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  1. #1
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    Default Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Forum,

    I am considering a new boat and have a couple of questions as this is my first boat purchase. Today, after visiting the dealer, my wife and I had been focused on a Regal 2100. This isn't the entry level Regal but not the upper end either. Based on features and price the dealer suggested we also look at the Cobalt 200. This is a very nice boat as well, but it is their entry-level boat. Both were coming in around $38K to $40K, based on the features we wanted. We were getting a few extras on the Regal, but not as many on the Cobalt (from what we could tell). That said, could I gather some advice:

    1) Given the choice, is an entry -level Cobalt better than a non-entry Regal 2100 (Regal vs. Cobalt question as well)
    2) When purchasing a boat, how much room, generally, do I have to negotiate with the dealer. Is there much to deal with, like a car. This is my first boat purchase and any help is strongly appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Stephen

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    A cobalt is the better boat. There is nothing wrong with Regals and we looked at them before buying our cobalt. But between the 2, go with the cobalt. Do make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Same or similar power plant, trailer, etc.

    Even if the cobalt were more, and it probably is, it's worth it in my opinion.
    James
    2002 Cobalt 226 with VP 8.1GI

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    You don't state where you are and whether or not there are other dealers within driving distance to use as both price comparison and leverage. As for boats, you are comparing apples and oranges. Yes, the Regal is a very nice boat, but Cobalt is still a notch higher, IMHO. Granted, you will hear someone shortly who will defend Regal boats as being equal, just the same. Either way, you have to treat this like an auto purchase, whereby you shop around for comparison and leverage out your best deal, with the add-ons, free maintenance visits, and extras. It is still a buyer's market, not a seller's, no matter what anyone tells you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    I am in Alabama and there are two dealers on the way to the lake where we will keep the boat in dry-storage. The dealer we are talking with was someone who was referred to us that I trust. So far he has been extremely helpful (as he should be). However, I think I will take your advice and stop by the other dealer for some comparison on the Cobalt. My price range has continued to move up as I have become more educated about the boat options, but we are now at my "limit", at least from a mental health concern. I don't want to spend so much that I don't enjoy it.

    With that said, some of the features I am getting on the Regal were putting the MSRP around $46,000 but the sales price at $40,000. I was getting carpet, premium sound system, tiki wood looking platform, and wrap around arena seating. Regular bimini top. That was the Regal 2100.

    On the Cobalt, I get the carpet and a great looking boat, basically the same engine but I lose some of the nice wood grain look on the dash board. That price was around $38 to $39K. I just wondering about getting the bottom of the line in a boat series. I am not sure what the MSRP would be on the Cobalt. He just wanted me to see if since I would be spending around $40,000 anyway.

    Stephen

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Good for you, checking out the other dealer. Remember, there are other options you can also take. I would suggest you ask about last year's models, and what discounts are available. If they don't have any from last year, you can state that you will go online to check other dealers. Then watch how fast they offer to do that for you. Bottom line, they want your business, since it isn't just the original sale. They want your future sales and service business, and any referral you can offer. The boat business is a tough business to stay in, unless you are good with your customers.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Cobalt really doesn't have a bottom of the line in their boat. the 200 is their entry level, but it is not a stripped down version. Wood trim is nice, but I would rather have aluminum or SS as it is more durable. You can get the teak platform pad from seadek for 200-300. Premium sound isn't much and can be added after the fact as well.

    Cobalt designs great hulls and builds awesome boats. Even if you have to pass on a few upgrades they can be added later, but you can't change hulls later without buying a new boat.
    James
    2002 Cobalt 226 with VP 8.1GI

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Meh...just go buy two Bayliner Capris for the same amount of money. Use one for a couple of years til it blows up or rots out from under you, then use the other one. That way, you have a brand new boat, then in a couple of years, you get to have that brand new boat feeling again!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Seems Cobalt gets all the votes in this case....even if it is the entry-level model.

    This being my first boat purchase I hope you can understand the hesitation. Throwing around $40,000 isn't something I want to do with out research, so I really appreciate the feedback and please keep them coming.

    I think my "concern" on getting an entry level Cobalt have at least been answered. I just don't want to be in a situation where, yeah, I bought a Cobalt, but no features, but hey, I got the name. Especially if I went with just another good brand and got a few upgrades. Thanks again.

    Stephen

  9. #9
    Petty Officer 2nd Class atx111's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    I agree, Cobalt really doesn't have a low end anything. I own a 2010 Cobalt 230 and am nothing but pleased with the boat. I also toured the Cobalt factory in Neodesha, KS and I can say that they put just as much attention to detail in the 200 as they do on all their other boats.
    2010 Cobalt 230
    Volvo Penta 5.7 GI DP

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Hell, i started with the Bayliner idea, then i started learning a lot more.....Now I at least know that I don't want a Bayliner.. :-)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Quote Originally Posted by smdavis1004 View Post
    Seems Cobalt gets all the votes in this case....even if it is the entry-level model.

    This being my first boat purchase I hope you can understand the hesitation. Throwing around $40,000 isn't something I want to do with out research, so I really appreciate the feedback and please keep them coming.

    I think my "concern" on getting an entry level Cobalt have at least been answered. I just don't want to be in a situation where, yeah, I bought a Cobalt, but no features, but hey, I got the name. Especially if I went with just another good brand and got a few upgrades. Thanks again.

    Stephen
    Stephen, Cobalt has no entry level boat. But whether you find a great deal on a 2011 or 2010 model, you can always add more features as time goes by. You can't add on a better hull, stronger design, or better resale valued boat. Still, for your best bang on the Cobalt, you need to research prior year unsold models. You may find a super deal on an even larger boat packaged for someone who failed to pick up on the delivery. A good dealer will check this avenue out for you, but make calls to any dealer within a few hundred miles on your own.

  12. #12
    Petty Officer 2nd Class zagger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    I recently looked at both boats and ended up buying the Regal. Both are great boats. Make sure and test ride both, for me there was very little difference in ride, acceleration, fit and finish and the cabin layout fit me better for what I wanted to use it for. Can't speak for Cobalt but after two months of owning the Regal I noticed couple of snaps came apart in my carpeting. After a call to the factory they had a mechanic installing new carpeting in my driveway, while there he serviced it for free. The service I received was by far the best I ever experienced in 20 years of owning different boats. Make sure you test ride them both before you make a decision. good luck.

    P/S- adding features at later date is not as cheep as one thinks, the 2K difference in price could quickly disappear. Just something else to think about.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    I have not yet had the opportunity to test drive them and will hope to do so in about a week. I am reading great responses for both boats so in the end it doesn't appear I could go wrong. Although I know people are saying there are no entry level boats for Cobalt, I seem to be having a hard time paying that amount for the "entry level". Thank you for sharing your story about the Regal.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    You didn't say where you were in Alabama, but if it were easy for you to get to Atlanta, I would check one of the newer Cobalts listed on Craigs list for Atlanta. Really some nice boats and a couple that are almost new at heavily discounted prices. See Link http://atlanta.craigslist.org/search...inAsk=&maxAsk=

  15. #15
    Senior Chief Petty Officer BTMCB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Not a bad position to be in - having to chose between a Cobalt or Regal!! Two very nice, very well made brands. Ironic in a way, the admiral and I were looking for a Cobalt this year at the boat show. Then we looked at a Regal 2100 (sounds exactly like the one you are talking about with arena seating and all). We both REALLY liked it and we came close to doing a deal. But, in the end, we elected to just keep the boat we have for a while longer, which we are totally satisfied with. Cobalt is top tier no question but, IMHO Regal isn't too far behind. And, while it was my intent to go with a Cobalt, I would have gone with the Regal simply because I was getting more boat (size wise) for the buck without giving up too much, if anything, in the way of quality. Good luck with whichever you chose and I am sure you are going to thoroughly enjoy either one!


    -------------
    Brian
    Same Admiral since 1973
    2011 Chaparral 206SSI, 5.0L VP GXI SX, 270HP
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    My take on this is that yes, Cobalt is generally regarded as the top of the heap for mainstream brands. Before I decided, I'd do two other things. Look at the Chaparral offerings and seek out a nearly new, but used one of all of the above. The premium brand boat guys take fantastic care of their boats and a so 50hour boat, I'd bet would be 99.999% as good as new but 80% of the price and all warranty work may have already been performed. At least here in MN there is no sales tax on used, private party boats either which is very compelling in this land of 10,000 taxes. I suppose that in my little corner of the world, my garage dictates the max size boat I can have and If I was dry storing like you, I would most certainly be buying above 20 feet but only spending the $ of a 20 footer. When I bought a few years back, I couldn't have a coherent discussion with the Regal sales person as all he could talk about was their JD Power awards. It was as though I was being Punked.
    2003 Chaparral 183SS

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    You really want to test drive anything you are looking at seriously. I looked at both boats you are looking at, two years ago. I had heard great things about the Cobalt but found the Regal had a smoother ride and was less windy in the rear seats. I would have picked the Regal ahead of the Cobalt quite easily. I bought an inboard instead but your are looking at nice boats. Just drive them. They are different and you will find what is important for you.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Cobalt is made just about 45 miles from my house. I'd like to have one, just didn't feel that I could afford one. NICE units !!! Maybe someday....................... ;-)
    ~~ This boat runs on gas, NOT thanks ~~

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Quote Originally Posted by 204 Escape View Post
    Cobalt is made just about 45 miles from my house. I'd like to have one, just didn't feel that I could afford one. NICE units !!! Maybe someday....................... ;-)
    I hear you on this one pal. Sea Ray, Mastercraft, and the big Yamaha bowriders (prolly a few more namebrands too) are all made just about 60 miles from my house. I have a 21yr old Four Winns! Nothing wrong with Four Winns, I think they make great boats...but my first choice has always been one of those 24-26' Mastercrafts. Just cant do the $100k+ for a boat!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Quote Originally Posted by infideltarget View Post
    Ibut my first choice has always been one of those 24-26' Mastercrafts. Just cant do the $100k+ for a boat!
    Ha Ha, I could have prior to April 18th, but now it's Baylinersville for me. Actually the new Cobalts now have a hydrolic extended ski platform thing that I can't quite figure out from the ad. I thought that was pretty cool. For 100k, I'd be like a kid in a candy store but with how nice all the newest boats are becoming it'd be a tough choice.
    2003 Chaparral 183SS

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jkust View Post
    Ha Ha, I could have prior to April 18th, but now it's Baylinersville for me. Actually the new Cobalts now have a hydrolic extended ski platform thing that I can't quite figure out from the ad. I thought that was pretty cool. For 100k, I'd be like a kid in a candy store but with how nice all the newest boats are becoming it'd be a tough choice.
    I saw that new power platform in the Boaters World mag. It is powered, and lowers to step height instead of using a ladder to reboard with. Pretty cool. I like that new(ish) 31' Four Winns bowrider too, and that new silver and red Formula is just plain sexy. Oh well. Wife, two kids being homeschooled, mortgage, and other playtoys dictates a cheaper boat. 21yr old Four Winns it is.

  22. #22
    Petty Officer 1st Class Prophammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    My First mate would get tired of sitting backwards in the Cobalt, in the amidship port seat (the left seat) In the Regal, that seat swivels! (just something I noticed) Other than that, they both seem like fine boats. Also, the Regal mentioned is 21' The Colbolt 20' it isn't an exact comparison, but very close.The smaller boat could make a difference at tax time. I went on both mfgr's web sites, I like the Regal myself, but you have to make that decision! Happy Boating what ever you decide!
    Bring rain gear !

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    Quote Originally Posted by infideltarget View Post
    I saw that new power platform in the Boaters World mag. It is powered, and lowers to step height instead of using a ladder to reboard with. Pretty cool. I like that new(ish) 31' Four Winns bowrider too, and that new silver and red Formula is just plain sexy. Oh well. Wife, two kids being homeschooled, mortgage, and other playtoys dictates a cheaper boat. 21yr old Four Winns it is.
    Yeah makes you wonder what they will add on next. We have just as much fun on our 84 Bayliner as on my Sig boat. Just a little more smoke and noise. The kids don't care as long as they're on the water. There are lots of really nice over 30 footers around here at firesale prices. Not many can afford the lifestyle they require compared to our 18 footers. I bet many don't leave their slips this summer with gas at record highs.
    2003 Chaparral 183SS

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    My parents just got a 2300 and love it. It has a lot of nice features and really makes me wonder how much better a Cobalt can be. I would do as others said and let a test drive help you make up your mind. Also another good idea is to write everything down on an excel document and compare the features, see what you like, want and need the most.

    I know my folks boat turns on a dime and the torque doesn't pull it to one side because of the counter rotating props. Also the seats are very comfortable.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Cobalt vs Regal - New Boat Purchase - Need a little advice

    While I am sure I will get a few more comments, I REALLY wanted to thank everyone for their comments. I have been planning for a boat for several years and the Regal 2100 or the Cobalt 200 is in my price range. I still may go slightly used, but I have not decided for sure yet. As I stated before, while Cobalt may be the perceived leader, I still have a hard time buying the bottom of the Cobalt line...but I just will not go higher on my budget. I feel like in some way I would be saying, yeah, I BARELY got a Cobalt. Maybe that is just me. With that said, the Regal, along with the upgrades, are very nice. Small features that seem to add some enjoyment to the boating experience. I am going out to test drive both this weekend. I think the sales person is starting to get a little itchy for me to buy, but he can wait until I decide.

    Everyones comments have been very helpful. Now I just need some advice on negotiating price. Any thoughts?
    By the way, for those who commented: Yeah, I have a cool wife, no kids!

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