With the performance and handling characteristics of Cobalt's smaller models and some nice features found on their larger boats, the Cobalt 252 is a versatile, mid-sized bowrider that will easily accommodate a growing family and all their activities.
Black leather steering wheel
AM-FM CD with 6 speakers
Stainless steel bow scuff plate
Extended swim platform with ladder
Aft sunpad with adjustable headrest
Bow walk-thru doors
Removable bow & cockpit carpet
Cobalt 252 Specifications
27' 6'' w/ ext. swim platform
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Cobalt makes about a dozen bowriders from a 20-foot sporty runabout to a twin engine 30-footer with lots of amenities. If you’re not sure which boat might meet your needs, start by looking at this 252, which offers many of the performance, handling, and watersports advantages of the company’s smaller boats, but still includes a roomy cockpit with plenty of seating, a full length sun pad at the stern, and even an enclosed head.
The 252’s big-boat feel doesn’t just come from its features. Careful design gives the 252 lots of interior volume. In fact, the 252 carries much more seating than the company’s similarly sized 250. This is possible, in part, because Cobalt moved the cockpit to swim platform walkthrough to the starboard side, rather than atop the engine as on the 250. This simple shift allows the walkthrough deck to be lower to the water, requiring one less step at the stern. Eliminating this step allowed Cobalt to include a full-length sun pad yet also make the cockpit noticeably longer, giving the 252 room for a large L-shaped settee on the port side and a bench seat to starboard. Since the sun pad and cockpit seating are generally not used at the same time, the backrest of the aft cockpit seat folds forward, becoming a headrest for the sun pad, thereby effectively making both the cockpit and the sun pad larger than typically found on a 25-footer.
There is also room to kick up your heels up in the bow on a large U-shaped seat typical on most bowriders, but the 252 also offers a fairly unique feature. Two sections of the seat lift out, creating an aft facing bench seat at the bow and two forward facing seats just ahead of the windshield. This configuration is great for towed watersports, when the action is off the stern, and also adds deck space. Conversion is simple and quick, with space to store the seat inserts along with a ton of other gear beneath the helm. The starboard side bow seat backrest is hinged to open extra-wide, allowing easy storage of large items. Across the boat, the port seat bottom lifts to access an insulated drink cooler or storage bin, and the forward bench seat conceals additional storage space.
At the Helm
Another big-boat feature on the 252, the helm includes space for an optional GPS, something not seen on the company’s smaller boats. The new helm design mirrors changes made to other recent Cobalts, creating a sharp new look. These new features aren’t just for appearance, though. The contoured dash allows better placement of gauges for easier viewing, and relocating the new stainless steel push-button switches above the steering wheel allowed Cobalt to place the stereo remote to the left of the steering wheel where it is easier to reach when not driving. This makes room for the GPS to the right of the wheel.
Across from the helm, the stereo receiver is recessed into the dash. A locking compartment above includes an MP3 input jack and a 12-volt outlet, with extra room to keep portable electronics safe. The head is also cleverly concealed here. So clever, in fact, that I might have overlooked it had it not been shown to me. Cobalt did a great job of maintaining the small boat look and feel while incorporating the head, a decidedly big-boat feature. The standard-equipment Porta Potti can be equipped for dockside pump out through a deck fitting, or even made to discharge offshore with a macerator pump, and the 252 is the smallest boat in Cobalt’s fleet with an optional electric marine toilet.
Plenty of Storage
Storage capacity is often what separates “big” boats from smaller ones, and here the 252 is huge. Under the port cockpit seat, Cobalt takes advantage of the depth of the bilge, making this compartment reach all the way to the bottom of the hull for large items like wakeboards, a boat cover, or other bulky items. A similar compartment is accessed through a hatch just outboard of the sun pad, perfect for wakeboards, wetsuits, and tow ropes that are best accessed while at the stern. Most under-seat storage is insulated, with drains, allowing flexibility in where cold drinks are kept. There is also a ski locker beneath the walkthrough to the bow, and another under-deck storage compartment at the stern. I should point out that these two lockers use tough polyethylene sheeting for their hatch lids, rather than molded fiberglass. While my experience with this material has proven it to be durable, it may scuff and scratch a bit more than fiberglass. On the other hand, replacing the entire hatch lid would likely cost the same as repairing a few dings in the edges of a fiberglass hatch.
Performance and Handling
The 252’s big-boat comforts, yet sporty, small-boat feel carry through to the handling as well. A longer boat will, of course, ride better on choppy days, but a shorter boat tends to be more responsive. From most manufacturers, this 25-foot range seems to be an ideal compromise, and also tends to be a good sized boat for watersports, not requiring the extra ballast often needed on smaller boats for wakeboarding, yet allowing a smooth wake at faster water-ski speeds. Our test boat, with its 375 horsepower MerCruiser 496 Mag engine and Bravo III sterndrive, certainly proved the 252 to be both quick and nimble. At 5050 RPM, wide open throttle on our test boat, we reached 52.4 miles-per-hour. Perhaps more important for towed watersports, the boat planed in 3.8 seconds, and went from 0 to 30 in 6.1 seconds. This hull and engine combination proved economical too. Cruising around 30 miles-per-hour, the 252 traveled well over three miles-per-gallon, and reached peak efficiency of 3.35 miles-per-gallon at 24.7 miles-per-hour, allowing 220 miles traveled between fill-ups.
Obviously there is not one perfect bowrider for everyone, which is why there are many in Cobalt’s line. But on this 252, Cobalt successfully created a boat with plenty of room and lots of amenities while retaining its responsive handling and sporty feel.
Cobalt 252 Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Cobalt 252 is 52.4 mph (84.3 kph), burning 31.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 118.09 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Cobalt 252 is 24.7 mph (39.8 kph), and the boat gets 3.35 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.42 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 220 miles (354.06 kilometers).
Tested power is 1 x 375-hp Merc 496 MAG Bravo III.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Cobalt 252 Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Cobalt 252 Warranty
Cobalt 252 Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.