Long gone are the days when 25-foot center-consoles were the benchmark of the coastal angler. Larger craft with more storage, seating and fishing room, and capable of taking on a chop without the crew needing a chiropractor upon returning to port have become increasingly coveted. But stepping up to a 30-footer isn’t the only solution. The new Cobia 277 CC, designed to tackle the rigors of blue water, manages to meet the needs of the hardcore angler while placing a premium on comfort and convenience.
At first glance, the 277 appears larger than its specs indicate. Once aboard, its recessed handrail and tall gunwales (waist-high on folks of average height) deliver the feeling of safety experienced in considerably bigger boats, and it doesn’t take long to notice the wealth of appointments that make a day on the water fun for the entire family.
For starters, foldaway backrests to port and starboard at the bow turn the seats into twin lounges from which to enjoy the view or soak up some rays. Remove the seat cushions and the elevated compartments make excellent casting platforms with substantial dry storage underneath. An 18-inch-wide extension that bridges the gap between the front compartments folds down for easy access to the anchor locker where a washdown hose remains coiled until called into service. In addition, a table that begins flush with the deck can also rise between the seats, transforming the front of the boat into a perfect picnic area with just the push of a button.
An in-deck compartment ahead of the console stows the cast net, bumpers or safety gear. The forward console seat houses a 62-quart cooler, and the entire facade swings open to a spacious step-down head compartment complete with a freshwater sink, mirror, electric toilet with macerator, and a pullout shower.
Atop the console, a frameless wraparound windshield keeps wind and spray off the helm without obstructing visibility. The dash accommodates two 16-inch displays, multifunction gauges, and a switch panel with 16 toggles, leaving ample room for a stereo, VHF radio and other options. The throttle, trim-tab switches, standard tilt steering — offset to port — and the mahogany wheel with power knob sit below the dash. A full-width glove box lets you stash far more than a few valuables, and a 12-volt accessory plug inside it allows for charging of cellphones and other electronics. An integrated footrest lets the skipper and a companion use their legs to cushion any jolts when running in choppy seas.
Twin bucket seats, with armrests, footrests and fold-down bolsters, double as a leaning post, with access to batteries in front, and storage drawers and tackle trays in back. An optional rocket launcher keeps four rigged rods and a pair of drinks at arm’s length right behind the seats.
Ample space between the console and gunwales makes it easy to move about or follow a hooked fish around the boat. Covering boards in the aft cockpit provide additional storage for rods and gaffs, and coaming pads and the optional toe rails let anglers lock in and bear down on big fish digging for the bottom. To ice down the catch, Cobia provides a pair of 47-gallon in-deck macerated fish boxes in the cockpit.
At the stern, the motorized transom bulkhead lifts to provide unobstructed access to the bilge. Anchored to it, a roomy 54-inch-wide bench comfortably seats up to three. The bench folds down flush and the backrest is removable, so it’s a cinch to clear the transom for fishing. A 42-gallon oval livewell also sits on the transom. It’s finished in calming blue, and features a clear lid (so the crew can keep tabs on the bait) and a surrounding inner lip that minimizes sloshing.
A transom door to port allows the crew to pull in oversize fish without clearing the gunwales, and, along with a retractable boarding ladder, the door helps swimmers get back on board effortlessly. For added convenience, the 277 CC comes with raw- and freshwater washdowns — one in each transom corner.
Eight flush-mount rod holders are standard, but more are added easily. In fact, among the available options, Cobia lists kite-rod holders and kingfish rod holders (angled rod tubes), like the pair mounted to the underside of the optional hardtop on the test boat, which also donned a second rocket launcher, outrigger mounts, an electronics box and LED spreader lights.
While the hardtop slows the 277 a bit, the boat was anything but sluggish during our test run. With a pair of Yamaha F200s, it went from 0 to 30 mph in a swift 8.5 seconds — into a stiff breeze — and reached 50 mph at 6,100 rpm, burning 40.1 gph. And the 277’s power rating leaves room for an extra 100 horses for better acceleration and even higher top-end speed.
The more efficiency minded will be happy to know that at 4,200 rpm the Cobia cruised at 33 mph while burning 15.2 gph. With its 189-gallon fuel capacity, the range of this center-console is more than adequate for either tournament fishing or island hopping.
As for the ride, the sharp entry combined with 21 degrees of deadrise at the transom easily neutralized the 1- to 2-foot chop, making for a comfortable and steady ride. Meanwhile, substantial bow flare and a sweeping sheer line kept spray to a minimum both at idle and on plane, even with the wind squarely amidships.
Without a doubt, the Cobia 277 CC is a serious contender for anyone looking for a midsize center-console with classic lines, plenty of pep, and laden with fishing features and amenities for the entire family.