When our good friend Scott Lampe at Big Bay Yachts called and said “the new one is here”, we had to get down to his docks to take a ride. This “new one” being the new Cobia 301CC center console fishing boat.
As you may recall, we have previously reviewed two of the smaller siblings, the Cobia 220CC and the Cobia 277CC. Both boats were enjoyed by our reviewers because of their functional layout, fishy features, and solid build quality at a reasonable price.
Walking up to the Cobia 301CC, our initial impression took us back to the things we liked about the 277CC model. The hull checks in at 29’7” with a wide 10’ beam with 230-gallons of fuel capacity. The 301CC is clearly another well laid out and fishy rig and here’s why.
Approaching the boat from the stern, the first things we noticed were the livewells. Anyone that knows SoCal fishing knows that we don’t mess around with our bait. We are blessed with amazing live bait year-round and we try to carry as much as we can. The two identical live wells in the transom provide almost 60-gallons of capacity and the ability to split up bait types.
We give this two thumbs up because its a crucial part of fishing success.
Besides holding the dual live wells, the transom also features a beefy fold-down seat that provides a comfy spot for passengers on those long offshore runs or just cruising the bay.
Moving forward we were immediately drawn to the console/hardtop/leaning post combo. The pipework features sexy lines that have been finished in black and really set off the eye-pleasing lines. The back of the leaning post features a sink and a catch-all bin for wet lures, rigging material, etc. Below that is a tackle center with two large drawers and five Plano storage boxes all behind locking doors. The front of leaner features high-end, racing-style bolster bucket seats with armrests.
The hardtop itself has been smartly designed with spots for speakers, lights, and storage built-in and integrates directly into the glass windshield. The modern windshield looks great on the boat and also features a motorized vent window for those hot days on the water.
The console features a “glass helm” with the two 12” Garmin screens and accessories flush mounted for an ultra-clean look. The dash presents a clean layout with everything right at hand including a clearly labeled switch panel right in front of the helm.
Inside of the console you will find a massive cavern of storage with a head, sink and drawers integrated into the hull liner. There is plenty of room inside for backpacks, fishing gear, safety gear, and more. The large, fold-away door makes it easy for even big guys to get in and out. There’s even a 72-quart drink cooler integrated into the front seat on the hatch.
The bow was designed to keep both the fisherman and the family happy. For the fisherman, there’s storage inside the seat boxes and removable backrests with a big casting platform to stand on. By raising the motorized casting platform and dropping the backrests in, the bow converts into a settee for four people. This will make a great spot to hang our while cocktailing and cruising.
There is also a huge anchor locker on the front of the boat. Inside you will find a flush-mounted Lewmar windlass and the ground tackle. There’s plenty of room up here to store bumpers as well.
The deck of the boat features a full custom SeaDek kit by Blue Seas Fabrication. We love SeaDek for its great looks, non-slip grip and it’s great cushioning properties. The SeaDek is also covering the two forward storage boxes and rear insulated 80-gallon fish boxes.
Another unique feature of the 301CC is the integrated boarding ladder/door. Usually only found on custom boats, Cobia has integrated a side door design that great for swimming or more importantly, welcoming another big bluefin tuna aboard.
True to their reputation, the Yamaha 300’s and the Cobia 301CC provide a great blend of serious performance and great fuel economy. With an aggressive push of the binnacle, the boat quickly jumps on plane and levels out quickly. There is plenty of power and no sign of loafing or bow rise at all. The boat feels fast, responsive, and most importantly predictable.
Blasting around the bay and jumping wakes proved the hull to be solid and dry with a great ride. The boat handled bigger wakes and chop with little effort. It is easy to tell this is a solid hull design with great balance.
This 301CC is power by twin Yamaha 300hp four-stroke outboards. These engines are known by anglers for their smooth, quiet operation and excellent fuel economy.
The fly by wire controls are smooth as silk and provide confident acceleration and docking. At 4200 RPM the boat made 41-mph while burning a stingy 1.4-mpg. Wide-open throttle produced 58-mph while burning .9-mpg.
Returning to the dock and a very tight slip, we found the boat to be nimble and responsive. We were able to spin and maneuver the boat at will. This is not always the case with outboard-powered boats. It is great to know you will be able to get her back in the slip confidently even in tricky conditions.
After spending a few hours with the Cobia 301CC, we can confirm several of our suspicions. It’s another very fishy boat from a name you can trust at a price that won’t break the bank.
Our friends at Big Bay Yachts have this great rig discounted for a quick sale. The boat retails for $245,399 and is currently on sale for $207,777 as outfitted. Give Scott a call at (619) 222-1124 and schedule your test drive today.