Back in 1959 Cobia was, a small upstart company that built a name for itself by manufacturing boats with cathedral hulls. The company flourished, even though the concept of the cathedral hull did not. Recessions and the bruising competition of over 50 other CC builders forced Cobia on the auction block. In 2005, Scott and Troy Deal, owners of Maverick Boat Company breathed new life – and new designs – into this venerable brand. Now, with a dozen different Cobia models, this 217CC lies smack in the middle of a CC line that is 7 strong.
Cobia 217CC (2011-) Specifications
8' 6'' 2.59 m
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Cobia 217CC (2011-)Engine options
Currently no test numbers
1 x 150-hp Mercury F150TXR 1 x 200-hp Mercury F200XA
The Cobia 217CC has a pedigree that extends back decades, and through it all, fishing has been the brand’s focal point.
The Back Story
In 1984, Scott and Troy Deal, two brothers who were devoted light tackle fisherman, decided to turn their fishing passion into a fulltime commitment to build the best shallow water skiff on the planet. Not far out of college, the two brothers acquired the legendary hull and deck tooling of the shallow water skiff called Maverick, and launched Maverick Boat Company (MBC).
Soon there after MBC acquired Hewes Boats in 1989. With the purchase of Hewes, the company had two of the top flats boat brands in the country. Armed with vision, talent, technical expertise and that passion for light tackle fishing, the MBC design team translated those lessons into Pathfinder bay boats in 1998. Today Pathfinder is one of the nation’s most popular bay boats.
In 2005 the venerable Cobia brand name was added to MBC’s growing family of sport fishing boats. The MBC team stepped up to the challenge to bring this respected 50 year old name in recreational boating into a new age of design, technology and fishing experience. With two modern manufacturing facilities, one located in Fort Pierce, Florida and the other in Marion, North Carolina, MBC now produces four well-known brands in light tackle fishing boats -- Maverick, Hewes, Pathfinder and Cobia.
Center consoles are fish boats, plain and simple. That's why they sell so well, and that's why they need to have fishing features built right in. On the Cobia 217CC those features abound, but there are still options for you to make your 217 as fishy as you'd like.
Among the standard features I appreciate is the hydraulic steering. Far too many builders make this an option, and that's not fair in our opinion. No one wants to have to visit a day spa for a massage just because he made a long run offshore in a boat with mechanical steering, and once you've gone hydraulic, there's no going back. Because the 217CC has a 20-degree deadrise I'd recommend the trim tabs, not to improve the handing characteristics, but to offset the imbalance of your tubby fishing buddy that won't be staying on the centerline as you head to the reef.
Cockpit bolsters are another item that should always be standard, and on the 217CC they go full length port and starboard. Cobia has also included a pair of insulated 50 gallon (189.27 L) fish boxes with overboard drains, a 26 gallon (98.4 L) livewell, plenty of rod holders, and under gunwale storage. The leaning post is also standard, and it has the right amount of rod holders, and the cockpit is appropriately self draining.
A pair of fishboxes (50 gallon (189.27 L) total) makes an easy affair of keeping your catch fresh till it hits the grill.
Cobia took a lesson from the fish-calming blue lighted livewells and added blue courtesy lights to the rest of the boat. I'm calm! And it certainly is eye catching. A carry-on cooler would fit nicely under the leaning post.
Thankfully Cobia didn't forget the under gunwale rod storage. I use one side for rods and the other for supplemental equipment. Cobia went with the 2" (5.08 cm) deck drains, and you can see how they use gutters under the cushions to channel water to the deck and away from the storage compartments.
This second fishbox is designed deeply enough to hold a 5 gallon (19 L) bucket. That's not surprising for a company owned by two guys who also own another company that build flats-boats.
Not everyone needs or wants the same things and that's why there are options. For the 217 CC there are some that I personally couldn't live without... among them, the T-top. (I'm so white, ghosts stop by and ask me how things are going, so you can imagine how quickly I burst into flame on sunny days.) Once I get the top, and the accompanying shade, then I'll add the outriggers to increase the spread that I can present to the fish.
Cobia refers to what are really “comfort” features as "family" features, and they're not alone. Lots of other center console builders do the same thing but none of these will make my wife want to head offshore and fish with me. So I prefer to use the term "comfort" features since they appeal to me, but have little to do with fishing.
The first is a 52 quart (49.2 L) cooler that is standard on the 217CC. The rest are all optional for Cobia, but required for me. The freshwater shower at the transom is necessary since you need to gut fish like cod as soon as you boat them and I make a mess. For cleaning the boat, I'll use the saltwater washdown.
There are two head options, one a portable, and the other a pump-out. I'll take the pump-out thank you very much. Lastly, there's a stereo. No one wants to spend all day offshore in silence, and it's not like fishing buddies are going to be sharing what they saw on Oprah the day before, so let the tunes play. Reception is lousy offshore so the MP3 port is a welcome addition.
The reverse transom has swim platforms to either side of the outboards, and a three-step reboarding ladder to port. Notice the stainless grab handle and all stainless hardware all around.
The aft seating is convenient but I'd make a couple of changes. First, the backrests should be removable so I can sweep a line across, and second, notice how the seat cushions are hinged from the front and open from the back. I'd do the opposite as it's easier to reach in without having to lean over the open cushion. In the center is a 26 gallon (98.4 L) livewell.
Removable storage compartments makes loading and unloading so much easier. Notice the pull-up cleats that won't snag a fishing line.
The engine controls are mounted almost vertically. I can put up with a 45-degree angle but this needs a rethink in my opinion. The grab handles added to the larger diameter tower supports are a nice touch, and I really like the lighted toggle switches. I'd add a steering knob to the stainless wheel.
Notice how Cobia notched the forward part of the hatch perimeter to allow the anchor rode to run through while the lid is closed.
Ahead of the console is a 52 qt (49.2 L) cooler. Note the rounded edges to keep you from whacking your shins as you negotiate your way around the bow area.
Cobia aligns itself with Yamaha, so your outboard power choices are with either the F150TXR or the F200XA although the boat is rated for up to 225-hp. The Yamaha fuel/water separator is standard, as are the multi-function gauge that keeps your panel neat and uncluttered.
I like the Cobia 217CC for a lot of reasons, but probably the most is the simplicity of the systems and how they managed to keep the boat uncomplicated. Fishing is supposed to be enjoyable, and having an easy to manage boat accounts for a lot of that.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Cobia 217CC (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Washdown: Raw Water
= Standard = Optional
Cobia 217CC (2011-) Warranty
Cobia 217CC (2011-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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