Cobalt 232 WSS : Watersports Wonderland

While not every slice of the American boating pie is enjoying a full-blown renaissance, most watersports boatbuilders have been enjoying double-digit growth over the last few years. That means whether you waterski, wakeboard, or wake surf, there are plenty of boat models to choose from.

There are so many watersports boats out there, in fact, that getting started can be a daunting proposition. But fear not, I’ve got an excellent place for you to start: the Cobalt 232 WSS. It’s a solid entry from a manufacturer with a great reputation for quality and performance.

The Cobalt 232 WSS is dedicated to watersports  from bow to stern. Photo courtesy of Cobalt.

The Cobalt 232 WSS is dedicated to watersports from bow to stern. Photo courtesy of Cobalt.

I ran the Cobalt 232 WSS at a Volvo Penta media event recently, where the company was showcasing its new line of aluminum inboard gasoline V8 engines. My test vessel just happened to be equipped with one of them. By the way, the “WSS” stands for water sports series. Let’s step aboard.

With four people aboard, I found the 232 WSS to be extremely roomy for a boat this size, even with the industry design standard eight-foot, six-inch beam. While it doesn’t have the convertibility in seating arrangements that some boats accomplish with the use of flip-down benches, sliding lounge seats, or popup jump seats, both the cockpit and bow seating were super comfortable and made of high-quality materials. The bow features a wraparound seating arrangement with two integrated forward-facing chaise lounges. The cockpit has two swiveling captain’s chairs behind the console and an L-shaped lounge is tucked neatly in the aft corner to port. Fit and finish, and the quality of the interior accommodations were top notch.

The cockpit is comfortable, with plenty of space for at least six people. Photo courtesy of Cobalt.

The cockpit is comfortable, with plenty of space for at least six people. Photo courtesy of Cobalt.

As the name would suggest, the 232 WSS is chock-full of standard watersports features. The most noticeable is the polished stainless-steel watersports tower, which comes replete with board racks and an integral towing pylon with an anchor/steaming light. Aft-facing, music-blasting can speakers are an option. Twin water ballast tanks provide the ability to craft the perfect wakes, and filling and emptying them is easily controlled via switches at the helm.

One feature I really liked was the swim platform, which has a huge, integral flip-down bench that provides a submerged area for getting on and off the boat, as well as a place to don skis and boards.

A clever flip-down panel in the swim platform creates the perfect area for getting in and out of the water. Photo courtesy of Cobalt.

A clever flip-down panel in the swim platform creates the
perfect area for getting in and out of the water. Photo courtesy of Cobalt.

But what about towing those water skiers and wake boarders? The 232 WSS has the credentials to do it, in spades. My test craft was fitted with Volvo Penta’s brand-new 300-horsepower V8 gasoline inboard. The new engines are based on General Motors’ new “Gen V” blocks and feature all-aluminum construction, variable valve timing, direct fuel injection, and closed-loop freshwater block cooling, just to name a few specs. The engine also has a simplified design that moves all service checkpoints —  engine oil dipstick, oil fill, coolant reservoir, water pump, power steering dipstick, fuel filter, and engine flush fitting — to the front of the engine.

One of the most impressive aspects of this engine is its midrange throttle response and acceleration. All you have to do is snap the throttle down and the response is virtually immediate, thanks to the direct injection and variable valve timing. Acceleration from a stop is impressive, too. We saw 0-30 mph times of around 4.7 seconds. At wide-open throttle and a load of four people, we managed to get the 232 WSS up to around 41 mph.

Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive not only moves dangerous  propellers under the stern, but also vents exhaust gasses under the water and out of your  wakeboarders’ faces. Photo courtesy of Volvo Penta.

Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive not only moves dangerous
propellers under the stern, but also vents exhaust gasses under the water and out of your
wakeboarders’ faces. Photo courtesy of Volvo Penta.

The best part about selecting a Volvo Penta power plant with this boat is that any of them can be used with the company’s Forward Drive stern drive. This unit has Duoprops tucked up under the stern that pull the boat through the water versus pushing it. It not only makes watersports safer by limiting propeller exposure at the stern, but it vents exhaust gasses under the water—not in the faces of the folks you’re towing behind.

So, slap on your skis or slip into your wakeboard and hold on for a wild ride. The Cobalt 232 WSS has everything it takes to make a great watersports boat.

 

Cobalt 232 WSS  Specifications:

  • Length: 22’6”
  • Draft: 3’ (drive down) 2’2” (drive up)
  • Deadrise: 21 degrees
  • Displacement: 4,165 pounds
  • Fuel capacity: 50 gallons
  • Water capacity: 10 gallons

 

 

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