Captain’s Report by Capt. Steve
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.
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.
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 Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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