2007, 06:16 AM
You mean some 9 year olds can actually construct a sentence and make a legit post on a bulletin board?! :eek: :)
You gotta watch out for some of those 9 year olds... Some of them are pretty smart and I don't mean smart mouth either.

michael freeman
09-05-2007, 07:25 AM
Good point. I've always felt safer having the prop under the boat especially having two children. We boat on Greers Ferry in North Central Arkansas. It's a 40,000 acre corps of engineer lake that gets pretty rough and choppy at times. One selling point that the Cobalt sales guy makes is that their boats are far superior in handling the chop. Having never ridden in a Cobalt I'm curious how true this really is compared to an X-Star, or X-45. Another observation is how much torque would you get out of the hole with a dual propped I/0?

I was looking at the Cobalt 262 last year and took it out when that hurricane came inland (DFW area). It was very choppy and the Cobalt plowed through it like nothing. The SS tower is solid and will not budge. Very little water spray on me or the passengers. I took a Nautique 226 out in the same storm and quickly turned around and went back in. The tower was doing a hula dance and I was getting soaked and the waves were beating me to death. Oh and turning in the heavy waves was an experience all to itself. (remember this was a hurricane that had just downgraded to a TS as it got into Dallas. I ended up buying an X-30 after taking it out for a spin and it handles the chop pretty good. Better then the 226 but not as good as the Cobalt 262. I mean, I really don't want to be out on the water in anything it couldn't handle anyway.

My deciding vote came to my use of the boat. I needed something that I could wakeboard behind, something my sister could ski behind and if you want to try and wake surf, you will not be able to do it behind a Cobalt. My final deciding factor was when I went to a show and asked if I could wakeboard behind the cobalt. The wakeboarder they had at the boat show for the Cobalt/Tigre shop told me to buy the mastercraft (from another dealer) or the Tigre from their shop because the Cobalt is all about ride and nothing about the wake behind the boat. A Cobalt owner told me the same thing. Said you can only do so much with a Cobalt (water sports) and he son was trying to talk him into trading it in for a wakeboard boat.

michael freeman
09-05-2007, 07:38 AM
Good point. I've always felt safer having the prop under the boat especially having two children.

I hope we are not still talking to the 9 year old. 8p

hester
09-05-2007, 08:06 AM
Another observation is how much torque would you get out of the hole with a dual propped I/0?

I've skied behind my dads 24' pursuit denali which is a 350 merc and bravo i/o with a dual prop. Pursuit makes a solid(heavy) boat and it felt like my arms were being ripped out. If the cobalt has a decent motor i/o combo then your torque should be fine.

However, my vote is for the MC because I don't like waiting for a i/o to plane out during take off. Never been in a cobalt but make sure it has a hull that planes relatively quickly.

Farmer Ted
09-05-2007, 08:16 AM
You mean some 9 year olds can actually construct a sentence and make a legit post on a bulletin board?! :eek: :)

lol wat r u tryn 2 say, kidz 2day cnt spl?

hester
09-05-2007, 08:21 AM
One selling point that the Cobalt sales guy makes is that their boats are far superior in handling the chop.

If the buyer is going to be in heavy chop all the time (and picky about comfort) then he may want the cobalt. The i/o does give you some adjustment in trim to set the hull in the chop. Also that traditional style hull should be a little smoother.

It is all personal preferenc so he better test drive. When I get caught in heavy chop with my ps190 we get beat up pretty bad. However, I have a smile on my face knowing I just boarded behind the best money can buy. Xstar & 45 probably a lot better in chop than my ride.

jmmcalpin
09-05-2007, 08:39 AM
I own a 2004 xstar and my friend I boat with every week owns a 2004 22 foot Cobalt.. There is no doubt Xstar is the best for putting out a good wake for wakeboarding , my 2 sons love the wake.. The Cobalt is definately better in chop, has a deeper V design. The Cobalt is definately better quality. The Xstar is a solid boat but the quality is not as good. In the 3 years , my friends boat is in showroom condition. I have replaced the vinyl seats which cracked. The speakers in the towers burned out. The engine coil died and because the dealers are incompetent I lost 3 weeks boating this year. I am going to replace the transducer this weekend due to the depth finder not working. I have replaced the Ballast tank impellers half a dozen times due to a very poor design. The Cobalt is the Cadillac of boats as far as design and quality. If you are a sport fanatic and need the absolute best wake, go with the Xstar, if you want overall family boating the Cobalt is better. You can definately pull a wakeboard behind the Cobalt.. the wake and the speed are not perfect but definately doable.. sorry about the long note ... let me know if you have specific questions...

jmmcalpin
09-05-2007, 08:39 AM
I own a 2004 xstar and my friend I boat with every week owns a 2004 22 foot Cobalt.. There is no doubt Xstar is the best for putting out a good wake for wakeboarding , my 2 sons love the wake.. The Cobalt is definately better in chop, has a deeper V design. The Cobalt is definately better quality. The Xstar is a solid boat but the quality is not as good. In the 3 years , my friends boat is in showroom condition. I have replaced the vinyl seats which cracked. The speakers in the towers burned out. The engine coil died and because the dealers are incompetent I lost 3 weeks boating this year. I am going to replace the transducer this weekend due to the depth finder not working. I have replaced the Ballast tank impellers half a dozen times due to a very poor design. The Cobalt is the Cadillac of boats as far as design and quality. If you are a sport fanatic and need the absolute best wake, go with the Xstar, if you want overall family boating the Cobalt is better. You can definately pull a wakeboard behind the Cobalt.. the wake and the speed are not perfect but definately doable.. sorry about the long note ... let me know if you have specific questions...

KBryant2007
09-05-2007, 08:57 AM
No, I'm the Dad talking here.

beatle78
09-05-2007, 09:26 AM
What about resale value?

I know MCs have an amazing resale value. How do Cobalt's do in the used market?

Sodar
09-05-2007, 11:09 AM
I am going to be VERY honest here. A Cobalt is the "MasterCraft" of the I/O industry. The things are built STOUT, they are HEAVY and they are EXPENSIVE. The decision comes down to the boat usage. Is he going to be using it on big water, perhaps in the ocean? If so, running an outdrive in the sub 30' range in big water has its advantages of trimability and ride comfort. If he is going to use it as a watersports boat, then go MC.

This is about the only time I can say this, but he cannot go wrong with either decision. We have owned 2 Cobalts and used them as tenders to my family's ocean boats and they have both upheld to saltwater, running hard and our '86 had 1100 hours on the ticker when we sold her in 1999 for $20k... not bad for a saltwater exclusive boat. We owned a 2001 as well, but only owned it for about 2 years before we moved into a Center Console, but I can tell you that the quality of the 2001 was still there.

RK@UST
09-05-2007, 12:12 PM
What about resale value?

I know MCs have an amazing resale value. How do Cobalt's do in the used market?
Hate to say this, but I have had better luck with the Cobalt's on resale
Here is the thing.
You have a bigger market.
Just take a look at the ratio of runabouts to ski or tow boats.
But, as I stated before, these two brands can't be compared .

Roonie's
09-05-2007, 12:46 PM
If he is looking at X-star or x-45 those are big boats that can handle chop very well. I would bet they are almost comparable to the Cobalt as far as chop is concerned. My buddy has a newer Cobalt and he road in my X2 in very heavy chop and he was so suprised out how comparable they really were. He said it felt the same. I think the Cobalt has a deeper V howevere so it is meant for more chop. Now if you want to compare them to skiing or any other sport on the water hands down MC.

chudson
09-05-2007, 12:53 PM
This is real good information about the two boats and though we all have pride in our MC's I look at the quality of all the boats and seeing them at the Chicago boat show I always felt they were pretty much top of the line, Cobalt and ChrisCraft in the I.O. area. So this just comes down to one of those weight out the difference for you! You know "Harley / Dinette Set" , "Harley / Dinette Set"!!!

boatless
09-05-2007, 01:16 PM
I own a 2005 197 MC, so I pretty much know the quality of the interior and the gelcoat of a Mastercraft. The reason that we did not buy the cobalt was because the 197 is cheaper :D . You should look at the quality of a cobalt, it is solid and well built. From the vinyl on the seat to the carpet and the gelcoat, Cobalt is simply the best. I don't think Mastercraft put that much effort and quality in their boat to match cobalt yet, sorry but that is the facts. I like Mastercraft, but quality, Cobalt would be way ahead of MC.

boatless.

SoCalBrew
09-05-2007, 01:21 PM
To me, the prop sticking out the back is too small of an issue to make it a point of contention... if you are going to bring that into the fold, then you have to mention the handling in reverse. The I/O's handle significantly better in reverse - a lot more nimble... and the inboards...well, it is a lot more work.

A bigger question... does your uncle even get in the water? If not, then the Mastercraft might be nothing more than a status symbol, and in my mind, that's not a good enough reason to go Mastercraft.

Bruce
09-05-2007, 01:52 PM
Before going to all the views of Cobalt vs. MC. In my humble opinion you start with I/O vs. inboard The safety issues have been pointed out. One of the biggies is the problems with any I/O. Maintenance and the cost associated there with. Hitting objects, leaks, etc. etc. Every marine mechanic here has a higher hourly rate to work on I/O's. When I started shopping for my boat I started with talking to good marine mechanics. The first thing they ALL said was stay away from I/O's!

Roonie's
09-05-2007, 02:18 PM
We had to replace our outdrive on our I/O and it was a good 5k hit to the wallet.

Sodar
09-05-2007, 02:29 PM
3/4 of the time a outdrive failure occurs, it is driver induced. Doing things like starting the motor with the drive trimmed all the way up ruins the universal joints, gingerly pushing the shifter into gear rather than throwing it into gear strips the gears, not changing/checking and avoiding water in the lower gear case lube will fry it. I/O's are great and built beefy, but most I/O's see use from VERY inexperienced boaters (Bayliner, SeaRay, Regal, Maxum, Chapparal, etc.) I/O's are very reliable for most boaters. Heck, many put 800 hp to them and a 26' boat and they last... it is just all about how you treat them!

Sodar
09-05-2007, 02:31 PM
We had to replace our outdrive on our I/O and it was a good 5k hit to the wallet.

Why? Did you split the case? 90% of I/O's are rebuildable, unless you really mess with the thing....

Roonie's
09-05-2007, 02:31 PM
Ours failed because the motor mounts rotted out and shifted the angle of the motor so it in turn destroyed the outdrive gears. Had to redo all the motor mounts and get new outdrive. Most of the time they told me it is because someone hits something in the water with them.

KBryant2007
09-05-2007, 02:42 PM
Yes, he and his family are into watersports and likes the idea of being able to wakesurf. He's also concerned about not getting a big enough engine. He and I test drove an X-45 with the 400 HP engine, but he's still unsure about whether the 450 would give him more flexibility and the top-end / extra torque when needed.

Like I said he has ridden in my Prostar 209 with the 350MCX and he likes the responsiveness / power / torque, but he previously had a boat that was underpowered and once you make that mistake you have to live with it.

I agree on the comments about Cobalt quality. We looked at several this weekend and it definitely shows.

Where we boat there's definitely more Cobalts on the water, but there's nothing to compare to a Mastercraft as far as looks, and the feel when you're behind the wheel!

Datdude
09-05-2007, 03:44 PM
My parents were in a similar situation this Summer. They ended up going with a new Cobalt 220 and it is a very nice boat. It handles WAYYYYYYYY better than I would have expected. You can still tell it is a big, heavy boat......but so is an X-Star or X-45. Watersports were not a concern for them, so that is the main reason they went Cobalt. As for price.....the MC (Maristar 215) they liked was noticably more expensive ($10K). It all depends on the priorities

endl
09-05-2007, 05:21 PM
KBryant2007 PM at you.

mpm32
09-05-2007, 05:37 PM
Yes, he and his family are into watersports and likes the idea of being able to wakesurf.

If he wants to wake surf, that's a definite no-no behind an I/O or outboard.

jmmcalpin
09-05-2007, 06:42 PM
My point exactly 'boatless' , you said it better than I did...

SoCalBrew
09-06-2007, 12:25 PM
Yes, he and his family are into watersports and likes the idea of being able to wakesurf.


Yah... anything wake realted... MC all the way.

88 PS190
09-06-2007, 01:26 PM
Lots of good points raised.

Cobalts definately beat the hind end off a bayliner that's for sure.

Things about outdrives. As was mentioned running at full up trim destroys them.

Make sure you grease the gimble atleast every month, and you have to have a dealer you trust.

Ours charged for things in the winterization that we found out were not done when the u joint went out (not greased and with water intrusion)

And you have to check the bellows. From a mechanical stand point working on an inboard is far easier than working on the I/O. Not sure about VDrives probably somewhere in the middle. When shopping make sure the boat has an accessible engine compartment or you will regret it come time to check a plug or change an impeller (unless you are the type to pay the man).

Prop safety was mentioned, just remember not to run over ropes, they are very hard to remove in the water if you do not have a knife and goggles. On the I/O we had every time you get in or out of the boat your feet are around the prop. You must shut the boat off, not just have it in neutral and double check that everyone is clear of the boat before you start the engine to ensure there is no one back there.

The larger the I/O the worse the problem as you cannot see down over the transom from the drivers seat.

One thing that has improved in I/O's is the ability to purchase a Perfect Pass in the boat (cobalt offers this as an option) This will help you keep speed if you did use it for watersports, but again exposed prop = no wake surfing no question about it, you can easily slide forwards on the wake and put a foot into the prop.

But if you were an occasional wakeboarder and had the PP you could use it.

Handling, yes an I/O will do better in chop, and will have good reverse, and steering when you are not in gear. An inboard will not do as well there, particularly V-Drive.

I/O's have a disadvantage in that you will be hitting the prop more often on starts than with an inboard set up. The main reason is that with all the weight in back, and the weight of the trans/outdrive hanging off the back + a deep V hull as you give the boat throttle the back end will drop and the prop will run deeper than it does at rest or on plane. So that with our I/O I would not try to pull a skier in less than 8' of water. I will pull someone out with my prostar in less than 3' with out worry.

sully
09-07-2007, 08:02 PM
We were trying to decide between Cobalt vs. Mastercraft in 99.
At that time only cobalt's boat that would fit in our 22' deep garage their 19 footer (no longer made).
That is one of the reason we went with the 21' MariStar. Take the platform off, fold the trailer tongue, bingo ...21' boat in small garage stall. It was not the reason we went with MariStar but it was a major factor.

I also wonder if Cobalt and some of the high end runabouts manufactures are looking over their shoulders at all ski boat manufacture producing V-Drives.
They all seem to be adding swim platforms, towers, perfect pass and so on.

limegreen
09-08-2007, 07:59 PM
We were trying to decide between Cobalt vs. Mastercraft in 99.
At that time only cobalt's boat that would fit in our 22' deep garage their 19 footer (no longer made).
That is one of the reason we went with the 21' MariStar. Take the platform off, fold the trailer tongue, bingo ...21' boat in small garage stall. It was not the reason we went with MariStar but it was a major factor.

I also wonder if Cobalt and some of the high end runabouts manufactures are looking over their shoulders at all ski boat manufacture producing V-Drives.
They all seem to be adding swim platforms, towers, perfect pass and so on.

They will never perfect the swim platform as long as it is an I/O. The drive comes out the transom so high that the platform must be several inches off of the water. All the I/O manufacturers try something, but they can't change it materially.:D

88 PS190
09-08-2007, 08:17 PM
its simple, molded in fiberglass platforms are essentially useless for watersport purposes.

So to improve function they go with a big external platform, of course in some states the transom is figured into the length of the boat for registration and lake restrictions. That can screw some people over.

Perfect pass. really a no brainer, you need it to keep speed. The problem. If you accelerate off plane and don't let the boat come up onto plane, and set the perfect pass you won't go on plane in lots of these boats for wakeboarding, meaning washy wakes and lots of fuel consumed. You can accelerate onto plane, set PP and it will hold, but if you turn you will likely drop back off plane anyway.

limegreen
09-08-2007, 09:38 PM
its simple, molded in fiberglass platforms are essentially useless for watersport purposes.

So to improve function they go with a big external platform, of course in some states the transom is figured into the length of the boat for registration and lake restrictions. That can screw some people over.

Perfect pass. really a no brainer, you need it to keep speed. The problem. If you accelerate off plane and don't let the boat come up onto plane, and set the perfect pass you won't go on plane in lots of these boats for wakeboarding, meaning washy wakes and lots of fuel consumed. You can accelerate onto plane, set PP and it will hold, but if you turn you will likely drop back off plane anyway.

Wow. No wonder I get hives when near I/O's. Easy to develop an allergy!! PIA I say. Long live MC!!

Eagle
09-09-2007, 12:19 AM
I own both a Cobalt 220 and a Mastercraft X-2 (05).

Which is better? Easy -- it depends.

For wakeboarding, MC. For wakesurfing, don't even think about going behind an I/O. For general lake use? Cobalt. It handles rough water better, it can be docked more easily anywhere (reverse works), quality is higher. You can wakeboard behind a Cobalt but obviously an MC is better.

That said, I use the MC 95% of the time. The Cobalt is used to take the family on the lake for a cruise. The family prefers the Cobalt, which is why I still have it. But my crew and I -- we use the MC.

RK@UST
09-09-2007, 08:27 AM
I own both a Cobalt 220 and a Mastercraft X-2 (05).

Which is better? Easy -- it depends.

For wakeboarding, MC. For wakesurfing, don't even think about going behind an I/O. For general lake use? Cobalt. It handles rough water better, it can be docked more easily anywhere (reverse works), quality is higher. You can wakeboard behind a Cobalt but obviously an MC is better.

That said, I use the MC 95% of the time. The Cobalt is used to take the family on the lake for a cruise. The family prefers the Cobalt, which is why I still have it. But my crew and I -- we use the MC.
Now , that's the way it is.Like said before, a guy needs both, for the situation at hand.