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What’s the difference?

Today we’ll be taking a look at some of the differences between the Cobalt R7 and their newest addition, the Cobalt R8. The Cobalt R8 represents the next generation of the R series from Cobalt. But does it really differ from R7? Let’s take a look!


Let’s take a look at the Cobalt R8. The R8 is a 27 foot 10 in long bowrider designed for those who appreciate a modern classy aesthetic with the ability to enjoy water sports as well. The R8 is yacht certified and can hold 2 large families comfortably. One reason people love Cobalt R7 is because of the deeper freeboard and deep v hull. Even though the hull design on the R8 looks more modern, it still maintains the deep v-hull and freeboard which maintains a dry ride, regardless of water conditions. The R8 comes in three variant model types: the R8 sterndrive, outboard, and surf edition. All variants come with a new modern aesthetic and class that can only be found in a Cobalt boat. The R7 on the other hand is only available in surf or sterndrive model type and maintains more of the classic Cobalt design and feel. This includes the square patterned stitching in the vinyl, while the R8 has a sleeker updated vinyl design and stitching.


The first thing you’ll notice about the bow in the Cobalt R8 is the amount of space for you and your family to enjoy. With the L shape walkthrough and their space reclamation design, the bow of the Cobalt R8 is functional and extremely comfortable. This is very similar to the Cobalt R7, however the R8’s bow takes everything good from the R7 and tweaks it to make it just a bit better in all areas. With dual USB charging ports and a new beehive upholstery, the R8 keeps that classy look that you’ve come to expect with a new updated modern design. Another key feature is the storage space. The R8 comes with an extra storage locker in the bow that the R7 does not have. With additional flip up seating and compartments in the deck you’ll have plenty of space to store anything you need.

It’s All About the Details

Helm & Captain’s Chair

The Cobalt R8 has been updated with optional 10-inch Garmin glass touch screens as well as a wireless phone charger, and a modern dash update. These optional glass screens are only available in the 7-inch design on the Cobalt R7 and the wireless charger is only available on the R8. The co captain’s chair comes with a reversible flip seat as you’ve seen on previous R series models and of course a head unit which can be also used for extra storage space. A slight difference that you’ll notice with the R8 is that in the R7 you have to raise the bolster seat in the co-captains chair in order to open the head door. With the R8 this has been adjusted so you can now freely open the head without having to adjust the bolster seat.

Tower & Stern

The Cobalt R8 has a couple different forward facing tower options, but one of our favorites is the power tower option. With a simple push of a button your tower lowers down for storage and travel. The foldable tower has 3 board rack options, but one of our favorites is the swivel rack. Simply clamp your boards into place and swivel around to keep wake or surfboards secure while underway. The R7 also has a power tower option called the electric arch, however with our customers we’ve noticed that the classic stainless steel collapsible bimini is the preferred option. It simply folds and assembles and again keeps that clean and classic Cobalt aesthetic.

As we continue to move towards the stern of the boat, you’ll notice a ton of interior space and storage. Under this first flip seat we have our battery switch, flag pole holder, and fire extinguisher as well as extra storage space. On the other side our flip seat reveals a removable cooler area so you can take all your ice-cold drinks with you on the go. All the way in the back we have the engine compartment which now easily flips up without having to unclamp or move anything around. Simply lift the seat up and you can easily access your engine compartment for inspection or maintenance. Unlike the R8, the R7 has just a few more steps in order to unclamp and lift the engine compartment. Overall however it’s very similar to the R8. Above the engine compartment is the rear lounger area with the flip seat. Our customers love this part of the boat because it’s really the ultimate area to just relax and enjoy the water. With plenty of space, cupholders, rear audio controls, the rear lounger really is the place to be in the Cobalt R8. The same can be said about the R7 however the amount of available lounging room is just a bit smaller on the R7. To round it out, Cobalt has included an oversized swim platform and the patented Cobalt flip on both the R7 vs. the R8.

Wrap Up

Now that you know all about the Cobalt R8 and the R7 the question is, “Who is this boat for?” The R8 is designed to tackle big bodies of water with ease while providing comfort, luxury, and the option of water sports. With the deeper freeboard and deadrise, the R8 cuts through choppy waters comfortably and with ease. While still providing the option for water sports with a modern look and redesign. The R7 on the other hand is more for the buyer who just really wants to enjoy luxury on the water, a smooth elegant ride, and occasionally or not at all interested in water sports. The R7 is also designed to tackle big bodies of water with ease as well, but has a more classic Cobalt aesthetic and less modern feel.

Thanks for reading! We hope that this comparison has given you more insight into the future of the Cobalt R Series. If you have any questions or would just like to know more about the Cobalt R8 or R7 please contact our Traverse City or Hudsonville locations for more information. Until then, we’ll see you on the water.