Never before have I seen a Cobalt like this. It reminds me of a new model now made by Donzi. She is 40 years old this year and we’re blessed that her owner, Craig Zimmerman of Maryland, sent us these pics and video…enjoy!
Early on, Cobalt built 40 of these. You’ll see a little mention of them here and there in their literature. The boat is a blast. She’s 40 years old this year and still a great little boat. I’ve owned it for 24
Oh, I live in Maryland.
UPDATE: 6/7/2009 – If you’re still with us and want more, this was provided by Craig Zimmerman this week:
Guess I didn’t tell you the entire story. Actually, as you mentioned they remind you of the current Donzi 16 Classic. Actually the Donzi 16 is what these “first Cobalts” were made from. They were detailed quality
copies of the little 16′ Donzi “Ski Sporter” (later called “Sweet 16” — later (and currently) called the Classic 16). They (Donzi) started making those way back in 1963 so the Donzi is both older “and” newer.
It has been said that when Boston Whaler (in just the past few years) retired one of there long running designs, the Donzi 16 became literally one of the oldest molds still being made.
The XV-200 Cobalt was a copy of those Donzi’s early in Cobalt’s boat building history, but their production was short lived as Donzi complained and Cobalt apparently didn’t have proper permissions to make them. I sort of assumed maybe you knew the story. Some do; I guess a lot (even avid Cobalt enthusiasts) don’t, since, due to the way things worked out, very few were made and apparently none were actually sold “new,” but were distributed to dealers as show boats, but production was halted before they actually sold any.
So the 40 that were out there (mine being one) were eventually sold. There were also 2 or 3 other Donzi’s copied by Cobalt. Among them, the Donzi 18′ Corsican (called the GT-500 Cobalt) and the Donzi 18-2+3 (called the XV-500 Cobalt). I’ve seen a handful of the GT-500’s. There were supposedly even less of those built and I believe it because, while I’ve found (over many years of looking) about 10 or 15 of the XV-200’s (like mine), I’ve only found maybe 3 or 4 of the GT-500’s so the ratio of probable boats actually built of each seems consistent.
Over the years I’ve collected piles of literature about the early Cobalts. Pretty neat stuff. Cobalt went on to build other designs and the rest is history! There are oodles of nice Cobalts (new and old) at the lake I usually go boating on (Deep Creek in Western Maryland), but mine is the only one like it for, I think 100’s of miles! The closest “other” XV-200 I’ve located was a recent find in Deleware. It’s, of course just like mine but with powder blue where mine is green.
Okay, better stop for now — I’m writing a book here! 🙂
“16SkiSporterCropped”). And finally a pic of each of 2 XV-200’s owned by the same guy. I don’t
know if he’d object to adding the pics on the site. I suspect he wouldn’t care, but if you want to, let me ask first. He is the original owner of one (not sure which one) and his neighbor was the original owner of the other and he eventually bought that one too!
Here’s one more pic of my Cobalt. Don’t think I sent you this one. I thought it was a neat shot taken last summer. As you may have noticed, some I’ve sent show it with the windshield “on” and some are without.
Donzi put this exact “Taylor Made” (brand-name) glass on some 16’s, 18’s and even a few others (their 19′ Hornet for example). But many (perhaps most) came with no wind screen. All of the other Cobalt XV-200’s I’ve
managed to locate have the “no windshield” look. Mine is the only Cobalt I’ve seen with one, which is kind of cool, but I like the look both ways and it’s pretty easy to remove so I run it both ways. It’s nice with it off when it’s really hot, but when it’s cool out, the glass is a welcome option!
I noticed a significant typo in my earlier message. I mentioned one of the Donzi’s that Cobalt copied was the 18′ “Corsican” but I spelled it Cosrican.
Just a correction here; It is a ” C o r s i c a n. ”
They were very cool little boats. There is one (a Cobalt GT-500) currently being restored on the Donzi Registry website. Many of the Donzi guys know about the old Cobalt copies, but be warned if you discuss them with those guys, you get mixed reviews. Some of them are kind of defensive about the Cobalt copies because they copied “their
beloved design.” Others seem to have no problem about it and will talk your ear of about them.
The Cobalts were obviously very well made copies though the one on the Donzi site has been torn down to the stringers in an effort to do a thorough repair and discovered there was at least one lesser construction technique used in his boat, a cheaper wood for the stringer. It would be good, fine and lightweight, provided no water
could get at it and rot it, but apparently with that GT-500, some did and the stringers were compromised with regard to strength.
Either way it’s an interesting story with lots of pics if you care to check it out.