Sometime in 2017, Hagadone Marine Group will pass a stunning milestone.
“Believe it or not, we’re selling our one thousandth Cobalt at some point this year,” says Paul Nielsen, HMG director of sales.
The dealership on Lake Coeur d’Alene, previously known as Yacht Club Sales & Service, has sold Cobalts since 1995. In 2004, Hagadone Hospitality Co. purchased the operation and set out to transform it from top to bottom. Under the new management, the dealership went from selling 22 Cobalts in 1995 to selling more than 100 in 2008.
“To have nearly 1,000 sold with at least 750 of them here on our own lake, that’s a big deal,” says Bret O’Brien, HMG Cobalt brand manager. “Many Cobalt owners have purchased multiple boats and some are on their fourth Cobalt with us.”
Hagadone Marine Group will showcase 12 new 2017 Cobalts at the 2017 Spokane Boat Show, including the largest Cobalt ever on display in the Inland Northwest, a brand-new 2017 A40 coupe. The dealerships offers various options for Cobalts all the way from the 40 to a 20-footer.
Cobalts are an American success story founded by former college football star Pack St. Clair. His son Paxson is now CEO of this family owned production facility in the farmlands of rural Kansas.
To hand craft a high-end runabout, Cobalt does things differently than most boat manufacturers. The company designs and creates its own components, hand-sews its interiors, and carefully chooses superior structural materials and an advanced assembly process.
“The first thing everyone mentions about a Cobalt is the ride – how smooth it is on the water, and how quiet compared to everything else,” O’Brien says. “Take the choppiest day and one of the smallest Cobalts and go out across the lake and you’re just not going to get beat up. You could blindfold someone and they could tell the difference.”
Cobalt has become innovative with subtle yet sought-after product changes, such as a flip-down swim step, multiple interior layouts with flip seats and functional bow layouts.
“Our customers use them as a pleasure cruiser and occasionally a tube or ski boat for the kids or grandkids,” O’Brien says. “Cobalts are so versatile. You might take it to dinner, drive down the lake for a drink, or just cruise the bays. Or you can tow that eager kid who wants a little more excitement, and all while being in a premium luxury runabout.”
Recently, Cobalt released the cutting edge new Forward Drive technology from Volvo Penta, which is now a part of the Cobalt R3, R5 and R7 wss Surf series. This technology gives the best of both worlds between the performance and safety of a tow boat and the ease of a conventional drive.
“It’s fantastic,” O’Brien says. “The Forward Drive adds even more versatility to an already versatile arsenal of boats. In a Cobalt, you can have a nice ride on warm sunny days, and the amenities to lounge. If it’s glassy you can enjoy it, but it can also be cold, windy and rough, and you have the ability to boat on all those days.”
And what will happen when that 1000th Cobalt customer takes possession of their new pride and joy?
“We’re planning something special,” Nielsen says. “We’ll definitely have some fun and celebrate that milestone.”