We recently had the opportunity to test a brand new Cobia 277CC here in San Diego. Scott Lampe and his company Big Bay Yachts have begun importing the Cobia line of boats from Florida. Scott is a long time figure in the San Diego boat business with over 30 years experience buying and selling West Coast Sportfishers.
Scott tells us he searched the country to find a solid line of center console boats that would fish well in our market and not break the bank. Scott took it upon himself to visit and interview several manufacturers and when the dust settled, Cobia was the easy choice.
Scott says “Of all the manufacturers I visited, Cobia was the clear leader. They have solid track record of producing quality boats and they stand behind them”. Another thing Scott made clear was the Cobia boats have a larger cockpit than most production boats which is important in our market to compete with some of the more established brands.
At first approach, you’ll immediately notice the size of this boat. It has tall gunnels and a proud bow with plenty of flare. You will also notice the classic lines of the boat mixed with some modern day styling.
Stepping on the boat and the large cockpit and 9’8” beam take center stage. There’s plenty of room to operate in the back of this boat and the open center of the bow gives you a secure area to sling jigs.
This boat is set up with an optional electric table in the bow that stores out of the way with a touch of a button and a good size head in the center console. There are bench seats on either side of the table that provide cavernous storage as well. These features will surely make this boat an easier sale with the wife.
All these amenities might make you wonder if the boat is “fishy” enough for our waters, but rest assured all the fishing essentials are there.
The transom features a solid 40 gallon livewell. There’s a big tackle station with both plano boxes and drawers to hold more than enough gear for a day trip. Rod holders adorn the gunnels, stern, T-top and leaning post as well as under gunnel storage.
The aft fish boxes are huge and have plenty of room for limits of tuna for a few guys. In short, this boat is ready to fish SoCal waters right out of the gate.
The layout also features a large insulated drink cooler in the front console seat. This eliminates the need to bring a drink cooler on the boat and keeps the deck uncluttered.
The helm features two high-end captains chairs with racing bolsters you can flip up and lean against when running hard.
From the helm, you’ll notice a clean layout with good visibility and large windshield to keep spray off your sunglasses. There’s plenty of room on the dash to mount a couple of large multifunction displays and all your other needs like radios, auto pilot, stereo etc.
The factory T-top is built like a tank with oversized piping and molded top with lighting and an electronics box integrated. The design is both stylish and functional.
After checking out the surface features I began to pick the boat apart. A good friend told me years ago “you can judge the quality of a boat by the hardware it’s rigged with”. In this case that really speaks volumes. The Cobia 277 features heavy duty stainless steel at every turn. The rod holders, cleats, hinges and even the anchor guard are all solid stainless and heavy duty.
Lifting up the rear seat with the help of large hydraulic rams exposes the boats bilge and rigging. Once again, good access, top notch components and quality rigging all around. The layout is clean and uncluttered with plenty of room to service the various systems.
Next step was to see how the boat performs. We fired up the twin Yamaha F200 engines. These newer four cylinder, four strokes have been praised for their low-end torque and great fuel burn.
Around the dock the motors shifted into and out of gear with the touch of a finger and the boat was quite nimble considering it’s outboard power. Every move was steady and predictable even in a decent breeze.
Once we cleared the harbor I aggressivly threw the throttles forward and the boat responded accordingly, jumping on to plane with little effort. It appears these motors offer plenty of power for even the longest runs when you’re loaded down with ice, fuel and a few big guys.
The boat ran nice and level with very little bow rise when taking off or cruising. The trim tabs are sized correctly making for easy load adjustments on plane.
Running through the chop and launching off a few wakes, the boat rode solid and landed softly. The hull feels very balanced and didn’t require much in the way of tab or trim adjustments.
We opened the boat up to full throttle and she topped out at a tick under 40-knots.
Once back in the bay, we did some runs to test the fuel burn (using the Yamaha Gauge package) at various speeds:
- At troll speed or 7.5 kts the engines burned just 3.8 GPH or almost 2 kmpg.
- At a cruise speed of 27 kts the burn rate was 16.6 GPH for 1.65 kmpg which is exceptional for a boat this size.
- At WOT the boat saw 40 kts burning 36.6 GPH for slightly over a mile per gallon.
With 189 gallons of fuel on board you can safely cruise almost 300 miles. This should be plenty of range for even the most hardcore angler.
All said and done, the Cobia 277CC is a great boat for our local waters. It’s just big enough to provide comfort for a long day of fishing. It’s also, not so big that it’s going to burn a lot of fuel or be a handful for a couple of guys to maneuver and clean. The solid build quality and “fishy” layout really make it stand out in a field of boats that designed more to fish out of Florida rather than our waters.
Give Scott Lampe and his crew at Big Bay Yachts a call at (619) 222-1124 . They are located on the water, directly behind Point Loma Seafoods at 2811 Dickens St Suite 130, San Diego, CA 92106. Or you can find them on the web at www.BigBayYachts.com .