Cobalt Owner Has Questions

Hi Everyone:

I am a new owner of a Cobalt 233 Cuddy. Of course it’s a 1996 model, but it’s new to us, and it looks and runs like a new boat.

We have been boaters for many years mostly at Lake Erie with larger boats. We recently sold our 2002 – 31-PC Formula Cruiser so that we could spend more time on inland lakes with our grandchildren.

I am interested in reading about anyone who has owned or now owns a 233 Cobalt. What has been their experiences on the water with this boat? What are the pros and cons (if any) regarding this great looking cuddy? How does the Cobalt 233 Cuddy with a 5.7 lx-4 Bravo III compare to other boats of that vintage? And, if you have owned one of these boats, what are the pros and cons?

I know the reputation of Formula, and we are hearing about the excellent reputation of Cobalt. It seems they are very similar companies with outstanding products. We are just anxious to know about this specific boat from present or past owners.

Please email me, Donald (Chip) Cassidy or post a comment here.

  • Dave Pierson


    I have not owned a 233, but, I have owned 3 Cobalts over the years (each used) and in my opinion the best aspect is the support of the dealers and the factory. They are not completly “bullet proof” boats and will need some repair as they get older. I think you will find that with a little work and the support I referenced you can keep your 233 like new.

    Cobalt switched to a reduced deadrise hull design in late 80′ and early 90’s and this improved the effeciency and stability. It hurt the rough water ride some. Compared to ther boats on water I am familer with (west coast inland lakes) they ride very well.

    My advice is to get to know your local dealer and send a little service $ thier way. That relationship will be very helpful keeping the little things right. I doubt you will have any issues with the boat systems or hull.

    Enjoy your 233 and the time-less Cobalt look!


    • Donald (Chip) Cassidy


      Thanks so much for your advice. We are looking forward to our experiences with our Cobalt. I am sure it will be a great boat like everyone says it will be. Our sales person has become a friend and will continue to provide insight and assistance to us.


  • John Edwards

    Great boat Chip, I have a 1995 233, 7.4 liter. Like yours mine is in show-room condition, you will enjoy the ride.
    Feel free to e-mail about any question’s

  • Iain

    I owned a ’96 233 with that engine for 5 years – sold it last year when we moved to a ’06 263 (which says the brand is solid)

    The 233 is a great boat in freshwater – we used ours mostly in lake washington in seattle. Many things about the 233 are great – ours held up really well over the years.

    The only thing i would have added if i knew what i know now is a swim platform on the back – it really adds a level of convienience that the 233 didn’t have.

    If it has been looked after, you won’t regret this boat.


  • Brett

    I think I bought the 233 from Lake Washington above and we love it! This is our first boat and we decided to go with a 15 year old Cobalt over a 3 year old Bayliner or SeaRay because of the build quality, standard power, classic looks, dealer support and ride and handling. The only cons I can think of to owning a Cobalt is that they are significantly more expensive on the front end. That being said, I feel they hold their value better than most other brands so if you get a good deal, you’ll be ok.

    On my boat, everything works with the exception of my depth finder. I can’t get it to work and can’t seem to trouble shoot exactly where the issue is. The transducer is directly below the 7.4 liter and nearly impossible to reach. I’d like to keep it OEM, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know.

    Other than that, most of the issues I’m running into are just a function of the boat being older and I’m expecting to have to do some work.

    Enjoy your 233, we certainly enjoy ours!

    • Iain

      Hey Brett –

      I hope it was our old 233 because it’s a great boat. A friend of ours runs operations at Seattle Boat & he found that (+ our 263) for us.

      The depth finder never worked & its kind of a moot point on Lake Washington – the stuff that grows on the bottom of the lake usually is 2-4 ft deep & makes any depth finder reading unreliable. I have the exact same issue with the 263.

      See you out there some time – my 263 is black with a red stripe.


    • Edmond Keith

      Unfortunately, the 3200 is no longer made. Only gauge we currently have that would fill the hole is LST-3800, but would use different wiring.

  • Mark

    I have a 1997 233 with 7.4 Litre / Mercruiser Duoprop. Have also had a formula. This ride and performance is best, quality of interior, none can match as far as cleaning and durability. Have used the boat on Lake Sunapee, NH which can get get rough, thanks to the deep vee, no rattles and smooth ride, have also trailered this boat to CT River in CT, heading towards Old Saybrook, and the Sound and no problems with bigger boat chop….you have something very special use it and enjoy it, love the built in coolers/steps, depth finder, rope lighting up front and reading lamps, I am 6′- 2″and love sleeping in my cuddy…I have some pics of the boat on Cobalt page on fb

  • David Clunis

    I own a 1996 233 exactly the same color as yours. My boat has the 7.4 litre 454 and is extremely fast. My boat has 69 hours on it and is as new from the showroom condition.We bought the boat in June of this year and I am still adding options.I have installed a skeg gaurd, keel shield, a new stereo and a step into the cabin.This is an incredibly solid stable boat.We were unable to obtain an original owners manuel and would really like to get one. I downloaded the generic version from Cobalt support but its just that, generic. Any help you can give would be appreciated. As far as the depth finder problem goes that I read in previous posts, its just that, a problem. I got a new part # from Cobalt support and ordered the new faria version that will plug right in. We boat all over Washington state and live 5 miles from the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers.Feel free to e-mail me. Thanks

  • Rob

    I need to change the bulb in the running lights on the stern of my Cobalt. Do I need to remove the lights or does the cover snap off? Also, I looked in my owners manual and it notes the fuses being located behind the dash..I looked under the dash but could not see them. Any help would be great.