A Cobalt boat has been approved by the board. There are residents that are questioning this decision, We hope the following will answer all concerns.
The current boating rules are 19 foot versus 18 foot 6 inches and the Cobalt is 19 foot 4 inches long (stem to stern).Having said that, to provide a little background. We adjusted the boating rules in the Spring of 2017 because the boat makers were doing away with the 4 cylinder 135 hp engine and boats at the 18 foot 6 inch size and less. The current guidelines allow a size is 19 foot stem to stern. Size does not include swim platform. Boat dealers are inconsistent on how they present their boat sizes.Even with our current boat guidelines there a very few boats that fit those specifications, especially from our local dealers.This past January at the annual meeting, we received several concerns about the wake size the hurricane deck boats produce and the erosion to beaches and damage to docks / lifts. The Board had heard that same message several times outside the meeting process. Had the Board known the size of wake the Hurricane boat created, we would have never approved because of the erosion to beaches. As part of the annual meeting discussions, the Board created a Boat Safety committee to address this and other safety issues. We had 3 members of our neighborhood volunteer at the meeting. They have done some extensive research and one of the first recommendations they made is to test each make of boat on our lake prior to approving them being allowed on our lake.
This is exactly what we did with the Cobalt model in question, overall here were the findings:
- The Cobalt planes faster that any current boat on the lake, thus less drag and wake from start
- The wake produced is smaller than both the Hurricane deck and Bayliner that are currently allowed by significant amount, in fact, the wake was actually about the same size or less than the wake created by a fishing boat with an outboard engine
- The top end speed (V6-200 HP) is between 38 and 39 mph, which is slightly higher than our speed limit, but less than several boats on this lake\\
Based on these finding, knowing it was only 4 inches above the current guidelines the Board approved this boat for the lake.
Other significant findings by the Boat Safety committee:Boat dealers are planning on reducing the smaller size boats, for example, this will be the last year Cobalt will make this model
Boat dealers are planning on moving away from the V-6 200 HP engine, moving to the 220 to 240 range.
We as a Board are trying to be more proactive in finding boat solutions for our residents and will be testing more options presented by the Boat Safety Committee. Our goal will be what is best for all the residents of Valley Shores with primary goal to minimize the damage caused by large wakes to docks / lifts as well as we need to reduce the beach erosion. Especially on the east side of the neighborhood where they are significantly impacted by beach erosion.
We know we are not going to make everyone happy, that is impossible. We are pretty sure placing a moratorium on Hurricane deck boats was not popular with everyone. We also know that we turned down this boat being on the lake in the past because it was 4 inches to large, and that is on us for not being more proactive.
This new process would have been discussed had we been able to have a spring meeting, but unfortunately we could not have one. In addition, an detailed email would have been placed on the website by the Board earlier noting much of what has been covered above and our approval of Cobalt, but we have had a couple Board members dealing with the deaths in the family thus the delay.
As you included all of our VS residents, we have responded to all. If anyone has questions / concerns we would appreciate using the Valley Shores email account only.