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View Full Version : x-45 vs. Large Cobalt


Jim@BAWS
09-22-2009, 10:09 PM
I have a potential customer who is doing his homework on buying a larger boat for use on the larger lakes in Florida. He is comparing a X45 salt water series to a larger Cobalt w/ no tower. I am having him log onto Team Talk for some of your opinions. I know that some of you have had the same questions arise before your purchase. He is not NEW to boating but not experienced either. Room, ride, overall use are his main concerns. Of course the MC owners on his lake are MC through and through.

Help a new potential owner become a MasterCraft devotee

Thanks in advance for your input

Jim@BAWS

PS I am copying him on this link and TEAM TALK. His name is Rick and it is not COPELY

Sodar
09-22-2009, 10:18 PM
Depending on what he uses the boat for, I would highly recommend a Cobalt.... if I had to recommend an I/O cruiser.

pheath1
09-22-2009, 10:38 PM
I don't know if this is any help but 2 years ago I went from a Cobalt 240 to the MC X-80. I test drove the X45 but did not feel like the X45 was more boat than the 240. A MC is a towboat and IMO does not handle as well as the Cobalt, your not comparing apples to apples. The MC is designed to tow things, carry a bunch of people and have alot of fun doing it. They are both high end quality boats and a joy to own. If your intended use is wakeboarding, surfing, tubing ect go with the MC, if you want a well mannered sports sedan that goes fast on the water go with the Cobalt. You really can't go wrong with either boat.

Eagle Lake Rebel
09-22-2009, 10:53 PM
I had a 23ft Cobalt before I switched to my X30. The ONLY reason I changed from my Cobalt was because my family got big into wakeboarding & surfing. Don't get me wrong I love my MC, but Cobalt beat MC in build strength, fit, finish and ease of operation IMO. Also had only a few minor problems which Cobalt bent over backwards to correct. Which boat have we had more fun in? No doubt it has been the MC because we love to board & surf. To me it comes down to what you like to do in your boat and what your future plans are as to what the right choice will be. My dealer & MC have also gone the extra mile to make sure I'm satisifed. I'd also say that the reputation of the dealership should play a big roll in deciding on which one to buy. A bad dealer will destroy the boat ownership experience & I know BAWS has a fantastic reputation when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Chicago190
09-23-2009, 12:02 AM
The answer is simple. If you intend to pursue any water sport activity the Mastercraft wins every day of the week and twice on Sunday. My family went from an I/O to an inboard and I have never for a single second wished otherwise.

Edit: I think its a general rule that other people have inboard towboat envy, but it does not work the other way around.

Monte
09-23-2009, 12:13 AM
Rick, just like everybody else has stated thus far. If your intended purpose is cruising from place to place, and your only plans for hitting the water are anchoring, swimming, and/or pulling a tube go with the Cobalt. If you plan to partake in some active water sports, IE; surfing and boarding, go with the MC.

88 PS190
09-23-2009, 12:30 AM
I think I/O's are drastically improved by the addition of a perfect pass (or I suppose zero off, although never had a boat new enough to have DBW)

Being able to keep them going the right speed particularly in those intermediate speeds and in turns where they keep trying to slip off plane makes them far more usable.

But if you want to wake surf cobalt is out of the running. If you want to go fast, I/O's have the advantage.

davomaddo
09-23-2009, 12:58 AM
IMO I/O's pretty much suck for wakeboarding. I grew up with them. As soon as I could buy my own boat, I got an inboard.

Think about what you are trading off.
The X45 is way better for wakeboarding and maybe slightly not as good for ? booze cruising??

mpabreo
09-23-2009, 10:35 AM
I went from a Four Winns 240 to an X-45, solely due to watersports. I used to be a cruiser, parties on the lake, evening rides with family, and just casual outings. The x45 is just as capable for these things, if not better as MC takes advantage of the space (hull design) better than just about any bow rider, cobalt included. Probably better to compare the Maristar 245 to the Cobalt or similar boat. However, The only thing I miss was the rough water handling of the deep vee hull. The 45 doesnt handle chop well, especially when loaded down. I've had a few waves crash over the front when 4 or so peolpe were sitting in the bow. But for my situation, boarding 4x a week, and the ocasional cruise across the lake, it fits me perfect. I will however say that the quality of the Cobalt is similar to the MC in its own realm. I'd say if you rarely ride in rough waters, go with the MC even if your watersports are limited. If you ride chop often, and do very little watersports, go with the Cobalt.

endl
09-23-2009, 10:51 AM
Jim would a X35 or X55 not be an option as well? Seems those interiors are more I/O oriented, and both have more deadrise I believe.

I love my X-45. I think as everyone mentioned if your into watersports you will be much happier with the 45.

mpabreo
09-23-2009, 10:59 AM
Jim would a X35 or X55 not be an option as well? Seems those interiors are more I/O oriented, and both have more deadrise I believe.

I love my X-45. I think as everyone mentioned if your into watersports you will be much happier with the 45.

True, the 35/55 are supposed to handle chop better. I test drove a 35, but only got to run across my own wake, didnt get to see how she handled in a rough lake. The dealer was pushing the 35 cause its designed to handle better in chop. The layout of the 45 however was far superior (than even the 55 imo) so it won.

russlars
09-23-2009, 11:37 AM
One other factor to consider in addition to what has already been said is that an I/O is much easier to learn to drive and dock for a novice boater. When I had my previous I/O I had few qualms about letting other people drive my boat. With my MC I only let people drive it who have had previous experience driving an inboard. Despite all of my coaching, my wife still hesitates to drive the MC and refuses to dock it.

flipper
09-23-2009, 11:40 AM
Cobalt make some REALLY nice boats. If he's not really into water sports I'd go with a cobalt myself

sand2snow22
09-23-2009, 11:51 AM
Got to point out the dealer factor. i.e. the MC dealer here is top notch, while the Cobalt dealer, well, he went out of business :(

Age Fighter
09-23-2009, 11:52 AM
IMO I/O's pretty much suck for wakeboarding. I grew up with them. As soon as I could buy my own boat, I got an inboard.

Think about what you are trading off.
The X45 is way better for wakeboarding and maybe slightly not as good for ? booze cruising??

No offense Davo, but whatever IO you grew up with ain't at all like today's IO.

Having said that, this buyer is making a choice that I think will define the near future boat market: IO's designed to compete with inboards and inboards designed to compete with IO's.

I sold a Cobalt 246 last summer and bought a MC X-9. My calculation was easy. We had sort of morphed past the 6-8 hour days on the water with maybe an hour of tow activities involved with 5-8 people. For that activity, the Cobalt 246 is unmatched. And for beginning knee boarders and skiers, the "safe zone" in the prop wash was fabulous. The kevlar in Cobalts hull really knocks the sting out of wakes.

Not only that, but when you had to get home to beat darkness or t-storms, the ride at 53 mph was awesome. Gorgeous, comfortable, fast impressive boat.

My X-9 though is awesome for water sports and is a good cross over for skiing and boarding. It fits what I need now and I am happy I made the switch. We do 1-3 hour trips and it's all about towing now for us.

Someone else mentioned handling, and there is no doubt that the low speed handling around docks and trailers when others are watching -- is much easier with a duo prop sterndrive system.

one thing I cannot speak to -- and that is how close the bigger V drives come to matching Cobalt's ride. Obviously their lay outs are gorgeous and they claim to equal the ride, but I have not ridden in a big X.

And Jim, if they do want the bigger Cobalt, THIS is a must: BIG BLOCK POWER. And also, Mercruiser has surpassed Volvo Penta in handling. Just some inside IO info there.

Ski-me
09-23-2009, 11:57 AM
Quite a few supporters here on the Cobalt....but it really depends on the use. Here is my experience......As a kid, we had a 79' Cobalt and this boat was by far, superior in construction than any other Searays we bought afterwards. Everything seems to be heavy duty and safe feeling compared to the other boats.

When my dad took it up to Yellowstone Lake, this would be the only 19' boat we would feel safe in due to the large storms that come in each afternoon. These are serious white caps and swells.....but the Cobalt always got us home safely. Even as the boat would slam the waves up and down, the boat always felt solid without rattling apart. I definitely would not have trusted the 19' Searay my mom had up there and I'm sure the dash would have rattle tremendously. Just not as strong.

Also, as far as parking, the Cobalt tops the list. I could place that boat anywhere, precisely. This is definitely an advantage to the I/O layout. My only concern on I/O layouts would be the prop near the kids or people being towed behind the boat.

Good luck with your decision.

Jim@BAWS
09-23-2009, 12:33 PM
Jim would a X35 or X55 not be an option as well? Seems those interiors are more I/O oriented, and both have more deadrise I believe.

I love my X-45. I think as everyone mentioned if your into watersports you will be much happier with the 45.


Well that would be a apples to apples comparison. But probably RED ROME to GRANNY SMITH

I have a LEFT over 2008 that he is considering. And the price difference to a 2010 X-35SS is pretty large

The gist of the conversation is more I/O vs V-drive and what you can accomplish in a MasterCraft X-45 vs a i/o

Thanks everyone for your input. I am sure that Rick is reading this

Jim@BAWS

flipper
09-23-2009, 12:39 PM
Got to point out the dealer factor. i.e. the MC dealer here is top notch, while the Cobalt dealer, well, he went out of business :(
That would depend on the dealer:D

sand2snow22
09-23-2009, 12:45 PM
That would depend on the dealer:D

Exactly, have to do your dealer homework ;)

JohnE
09-23-2009, 12:48 PM
That would depend on the dealer:D


We could go on and on with that topic for days...................:D

Age Fighter
09-23-2009, 01:04 PM
I have a potential customer who is doing his homework on buying a larger boat for use on the larger lakes in Florida. He is comparing a X45 salt water series to a larger Cobalt w/ no tower. I am having him log onto Team Talk for some of your opinions. I know that some of you have had the same questions arise before your purchase. He is not NEW to boating but not experienced either. Room, ride, overall use are his main concerns. Of course the MC owners on his lake are MC through and through.

Help a new potential owner become a MasterCraft devotee

Thanks in advance for your input

Jim@BAWS

PS I am copying him on this link and TEAM TALK. His name is Rick and it is not COPELY

As I was thinking about it, seems to me that a Cobalt with no tower would not compare that great to an X-45. I think the only advantage the Cobalt has would be a tad end of top end speed and maybe a slightly improved ride in harsh conditions. Maybe.

Meanwhile, I think the X-45 would win in other areas. What Cobalt model is he looking at and what engine package / drive package is it?

kyfooter
09-23-2009, 01:09 PM
Can't disagree with any of the comments made above. I was actually surprised that as mostly MC devotees, I saw so many favorable comments on the Cobalt...which I agree with. I grew up with outboards and I/Os, one of which was a Cobalt. The Cobalt was a '91 and is still in the family. The quality and build of the boat even then would compare favorably, or beat MCs quality even today IMO. Don't get me wrong, I love my MC and the first boat I bought was a MC because of the skiability. But from pure construction, my suggestion would be to drive both in moderate to choppy water, have the Mrs. drive it, park it, put them on the trailer, etc. I believe inboards are easier to drive (quicker response, no trim, etc.) but I/O's are easier to maneuver for less experienced persons. Hands down, I believe the ride on larger lakes / rougher water is better in an I/O, particularly a Caddy like the Cobalt.

Good discussion. Dealer, type of use, lake/waterway where it will be used all play an important role. I've also found that routine maintenance on an inboard is also much easier than an I/O.

88 PS190
09-23-2009, 01:23 PM
One thing that should be a selling point is if you have kids, and they are swimming and playing around behind the boat.

The X45 does not have the I/O there for them to accidently run into while swimming etc.

We've had more than a few people jump off the transom of the I/O while parked and get scraped on the lower unit, they just don't think about it.

Age Fighter
09-23-2009, 02:30 PM
One thing that should be a selling point is if you have kids, and they are swimming and playing around behind the boat.

The X45 does not have the I/O there for them to accidently run into while swimming etc.

We've had more than a few people jump off the transom of the I/O while parked and get scraped on the lower unit, they just don't think about it.

While this is a good point -- and an inboard is surely safer related to the prop -- any newer Cobalt will have a huge swim platform which more or less negates this problem. Not totally, but for the most part. Cobalts also have an outdrive placement that is set in a bit on the transom as well.

Overall, I would recommend X45. It has so much more upside down the road as the family's boating advances.

Interesting, many dealers carry Cobalts and MCs. They are kind of the top of the line for each type of boating (and yes, there are some Nautique-Cobalt dealers too).

scott023
09-23-2009, 02:34 PM
True, the 35/55 are supposed to handle chop better. I test drove a 35, but only got to run across my own wake, didnt get to see how she handled in a rough lake. The dealer was pushing the 35 cause its designed to handle better in chop. The layout of the 45 however was far superior (than even the 55 imo) so it won.

The 35 was the first MC we test drove, and it almost made me look at other manufacturers. We were in rough water and it DID NOT handle it well. I know it is advertised as a beast in the chop, but as far as I am concerned the 45 is considerably better in chop/rough water than the 35..

BriEOD
09-23-2009, 02:39 PM
No offense Davo, but whatever IO you grew up with ain't at all like today's IO.

Point taken. That said, how many wakeboarders/skiers/surfers does Cobalt sponsor? I can't name 1. Can you?

Second, and maybe this doesn't appeal to the buyer, but you cannot wakesurf behind an I/O.

As far as rough water use, Jim stated in the opening paragraph this boat was going to be used in Florida's larger lakes (which aren't very big). Consequently, taking big swells and really rough water will likely be rare.

To me, it comes down to what the boat is going to be used for. If it is more towing than cruising I'd lean towards a tow boat. If the guy wants to cruise the inter coastal for margaritas well maybe he is better suited for an I/O.

My neighborhood is on the Severn River and inboards are far more desirable than I/Os. Most of my neighbors that have I/Os would take an inboard in a second. You don't have to worry about bellows and an outdrive sitting in the water.

I'm biased, but just some food for thought.

bobx1
09-23-2009, 03:41 PM
As one would think, Cobalt thinks I/O is a big advantage over inboard:

http://www.cobaltboats.com/comparison/index.html

Sodar
09-23-2009, 03:46 PM
As one would think, Cobalt thinks I/O is a big advantage over inboard:

http://www.cobaltboats.com/comparison/index.html

Cannot say I argue with any of their points... until the get to the watersports section! :o

jdl xstar
09-23-2009, 03:56 PM
As one would think, Cobalt thinks I/O is a big advantage over inboard:

http://www.cobaltboats.com/comparison/index.html

Ha! Thats funny to see their perspective. I guess they got MC beat if you plan on simply driving around all day long at full speed in really rough water!

mpabreo
09-23-2009, 04:07 PM
Just wanted to add one more thing since Jim specifically mentioned "room" was one of the buyers main concerns. I don't think there is a boat on the market today, inboard or stern that uses space more efficiently than the X-45. This was a big selling point for me. Take a look at some of the pics of the boats interior, its expansive, and definelty much more room than a comparable Cobalt. And the bow is sooooo big. I didnt notice from the pictures, but when I stepped into the bow for a test drive, i was like Wow!

Jim - Did has he driven one yet?

52051

Datdude
09-23-2009, 06:04 PM
My parents went through this situation a few years ago. They had gone away from runabouts in 1998 and bought a pontoon boat. By 2007 the pontoon phase was over and they started looking for something else. They wanted to cruise and pull the grandchildren around the lake. My suggestion was a Maristar. My dad's first response was that they did not want a "ski boat". I tried explaining that a Maristar was an inboard runabout;). I thought I had them going on a Maristar 215 after showing them the interior space. They would routinely put 10 or more people on the pontoon and cruise around the lake, and they were worried about losing that ability. The interior room of a V-drive is amazing and I thought that was going to be a selling feature for them. After many discussions and boat shopping trips they ended up with a new Cobalt 220. This boat was slightly cheaper than the MC's they were looking at but my argument was resale value. Cobalt does a pretty good job, but a V-drive seems to be better. I have spent many hours in the Cobalt and it is a very nice boat with great I/O performance (minimal bow rise, sharp handling, etc). With that being said, it does not fit MY needs.....it fit THEIRS. It really depends on the amount of watersports the owner will use it for. I would vote MC:D

TX.X-30 fan
09-23-2009, 08:21 PM
Does Cobalt seat upholstery crack and split after 4 years??

88 PS190
09-23-2009, 08:43 PM
Ha ha, the cobalt comparison where they show the I/O skeg plowing through a stump then the inboard nailing it.

I've been in I/O's when the lower unit hits a stump, it is not some peaceful encounter where you just ride over it, and the damages resulting from impacts to lower units can easily add up.

Its not fun when water starts flowing around the outdrive seal, nor is it easy to fix.

But I probably would not buy an inboard or vdrive if I didn't do watersports.

JimN
09-23-2009, 09:04 PM
Does Cobalt seat upholstery crack and split after 4 years??

If they used the same material, yes. I and others have said MC wasn't the only manufacturer that used it and my info was from an upholstery wholesaler, but I'm sure that will be discounted as anecdotal.

Eagle Lake Rebel
09-23-2009, 11:46 PM
My Cobalt upholstery never cracked/split. I've seen a fair share of Cobalts that didn't get a lot of love but other than dirty, the hides looked good. Their stitching didn't bust out either. Where their material comes from I don't know.

downtime
09-25-2009, 04:42 PM
I've never recommended an I/O to anyone. The simplicity of an inboard is too hard to pass up. I've only owned direct drives but I can't imagine a V being that much more complicated. I remember growing up my parents and everyone we knew had I/Os or outboards. I always hated the drag and drown fight to get up behind them. Always told myself when I get out of school my first purchase would be a real ski boat. Picked up an '86 prostar and haven't looked back. Of course, skiing is why I get on the water. If I didn't ski or ride I'd probably just get a pontoon. Basically a mobile dock that holds lots of people, food, and beverages. If watersports are at all in the plans for the owner I can't imagine recommending anything other than the MC.

Age Fighter
09-25-2009, 04:49 PM
.... If watersports are at all in the plans for the owner I can't imagine recommending anything other than the MC.

I loved my Cobalt, but I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. And I would take it one step further. Even if watersports don't SEEM to be a big part of the plans now, they will be, as you get more into boating. I use and enjoy my MC more than I ever did the Cobalt.

And i know there are some Cobalt-MC combo dealers on this forum from time to time -- don't think they have weighed in yet. :D