As buyers go crazy for outboard-propelled sportsboats where does this leave the luxury RIB market? There’s no better way to find out than testing a fully kitted out Cobra Nautique 9.2m in blustery conditions...
Twenty years ago my folks were on the hunt for a boat to replace their 17ft White Shark and had settled on a RIB. Their seaworthiness and practicality appealed but, at the time, it seemed as if most brands were still trying to shake off their commercial image in a bid to create something for the leisure market.
Enter Cobra, who were building RIBs with comfortable seating, convertible sun pads, easily accessed deck storage and a look that didn’t give off the emergency services vibe of its more straightlaced rivals. For this reason, they settled on a Cobra 7.2m with a single 225hp Mercury outboard.
Twenty years later, the 9.2m that bobs before me at Sandbanks Yacht Company shares all of those alluring traits. Granted there is a £160,000 price difference (that’s 20 years of inflation for you and the fact the Cobra Nautique 9.2m has an extra 2m, one more engine and 375 additional horses than the one we owned) but the design and layout is just as brilliant.
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From the clever cockpit to the wonderfully grippy hull, there’s a lot to like about the latest Jeanneau Cap Camarat
This particular boat, kitted out in black carbon-effect tubes and grey mouldings with contrasting diamond-stitched Silvertex upholstery in deep red, really did look the business.
Quite menacing from a distance with those 300hp Mercs stalking its transom but chic and inviting when close up, where Cobra’s expansion into the world of superyacht tenders is paying dividends in terms of how high quality everything looks and feels.
The elegant light pole on the stern, which incorporates a towing eye, and the decking atop the aft storage hatch are particularly classy additions. Of course, it should be a quality item given it’s knocking on the door of £185,000.
Read our full review of the Cobra Nautique 9.2m in the July issue of MBY, which is out now.
LOA: 30ft 2in (9.2m)
Beam: 8ft 4in (2.55m)
Draught: 3ft 2in (1.00m)
Displacement: 2.5 tonnes
Engines: Twin Mercury Verado 300hp outboard
Top speed: 50 knots
Fast cruising range: 168nm at 40 knots
Slow cruising range: 217nm at 13 knots
Fuel capacity: 500 litres
Water capacity: 32 litres
RCD category: B for 13 people
Starting price: £151,461 (inc. VAT)
Price as tested: £184,995 (inc. VAT)