I fell in like with the new Cobia 350CC the moment I stepped through the inward-opening side door that makes pulling in a fish (or a fully rigged diver) as easy as stepping off a dock. This wasn’t crazy-mad irrational lust like I have for Sophia Loren, but a genuine like for all the right stuff that I discovered during my test of this new Cobia. This is a great center-console that fishes hard and plays even harder.
First, the twin, hulking, Yamaha 425 XTO outboard engines (triple F300s are standard) shot us right out of the hole like a drag boat (7.3 seconds to 30 mph), but virtually sipped gas at a more moderate cruising speed (33 mph equals 23 gph). At the 62.6-mph top speed I recorded while running the Cobia, these 425 hp behemoths propel you to the islands or the canyons in fine style, and the 320 gallons of fuel allows you to stay all day.
The double-stepped hull with 21.6 degrees of transom deadrise eats lumpy seas and asks for more, please.
Just over 11 feet of beam means plenty of walk-around room to chase fish, especially as you pass by the console. Yep, a gang of anglers won’t be crowded.
There’s a tackle center equipped with a bait-prep station aft, a pair of oversize in-sole fish boxes that drain overboard, twin 42-gallon bait tanks,no less than seven insulated boxes to keep your beer, bait and lunch cold. Really neat is the hidden, lockable rod stowage locker in the sole.
The cabin will prove a delight for families, with a stretch-out double berth, an electric head and a shower, plus optional air conditioning. For the sandbar, there is seating for 11, including a chaise for two forward and an electric bow table that rises from the sole for picnic lunches.
The skipper (and two companions) get individual seats behind the big windshield, each adjustable with bolsters. The dash has a vertical display that allows for easy reading of two 16-inch Garmin monitors, and all the switches are easy to find and right where you’d want them for controlling the boat.