More than just an update of the popular Cobalt 220 bowrider, the 222 is an all new boat. With an incredible choice of 26 possible engine options, the 222 has an engine package for everyone plus a whole lot more.
Black leather steering wheel
AM-FM CD with 6 speakers
Bow scuff plate, stainless steel
Extended swim platform, with ladder
High-back captain's chair with pocket
Removable bow & cockpit carpet
10 year hull/deck warranty
5 year powertrain warranty
Cobalt 222 Specifications
24' 6'' w/ ext. swim platform
4,640 lbs. w/ big block engine
7' 6'' w/ ski tower
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.
While Cobalt’s 222 and 220 bowriders are separated by only a few inches on a tape measure, there are significant differences between these boats. This point was driven home by Alex Barry, Cobalt’s Western Regional Manager, when I asked what had changed from the company’s venerable 220 to the new 222 as we walked through the boat. “Everything,” he said. “It’s an entirely new boat.” Still, I continued to try to compare and contrast the two bowriders until Barry finally said, “To tell you what is the same between the two boats, I’d have to say these two seats, the helm seat and the companion seat. Everything else is new. The styling, the lines, the layout, even the hull is brand new.”
Looking at the brochure it is clear that the 222 is not just a revamped 220. But still, they are similar, in size at least. So what are the main differences? The most obvious is the layout. The new 222 is configured with a starboard-side walkthrough (compared to the 220’s centerline access from the cockpit to the swim platform). This provides the 222 with a single, wide sun pad and L-shaped seating inside the cockpit. The walkthrough deck is also lower on the 222 than on the 220, since it runs alongside, not over, the engine. A step on the swim platform and another in the cockpit make the short transition up to the walkthrough easy, but therein lays the secret to the 222. Because the walkthrough on the 220 is higher, it required another full-beam “step” at the back of the twin sun pads. The lower walkthrough of the 222 doesn’t need that extra step, so it gains a couple of feet of cockpit space. (It also helps that the new boat is six inches longer.)
At the Bow
Up in the bow, not much has changed in terms of seating, though there are a few notable behind the scenes changes from the 220 to the new 222. For example, gone are the port and starboard fender lockers just ahead of the windshield, and storage accessed through seat bottoms. Instead, the 222 features two huge storage compartments, with seat bottoms and backs formed into one unit and hinged at the top to allow remarkable access and lots of room for large, bulky items. Most storage compartments throughout the boat are finished inside, insulated, and fitted with drains, allowing flexibility in choosing which are used for iced drinks versus gear, and also making cleanup easier. Seat bottoms are fitted with double-folding hinges, allowing easy access to the compartments beneath and keeping seat cushions exactly where they belong without snaps or Velcro. As with all Cobalts, the 222 includes plenty of stainless steel drink holders and grab rails and lots of nooks and crannies for small items.
While keeping the company’s distinctive features, Cobalt has given the boat new lines, a new windshield, and also updated its look. For instance, the helm still includes Faria gauges inscribed with Cobalt’s logo, but now set in an entirely new dash. The optional rosewood and mahogany steering wheel, or the graphite and leather of our test boat are not new, but the chrome accent strip beneath the gauges is, with stainless steel push-button switches set into this strip giving the dash a clean, uncluttered look. The space saved by relocating the switches also allowed Cobalt to shrink the helm console and round its corners, more in keeping with today’s sense of style. Across from the helm, the glove box conceals a stereo receiver, and also includes a 12-volt outlet, MP3 input jack, and room for a few portable electronics is in keeping with today’s electronic lifestyle.
Below the water, the 222’s new hull includes more “hook” in the reversed chine, meaning the outermost strake in the hull’s bottom slopes noticeably back down toward the water before merging with the hull sides. This captures more water when running, providing more lift for better performance and acceleration, and also knocks down spray for a dryer ride. The reversed chine also bites into the water in tight turns, keeping the boat on track during aggressive maneuvers.
Power and Performance
Engine choices are similar between the 222 and 220, with 26 options from both MerCruiser and Volvo from 260 to 425 horsepower. Our test boat’s 300 horsepower MerCruiser 350 Mag engine and Bravo III sterndrive put us on plane in 3.7 seconds and accelerated through 30 miles-per-hour in 6.4 seconds, ending at a top speed of 48.7 miles-per-hour at 5200 RPM. Our most economical cruise was at 3000 RPM, making 24.3 miles-per-hour and traveling 3.57 miles per gallon of gasoline.
I suspect most people will prefer the layout and features of the new 222, though the 220 has been a popular boat for many years. If you’re on the new boat and find yourself overcome by nostalgia for the older model, check out the helm and passenger seat—they haven’t changed.
Cobalt 222 Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Cobalt 222 is 48.7 mph (78.4 kph), burning 22.9 gallons per hour (gph) or 86.68 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Cobalt 222 is 24.3 mph (39.1 kph), and the boat gets 3.57 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.52 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 161 miles (259.1 kilometers).
Tested power is 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
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.