Cobia 320CC Test | Salt Water Sportsman

Cobia 320CC Test

Cobia's 320CC is a bold center console for offshore anglers and their families.

Cobia 320CC Test

Specs:
Length: 32'0" | Beam: 10'3" | Draft: 23" | Fuel: 275 gal. | Deadrise: 21.5 degrees | Max hp: 700 | Weight: 7,324 lb. plus power | Price: $205,455 w/ twin Yamaha F300s | Cobia Boat Company: cobiaboats.com

Test Conditions:
Weather: Partly sunny | Location: Fort Pierce, Florida | Wind: Northwest 7 knots | Sea State: Smooth | Test Load: Three adults, 100 gallons of fuel

Cobia Boats

A seamless merger of convenience, style and serious angling features, the 320 CC is built and outfitted to take on big-water challenges — even fishing tournaments — and also meet the needs of crew members who prefer a more casual approach to boating and fishing. While its clean lines and classic styling contribute to the appeal, it’s the roomy, well-planned layout and the wealth of amenities, both fishing-related and otherwise, that are bound to raise eyebrows.

A hatch in the bow conceals a dedicated anchor locker complete with windlass and is part of an elevated platform (where the covering boards meet) large enough to serve as a perch from which to cast-net bait when conditions allow. Above-deck compartments to port and starboard provide bow seating for four to six people. A filler plank that butts against the forward bulkhead completes the U-shaped cushioned seating with ample storage underneath. A recessed grab rail traces the contour of the bow-seating backrests, which include two separate end sections that turn to face forward for lounging. And when it’s time for lunch or drinks, a table with fiberglass top that resides in the deck rises at the touch of a button.

Cobia 320CC Test

Backrests turn for lounging, and a table rises from the deck, complementing bow seating.

Cobia Boats

The forward seat of the center console accommodates two, houses a 72-quart cooler beneath, and is integrated into the front fascia, which swings open to a spacious step-down head compartment with 6 feet 2 inches of height clearance, conveniently appointed with an electric marine toilet with macerator, vanity, Corian counter, sink, freshwater faucet/pull-out shower, closet with hangers, and storage cabinet. A large in-deck compartment in front of the console stows fenders, buoys, cast nets and other wet gear.

The helm side of the console incorporates a drop-in electronics pod with dimensions to hold dual 16-inch multifunction displays, plus digital gauges, a VHF radio, stereo, and full array of switches and control elements. A few inches below, the tilt steering wheel and throttle control are perfectly situated for easy reach and unobstructed view of the MFDs, while a storage cubby and a glove compartment keep cellphones and valuables safe and at arm’s length. An optional integrated windshield protects the skipper and a companion from rain and spray, while a pair of comfy helm chairs with flip-up bolsters and arm- and footrests enable driving while either sitting or standing. Said chairs and the rest of the upholstery are available in three optional color packages, including a custom tri-color package with elegant Bentley-style stitching.

Cobia 320CC Test

The drop-in electronics pod accommodates dual 16-inch MFDs, switches and gauges.

Cobia Boats

Behind the helm seats, a tackle-storage center complete with a bait-prep area and sink faces the roomy cockpit.

A fiberglass hardtop with aluminum frame keeps the storage center, helm and forward console seat in the shade, and features an integrated electronics box, storage, and LED lighting fore and aft. A five-rod rocket launcher and additional rod holders on the frame, including a pair angled for trolling ­kingfish-style, are among the many available options. In addition, 11 flush-mounted rod holders sit properly spaced along the covering boards, and a horizontal rack under the portside gunwale tacks additional rod storage.

Storage capacity for live bait and the catch is also generous. Twin 55-gallon macerated fish boxes sit below deck in the cockpit, and a pair of 35-gallon livewells, insulated and pressurized, on the transom double the bait supply or enable you to carry two types of live bait. Clear lids make it easy to keep tabs on the bait throughout the day, and the sea chest supplying the intake ensures a constant flow of seawater.

Cobia 320CC Test

The hardtop shades the helm and console seat, and provides lighting and rod storage.

Cobia Boats

Cobia 320CC Test

A starboard side door makes boarding and loading easier, and helps boat heavy fish.

Cobia Boats

A transom bench for two affords ­seating in the rear. It easily folds away when fishing, and the entire module that it folds into lifts electronically for instant, unhindered access to the bilge and the livewell hoses and wiring. Raw- and freshwater washdowns rest out of the way in opposite cockpit corners, below coaming bolsters; toe rails lend stability and leverage to anglers coaxing fish up from the depths; and an inward-opening side door to starboard simplifies boarding and loading at the dock, going for a swim, or boating a heavy catch.

Yamaha Outboard

At the time of this sea trial, ­Yamaha had not yet ­conducted ­performance testing on an optimized 320 CC, but Cobia provided basic data recorded during fine-tuning of the new model, which, according to the builder, cruises comfortably at 37 mph running at 4,000 rpm, yielding a range of 1.4 mpg.

Yamaha

Calm seas with the occasional slow-rolling swell met us after clearing the jetties at Fort Pierce Inlet, Florida, and we soon confirmed that, when it comes to performance, the 320 CC doesn’t disappoint. Powered by a pair of Yamaha F300s, repeated takeoffs were quick, with no noticeable lag time, and the boat averaged 7.5 seconds to accelerate from zero to 30 mph. Top speed was more than adequate: 54.5 mph while turning 5,800 rpm, and maneuverability at different speeds was off the chart. I also slammed the outboards in reverse for good measure, and the Cobia promptly turned to both port and starboard without pronounced prop torque or taking on water.

Any serious offshore angler would be thrilled to own the Cobia 320 CC, and the ample seating, storage and comforts are sure to get a thumbs up from the entire family.

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