Built to Last
Few builders of express cruisers like the 373 stress their construction techniques; these boats are more about comfort and convenience than toughness. But Cobalt, located almost in the exact middle of the U.S., about as far from the sea as one can get, engineers their boats for open-water use, using top-quality materials and methods. Slice into the hull of a 373, and you’ll find not only fiberglass cloth, but Kevlar and carbon-fiber reinforcement, too. (Kevlar adds strength to a laminate; carbon fiber adds stiffness. They are both very expensive which is why most builders do not use these materials.)
Cobalt quality starts on the outside: All accent stripes, waterlines and graphics are done in the gelcoat during lamination – no decals or tape or paint as you’ll find on many similar boats. A barrier coat behind the gelcoat prevents water absorption into the laminate; layers of fabric reinforcement are then hand-laid and rolled in vinylester resin, with coring – superlight but strong honeycomb material, not balsa or foam -- used where appropriate.
The solid bottom is strengthened with Kevlar – Cobalt says it’s ¾” thick. The bottom is further reinforced with a full-length stringer system laid-up with carbon fiber to make it stiff and light. Finally, all structural bulkheads are vacuum-infused composites, again to maximize strength while minimizing weight. Cobalt is the only builder we know of which makes its bulkheads with this process. This is high-performance technology, utilized to built a truly first-rate family cruiser.
But It’s Comfortable, Too
A rugged skeleton doesn’t mean the Cobalt 373 is rough to the touch. The boat is plushly appointed, with comfortable seating all around the cockpit, a large, stylish salon belowdecks and two staterooms – the twin-berth second cabin is maybe a little tight, but fine for kids and occasional guests. All furniture and upholstery is done in-house, using the same care in the details that Cobalt exhibits in the boat’s structure. Cobalt has built its reputation on yacht-quality fit-and-finish.
Prices and Recommendation
The MSRP of the Cobalt 373 is $448,597 with the twin MerCruiser 496 Mag HOs. The boat is well-equipped, but we’d want a few options. Cobalt offers a diesel Kohler generator in place of the standard 7.3-kW (CO-safe) gas model ($2,215 upcharge). Take your pick.The standard boat comes with an arch but no enclosure, which adds $4,481. We prefer a hardtop, although it’s an $23,767 upgrade, including the enclosure. (Given the price of the boat, this adds just 5% to the cost, but we think it pays off with about 25% more utility for the boat.) A bow thruster is $7,571, oil-change system for engines and genset, $4,069, TV in the master cabin, $1,391. In all, a complete boat would cost us around $520,000 if we went for the Axius upgrade. But in any case, you’ll get a nice boat, a beauty on the surface and a beast underneath. It would be a boat we’d look at if we wanted a first-class express cruiser – in this size range.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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