What’s the Mission?
Maverick builds hard-core fishing boats for offshore, ‘longshore and thin-water angling, and the Cobia 296 CC is now their largest model. (The excellent 316 CC disappeared in 2010.) Adding a few options – bow cushions, for example -- can make the boat more comfortable for family use, but it will never be a “family” boat, unless the family is fishing-crazy. No, this boat is designed and rigged for venturing far offshore after our finned friends, and built tough enough to bring us back if conditions go south.
Is There Something Unique?
How about lots of fishing gear on the standard equipment list? Twin 28-gallon livewells, two 64” in-deck fishboxes with macerators, tackle drawers in leaning post and console, insulated bait boxes – the 296 CC has them all. You can store all the gear you need, and more, plus live and dead baits without resorting to a carry-on cooler. You might need a big Igloo to take your fish home at the end of the day, since the fishboxes are built in. Or you and your buddies can gorge on sushi and throw the bones overboard.
Construction is Good?
All Cobias are built with first-quality resins and fabrics, hand-laid and finished with high-gloss gelcoat. No surprises there – fishing-boat builders tend to produce strong, durable hulls. But Cobia doesn’t skimp on details: For example, the live-well pumps are protected with intake strainers, and are easy to reach and replace. They’re wired with Deutsch waterproof connectors that snap apart; carry a spare pump and replacement takes just a few minutes – a simple job that can save your bait should a pump fail. Cobia uses Deutsch waterproof connectors on all its wiring, and builds all wiring harnesses in-house.
All through-hulls are stainless steel, with ball valves and double-clamped hoses; underwater hoses should always be double clamped, but too many builders fail to do so. We’d prefer proper seacocks, which can be disassembled for cleaning and lubrication, but a good quality ball valve built for marine use will do the trick, too. Smart owners operate all through-hull valves frequently to discover any incipient freeze-ups before the valve’s actually needed. And you know that every through-hull should have a tapered wooden plug wired to it for emergencies, don’t you?
Cobias are built to ABYC standards and are NMMA certified. All hardware is stainless steel. Every boat is tank-tested in the factory to ensure all systems are go before it’s loaded on the truck. If you want to see for yourself how your Cobia is built, the factory runs tours every Friday at 2 p.m. Reservations are required; call (772) 465-0631.
Are There Accommodations?
No, except for seating. However, the console holds a stand-up head compartment with a sink, mirror and even a shower, although we think we’d wait until back home to clean up. Two opening ports provide some ventilation in this space, though, so maybe in a pinch….
How About Horsepower?
Standard power istwin 250-hp outboards, but Cobia lists twin 300s or 350s as options. We think two-fifties are enough: We haven’t tested the boat ourselves, but according to a Yamaha Performance Bulletin, the 296 CC tops out at 55.1 MPH (47.9 knots) with a pair of F250TXRs bolted to the transom. Best cruise is 30.8 MPH (26.8 knots) at 3500 RPM, burning 14.3 GPH for fuel economy of 2.15 MPG (1.87 NMPG). Range at that speed will be about 460 statute miles (404 nautical) on the boat’s 240-gallon fuel capacity, with a 10% reserve. Unless you’re a truly hard-core offshore guy, that’s enough for a whole weekend of angling.
What About Options?
You’ll want the deluxe hardtop, a cool option that includes recessed spreader lights and LED work lights that switch from white to red to blue. Psychedelic! But also handy when you need just a little illumination and don’t want to ruin your night vision. There’s a standard hardtop, too, without the rod holders
What Does it Cost?
MSRP of the 2010 296 CC is $131,800 with twin 250-hp Yamaha four-strokes. We also found an unsold 2009 model in Miami – with twin 250-hp Yamaha four-strokes, a hardtop with rod racks and several other options, it was listed by the dealer at $125,000. At press time we weren’t able to determine 2011 model year prices.
We think the Cobia 296 CC is well worth a look if a boat like this is in your fishing plans. Yes, there are a lot boats out there similar to the 296 CC, many of which we’d be happy to own. However, the Cobia has everything you need for serious fishing, performs well with standard power, has good cruising range and is well-appointed with first-class gear. Which boat you choose depends as much on financial considerations and the proximity of the dealer as it does on the manufacturer -- if there’s a Cobia dealer within your cruising range, we think you should pay him a visit before selecting a new center console. It might make your decision just a little more difficult.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!