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Old 06-10-2019, 01:39 PM   #1
DoTheMath
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Default Formula 240BR or Cobalt R5?

I am considering / looking at purchasing a new boat for next summer, and have narrowed it down to these two models. All things being equal, (they match up pretty tightly), things like power being same-same (430hp), no wake towers or full enclosure, (just bimini), etc... I'm trying to compare like to like.

As to the ancillary details, I've been on the lake my entire life, know the conditions and dealers well and have owned about 15 boats of all types - including 2 Formulas and 1 Cobalt. It will be kept in front of our house (at our dock) on Winni., stored on a trailer in the off-season and used primarily for cruising with a very little bit of tow-sports tossed in.

I am looking for owners opinions or direct experience of either / both, the good, the bad and the indifferent. Things like overall build quality - new and say at 50 hours, fit and finish (incl. small details), and so on. I know I really can't go wrong with either but would like to hear from folks that bought in the last few years and what they think.

TIA!
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:03 PM   #2
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Smile Formula or Cobalt

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoTheMath View Post
I am considering / looking at purchasing a new boat for next summer, and have narrowed it down to these two models. All things being equal, (they match up pretty tightly), things like power being same-same (430hp), no wake towers or full enclosure, (just bimini), etc... I'm trying to compare like to like.

As to the ancillary details, I've been on the lake my entire life, know the conditions and dealers well and have owned about 15 boats of all types - including 2 Formulas and 1 Cobalt. It will be kept in front of our house (at our dock) on Winni., stored on a trailer in the off-season and used primarily for cruising with a very little bit of tow-sports tossed in.

I am looking for owners opinions or direct experience of either / both, the good, the bad and the indifferent. Things like overall build quality - new and say at 50 hours, fit and finish (incl. small details), and so on. I know I really can't go wrong with either but would like to hear from folks that bought in the last few years and what they think.

TIA!
Both are very well built boats, Iím biased as Iím a Formula owner and having been at PBM for over 10 years they provide great follow on service. As you stated both are great boats I may come down to the floor plan and of course the swim platform for the water toys
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:23 PM   #3
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I can't speak to the Formula although they are beautiful boats. I own a 2015 Cobalt R5. Bought it used at the beginning of last season. We use it for water sports and cruising the lake. I find it to be the perfect boat for Lake Winnipesaukee. Very comfortable ride and lots of storage. The drop down swim platform makes it very easy to get in and out of the boat. Handles the chop on windy days very well.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:04 PM   #4
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Flip a coin!!! Can't go wrong with either. Both are beautiful boats. However, as an owner of one, I am biased towards the Formula. IMHO, there is nothing like the "looks" of a Formula coming at you up on plane at a high rate of speed!! Baddest looking boats on the planet!! Good luck on whatever you choose. I'm sure you will be very happy with either... It's kind of like asking what would you rather have, a million bucks in 100's, or 50's...???
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:24 AM   #5
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Default Formula by a nose....

Like some of the others have stated, I've owned both. I had the predecessor to the R5, the Cobalt 250BR. I bought it used, (it was about 7 or 8 years old at the time), and kept it for 3 years. It was a great boat...it had the Big Block V8, (430HP), and Captain's Call exhaust. Fast, great ride, and it looked awesome.

After a few years with it, we decided we wanted something just a tad bit bigger. Ended up deciding on the Formula 270BR. This one also has the Big Block and looks great. I strongly considered the Cobalt R7, but ended up going Formula for a couple reasons. 1) The extended swim platform option on Formula is great. Gives you a ton of extra room out there. 2) We really like the way the Formula seat backs adjust forward and backward. This allows you to easily change the seating configuration for forward-facing or rear-facing. 3) Totally personal preference, but we like the rear sun lounging seat better on the Formula. 4) Minor thing, but the stow-away table on the Formula screws into the floor, whereas on the Cobalt it's an arm assembly that comes out on an upward curve from under the rear seats. 5) Formula IMRON paint...not a marketing gimmick...it will last for years and not fade. 5) Lastly, we had a relationship with PBM, (we had bought the Cobalt used from them), and I cannot say enough good things about them.

After a couple seasons with the Formula, I also have found the ride to be a bit more solid, in my view, than that of the Cobalt.

Both are excellent choices and you can't go wrong with either one. I think it just comes down to personal preference on the features of each boat and the relationship / chemistry that you have with the dealer.

Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:25 AM   #6
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Comparing Formula and Cobalt and trying to decided which one is not going to be easy. Both are quality boats, and if bought new should last for a long time. If you are buy used, it comes down to which one appears to be taken care of better. There are obvious signs of how well a boat has or hasn't been take care off.

I think in all likely hood your debate will come down to, color and options. Versus worrying about the fit and finish. Both MFG stand behind their products.

What I would suggest, is to look outside the lakes region if you are truely interesting in getting a boat on a trailer and have the means to move it, yourself. I find the prices model for model, drastically different once you move out of the New England area....
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:24 AM   #7
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I completely gutted the stock audio system in my Formula 37PC and was blown away by the quality of materials and attention to detail in the areas most owners never see. Customer support is second to none, I am a Formula owner for life.

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Old 06-20-2019, 09:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiocontester View Post
I completely gutted the stock audio system in my Formula 37PC and was blown away by the quality of materials and attention to detail in the areas most owners never see. Customer support is second to none, I am a Formula owner for life.

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I agree, I'm very impressed with how Formula wired my 260. Mine is a model year 2000 and 19 years later it's still solid as a rock. I know Cobalt makes a nice boat but I'm a Formula believer for sure.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Formula260SS View Post
I agree, I'm very impressed with how Formula wired my 260. Mine is a model year 2000 and 19 years later it's still solid as a rock. I know Cobalt makes a nice boat but I'm a Formula believer for sure.
Only downside is that all of the trunk wiring through conduit and throughout other areas of the boat is wire-tied and contained within wire loom, which made running wires and removing some of the old very challenging. Of course when I added new runs of speaker cable and power wires I followed the same protocol!
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
What I would suggest, is to look outside the lakes region if you are truely interesting in getting a boat on a trailer and have the means to move it, yourself. I find the prices model for model, drastically different once you move out of the New England area....
Mine came from Lake Norman in NC, I met the guy in Harrisburg. At the time I saved about 5-6K. I agree you get better pricing the further south you go
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:10 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for all the good feedback / info, will take it into consideration when shopping!
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