As my first boat was a Cobalt, I find this quite interesting. Don't have all the specs, but it's a 34 footer. Apparently does 80 mph with twin 500's
Cockpit - Center Console
Interesting. Sleek looking boat. Cobalts are top notch.
From Cobalt site:
(NEODESHA, KANSAS -- November 15, 2003) Cobalt Boats has unveiled the 343, a 34-footer that may very well create an entirely new segment for the industry. Riding on the first stepped hull ever designed into a Cobalt, the 343 represents a hybrid combination of creature comforts, high performance, and sleek European styling.
Historically, Cobalt has avoided stepped hulls. Concerned about a stepped hullís seemingly inevitable liabilities in stability and handling, Cobalt simply had not found sufficient advantages in straight ahead torque to offset the traditional limitations of a stepped design: unsafe turning at high speeds, skidding, compromised hole shots, and annoying noise. But when Cobalt management decided to build a boat that would maximize both flat-out performance and uncompromising luxury, a stepped hull seemed a logical choice. And so began the largest single engineering effort in Cobaltís 30-plus years of boat building.
Cobalt engineers spent eight months examining every stepped hull on the market and documenting the design characteristics responsible for undesirable and desirable effects, for any issues involving ultimate safety. Then computer modeling began in earnest, as another ten months passed in simulation of potential designs before the first trial hull took to the water -- at full power. Stoked by twin 500-horsepower engines, the prototype hull set out to push the envelope. Cobalt wanted to know the boatís potential response in every worst case imaginable. Cobalt test drivers attempted to turn the boat on its gunwales; they ran it to 80-plus miles an hour, and then they made a left turn. The design that was to become the 343ís hull absolutely refused to skid. The 343-test hull could not be made to skip outside its track.
From the outset the design proved user-friendly in the extreme, especially for a boat of the 343ís size and power. Throughout the 343ís development, the boat showed itself so stable, so certain of its tracking that it seemed to drive itself. Sean Callan, process improvement manager , refers to the 343ís almost eerie ability to correct itself after passing through a large wake, for example, or to respond to a half-second flip of the trim switch.
Project manager Niles Schurle reports that during sea trials off Palm Beach, Florida the 343 underwent extremely hard use to determine its limits. ĖWe were amazed at the 343ís handling under extreme conditions offshore. On those occasions when the boat was airborne, the landings were soft and controlled. We certainly donít advocate wave jumping, but itís good to know that the 343 will perform even under the most difficult conditions. Cobalt dealers have also been impressed early on with the 343ís ease of handling, and exceptionally smooth ride. Many dealers who would not otherwise have ordered such a large boat are now putting their names on the waiting list. Full production is expected early spring 2004.
For all of its high-octane performance, the boat that arrives in dealer showrooms will be a genuine Cobalt in terms of its fit and finish, its long list of standard amenities, some of which are industry firsts in a 34-footer: a walk-around windshield, for instance, an amidships helm station that wraps around the captain providing complete control and a performance-based, electric, double-wide captainís seat. The center console design delivers easy access to the inviting foredeck sun pad via steps on either side. In the midst of all the innovation thereís an enduring Cobalt mystique, an insistence on the classicism of the boatís lines, on the size and the amenities of the cockpit, on the simplicity and functionality of the cabin. With lounge seating, an ice chest, and a premium sound system, the cockpit invites guests aboard for good times all around. The cockpit is extraordinarily large for a boat in this category and gives the passengers unparallel visibility and a feeling of safety at any speed. The Cobalt 343 is truly a gentleman's dream comes true, and at the same time gives his family and guests a true luxury ride with emphasis in on water usability. In the cabin a V-berth filler cushion slides in next to a convenient table and an enclosed head. A Raytheon global positioning system is standard, as are an invitingly large swim platform and a concealed boarding ladder. And, of course, the 343 is yacht-certified.
The options list means wish-fulfillment for everyone: a television/DVD package, VHF radio, electronic throttle control with engine synthesizer, cockpit heater, air conditioning with reverse heat, a gas generator, shore power in either 110 or 220 volts, engine packages to 525 horsepower, and an eye-popping radar arch with accompanying sunshade. Gelcoat colors and graphics bring along meaningful choices for every taste.
"We understand at Cobalt that many owners love pure performance, that they want a boat of a size sufficient to handling todayís (challenging) water," says Cobalt president Paxson St. Clair. "We also understood that until now the only boats on the market capable of answering those demands for size and performance involve some real limitations -- small cockpits, narrow beams, difficult access to the dock or the water. From the beginning we wanted a boat that would satisfy any itch for pure speed, but that would bring along a full complement of creature comforts in a large cockpit and cabin. In the 343, I believe weíve produced a boat with significant power behind a beautiful and comfortable interior. ĎBrute elegance,í we call it."
Interesting...I wonder how many stepped hull manufacturers go through this much research? Or do they use "guesstimates" as to the most logical location and aggressiveness of the step...hmmm. I suspect that if we knew how some of these steps were developed, we wouldn't have bought the product.
I had the opportunity to board a 343 this past month at a the LOTO dealers boat show at Town Center in Overland Park, KS. About 2 hours north of the factory. One word: WOW! This thing is awesome. The lines and fit are truly Cobalt. The cockpit was quite interesting with it's center pod set-up. The performance characteristics sounds like a new welcomed venture from Cobalt. You can bet it will be nothing short of Great! "Brute Elegance" is a true statement.
I monitored Cobalt's development of the 282, and to a lesser extend the 343. Their engineering efforts are substantial. I didn't expect this level of performance though.
It kind of looks like the old Donzi Crossbow a little, especialy the profile.
I can only imagine the price. Their 25 foot deck boats cost 60k. I'm sure it will be nice.
Last edited by Jan; 11-19-2003 at 02:49 PM.
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