GM's Hummer H2 and Cobra's 26-foot 260 Venom cat get ready to do battle on the high seas.
It's always a gamble for a boat manufacturer to introduce a new model to its water toy lineup. The stakes become especially high when all the boats in one's line are V-bottom boats and the decision is made to mold a cat hull. Cobra Performance Boats in Montclair, California, found itself in such a dilemma but had the foresight to know it wasn't rolling the dice. With the advent of the 260 Venom, every boat magazine on the stands doled out the praises of this incredible new hull. Cobra owner, Jeff Bohn, had to have his own, of course, but it had to be insanely powerful.
The Cobra 260 Venom's stock powerplant is a hard-to-beat Mercruiser 496 Mag pushing 375 hp, but the most common motor ordered is the upgraded 496 Mag HO with 425 hp. With the Mag HO motor and a Bravo One drive hung from the transom, the Venom's air entrapment hull will run 75 mph even in mild chop. Would you classify that as insanely powerful? Hardly. The boat pictured on these pages is capable of 120-mph blasts of liquid adrenaline. Now we're talking. The motor creating warp factor nine is no hidden secret due to the dual quads poking through the boat's engine hatch. Hitting the switch that actuates the hydraulic engine cover will give you a real good idea of what motor-vates this wretched excess - 565 pure inches of angry big-block power topped with a supercharger the size of a Honda Civic motor and CMI tube headers that could pass a softball. This Teague masterpiece hammers the cylinders to the tune of a dyno-proven 1,000 hp. The Bravo One drive normally fit to this snake is a little too docile for these power figures, so the decision was made to install an Imco extension box and Extreme drive turning a four-blade, lab-finished Merc prop.
At 120 mph, a well-engineered interior is mandatory to keep its occupants safely contained. The interior on this poisonous water reptile was designed around the need for speed. Dave's Marine Interiors is the contracted supplier for Cobra, so Jeff contracted them to create a triple-stitched blend of plush marine vinyl over highly bolstered foam. The seating areas feature back bolsters, leg bolsters, side bulges, and even engine hatch headrests. Cobra aptly calls them locking offshore seats. The inner liner floor is covered in snap-on 40-ounce carpeting. When the speeds are kept under eye-watering, the lucky friends aboard Jeff's 260 are entertained with a surrounding complement of Sony components. In the cockpit, four Sony 6x9s are nearly drowned out by the deep bass emanating from a hidden pair of subwoofers. Powering it all is a Sony five-channel amp. When Jeff is leaning into the triple digits, a stereo becomes dead weight and communication becomes difficult due to the roar of the wind tearing through your ears, so SWAT-style headphone sets with throat microphones become mandatory wear. Those lucky enough to wrestle the steering wheel away from Mr. Bohn will find a full array of Gaffrig gauges and off-shore controls, as well as a GPS speedo for eyeing that magic century mark plus.
The outside of this 26-foot Cobra cat features a sweeping gelcoat design encompassing vibrant sweeps of tangerine, yellow, sapphire blue, and lime green. One feature not found on many other boats is the custom gel-matched rub rail. Dana Marine hardware is sprinkled about the hull, including all the vents, cup holders, and billet swim steps. The aluminum Dana equipment was fusion-coated before being fit to the Cobra cat. This top-flight water craft is towed from destination to destination atop a triple-axle Extreme trailer fit with disc brakes and the requisite stainless steel fenders.
Taking second fiddle to this incredible lake-rod is the tow vehicle Jeff uses an '04 Hummer H2 to bring his fun to the shore. Much more sedate in its nature compared to the Cobra, the SUV is nonetheless rigged with some upscale non-stock hardware. Chrome wheels adorn the people hauler, as does a front brushguard. For extra towing power, the 6.0L is breathing through a Banks exhaust. Inside, you'll find the Hummer equipped for the haul. A front-mount Rosen monitor/head unit feeding electrical impulses to a Kenwood Excelon KAC-X650D five-channel amplifier provides entertainment. The five channels are in turn broken down to power the stock door speakers and a Rockford Fosgate sub in the rear of the SUV. Savv LCD screens in the headrests take their cue from a Savv DVD player. Montclair, California, locals Transonic made it all happen.