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Old 07-10-2018, 09:32 AM
mbobo24 mbobo24 is offline
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Cobalt R5 surf vs mastercraft

Shopping for a cool, yet multifunctional 24-26' boat for boating on KY Lake. Waters are often shallow and choppy.

Wanting a boat to slalom, wakeboard, wake surf, tube and cruise up and down lake somewhat comfortably with family.

Looking at the Cobalt R5 Surf with the volvo forward drive, but nervous about the forward location of the propellers in shallow water. Also looking at Mastercraft X23, X 25, XT 25.

Any thoughts or experiences?
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:34 AM
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MC25 MC25 is online now
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Boat: 2016 X30, 85 S&S
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Someone on my lake has one of those stump driller surf cobalts and I have no idea how they even surf that wave. An XT25 is massive and puts out a hell of a surf and wakeboard wake



2016 X30-Wetsounds galore
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1985 S&S- Gone but never forgotten
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:59 AM
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moosehead moosehead is offline
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We are former Cobalt 200 owners and love their watercraft, and as nice looking as the R5 is as Aric notes the forward drive VP surf waves all are lesser cousins (smaller, shorter, less powerful waves) to a Vdrive surf boat output.

Meanwhile, no way I would want to ski the R5, the over the bar ragdolls crossing that wake would be the end of me.

Check out the XT23 and XT25 for crossover watersports, great surf waves, and similarly top notch quality, fit & finish to Cobalt.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:02 AM
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Mastercraftdave Mastercraftdave is online now
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Boat: 2015 X23 SS 6.2L
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The cobalt is going to ride a lot better than the MCs when it gets choppy (although the X23 handles Chop the best of the MC line-up, the I/O will still outperform it) and will be a faster cruising boat. Other than that, the MC will outperform the Cobalt in every aspect.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:05 AM
dmbeck dmbeck is offline
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Boat: 1998 Prostar 205 (Sold), 2006 x15 w/ mcx
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These threads kill me, if you have this kind of money then I'm sure a MC and Cobalt dealer would love to take you out for a demo day on the water. A great surf boat ins't going to ski great, and a great ski boat isn't going to surf well. To get help you need to be more specific in it's use other than asking for a boat that does everything.

On ky lake obviously a Cobalt with an outdrive is going to be a better ride when wind picks up and lake gets rough but as many will chip in here, I'm not sure about the stump grinder (especially on a place like ky lake). If you really do want to be able to ski, board, and surf then the xt series is your best bet for a crossover MC but they aren't going to handle rough water as good as an X23/24. Alot of people are raving about the rough water ride in the new stars though and they board/surf bettter than anything else in the market right now.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:18 AM
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jsturvey jsturvey is offline
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Boat: 1998 MariStar 225VRS
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Ok, I've never surfed, but as far as skiing is concerned and being a former I/O owner myself, skiing behind an XT series boat will blow away anything with an I/O hands down!

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Old 07-10-2018, 10:20 AM
lees23 lees23 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Boat: 2017 22 VLX
Location: Midwest
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I will likely get killed for this but I will offer it up anyway. I spent a day on the water with an engineer for said I/O company. They are making a huge effort to improve their surf wave. He was very open about it not being anywhere near current surf boats currently, but he said that they are starting to find ways to close the gap. These improvements he was referring to are not available on current boats... 2020 should see some dramatic improvements in the I/O surf market.

It will be interesting to see how close Malibu allows Cobalt to get to surf wave performance as it could dramatically cannibalize Malibu sales.

Other than the future, I would agree with everyone’s thoughts here.. R5 will cruise better but any MC will be 1000x better surfing/skiing/wakeboarding boat.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:25 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Boat: Maristar 200VRS w/ X2 Package, 2007, 310HP
Location: Brighton, MI
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Cobalt's are very nice boats and probably the closest thing to an inboard on resale. That being said your wish list is absurd for any boat unless you're referring to the most basic of terms in each category of the activities you wish to participate in. If all you plan to do is ride directly behind the boat then yeah, you could probably do all you're asking behind a 24 - 26' boat. Past that you're fooling yourself and will be sorely disappointed on your first slalom outing.

In automotive terms your stated requirements would read....

Looking for sports car capable of autocross, turn 10s in the quarter mile, seat 8 comfortably and get 30+ MPG.

Point is you can get a car with any of these capabilities but not all of them in one car. As Beck states above your best bet is going to be going to a MC dealer that sells both, show them you're very serious about buying a boat that week and have them bring out a couple models that fits your needs best out for a demo. Many dealers have sales people that take demos boats for the season for just this purpose. I think you'll quickly be able to narrow your search to one or two boats very quickly.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:42 PM
mbobo24 mbobo24 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Boat: 2013 Chaparral 257ssx
Location: SE
Posts: 13
Appreciate all the opinions on this subject! I realize what I really need to do is keep my Chaparral for cruising and just buy a MC for watersports, but only 1 slip open at my dock, so need to settle on a single boat!
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:40 PM
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moosehead moosehead is offline
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While the R5 would no doubt be a faster cruiser and better in rough water, we boat in some very remote and very big lakes. We keep our X30, predecessor to the XT23, on Lake Pend Oreille, ID - which is 43 miles long and 1200 feet deep. When the weather rolls in, it gets big and scary.

As the man says, I don't always go out in rough water, but when I do, it is a Mastercraft. Have yet to swamp her and we carry young kids and a 92 year old grammie. We also do plenty of dinner cruises and whatnot.

I'll go out on a limb and say if you are covering lots of miles at LOTO, go with the R5. If you are watersporting, go with the MC.
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