Back in January of this year, I was clicking around one of my favorite boating forums and found something interesting: Cobia, a well-known center console boat manufacturer, was posting pictures and offering commentary about of the build progress for its 277 CC—a model that hadn’t even been formally introduced yet.
With only weeks to go until the Miami International Boat Show, and the model’s debut, I checked in online often, wondering if they’d finish it in time for the show. Luckily for you (and me) they did, which gave me the opportunity to crawl all over it in the convention center in Miami. Given how much I enjoyed running Cobia’s 256 CC and 344 CC models for previous reviews, I was anxious to check out Cobia’s new kid on the block.
Cobia designed the 277 CC to plug a hole in its lineup, between its 256 CC and 296 CC center console models. Much like Goldilocks’ too-cold, too-hot porridge predicament, many anglers felt as if Cobia’s 296 CC was too big for near-shore and coastal work, while the 256 CC was too small for the same task. Based on what I found at the 277 CC’s debut at the Miami International Boat Show in February, this boat should be a good size for folks who might ply back bays in the morning and fish coastal wrecks in the afternoon. As Goldilocks would say, it’s “just right.”
The 277 CC shares a ton of design cues from its smaller and larger siblings, including a sheer line that rises dramatically to an aggressive bow that has lots of flare to keep things dry. The entry is steep and piercing, but is also graceful and elegant at the same time. Under the waterline is a deep-V hull with 21 degrees of transom deadrise that draws just under two feet (22 inches). That draft will keep you from fishing sorties in water that’s super-skinny, but is plenty shallow for fishing most coastal bays. The 21-degree transom deadrise hints at this boat’s offshore DNA, and should make wreck- and reef-hopping in sloppy water off the coast a breeze.
If you’ve ever hopped aboard or run a Cobia, you know how solid and well built they feel. The 277 CC is no different. Cobias are built using modern techniques that utilize lots of modern materials, including high-density foam coring, multi-directional fiberglass cloths, and vinylester resin. The hull is wood-free. Many of the coring materials are precision fabricated from stock sheets using a three-axis CNC router. A large structural grid made of high-density PVC foam stiffens the whole package and is assembled and laminated to the hull by hand. If the 256 CC and 344 CC models that I’ve run are any gauge, the 277 should be a solid and stiff performer.
There are a number of different Yamaha power plant options for the 277 CC—up to a maximum of 500 horsepower—but I think the most popular setup is going to be with two of Yamaha’s F200 2.8-liter, four-cylinder outboards. Those 400 ponies are capable of pushing the 277 CC to 50.1 mph at wide-open throttle (5,900 rpm), where the two outboards consume 38.8 gallons per hour. Back down to nearly half that speed at a nice 26-mph cruise, and the 277 CC becomes extremely efficient, drawing only 11.2 gallons each hour from the 189-gallon fuel tank. That nets around 438 miles of theoretical cruising range, an impressive number for a boat like this.
|Test conditions: winds 15-20 knots, four POB. Performance data courtesy of Yamaha.|
|Power||Twin Yamaha F200 four-stroke outboards, swinging two 14.25" x 18" three-bladed stainless-steel props.|
On deck, the 277 CC is typical Cobia, with lots of high-quality, stainless-steel deck fittings, hatches that operate with precision, and plenty of convertible seating both in the cockpit and up forward. A feature I really loved on the Cobia 344 CC is also on the 277 CC, and I was happy to see it. “It” is an electrically operated bow table, which can lower all the way flush with the deck; raise to form a large casting platform; or be raised even farther to create a sizeable dining table. Even better on the 277 CC was that its action felt faster than the table operation I complained about on the 344 CC. And yes, a lot of folks might think that this is a gimmicky feature, but there’s no table to store, no insert to mess with, and it’s all done with the push of a button. Family fun or serious fishing in one easy, automated step.
Like a majority of center-console boats over 20 feet these days, the 277 CC has an under-console compartment with a head and washbasin. The one on the 277 CC is particularly nice, equipped with an electric China bowl head versus a portable MSD, and it also has a drain in the floor, which means you can use the pullout sink faucet for a quick shower or to rinse off a day’s worth of salt spray. Behind the head and washbasin is a vinyl, snap-button access cover that hides the backsides of the electronics and other gear in the console’s dash. That ease of access is nice, but I felt as if the vinyl snap cover was a little cheap for a boat of this caliber.
This boat is certainly comfortable enough to have family and friends aboard, but its reason for existing is primarily for fishing. Of course, I found plenty of features that anglers will enjoy. Something I often find lacking on a lot of “fishing” boats are both livewell and fish locker spaces, but this is one area where every Cobia I’ve ever run excels. There are two, 47-gallon insulated fish boxes with macerated overboard drains in the cockpit, and a beautifully crafted 42-gallon insulated livewell set into the top of the transom. Rod stowage abounds, with room for six rods under the port and starboard gunwales, eight gunwale-mounted holders, and rocket launchers on the hardtop and console seating that are good for nine more places to stow your angling sabers. I also really liked the plethora of tackle boxes and drawers that are built in to the cockpit side of the dual center-console helm seats.
Finding the fish is half the battle, and with an expansive dash and helm area in the center-console unit, you can put in up to two 12-inch multifunction displays and a host of other electronics to reveal fish in their secret hidey-holes. As with other Cobias, I liked the placement of the engine controls near the stainless-steel, destroyer-style steering wheel. Trim tab actuators, control switches, and Yamaha’s Command Link Plus panel were all within eyeshot and easy to reach. The console-wide stowage area beneath the helm is hidden behind a hatch and a great place to safely stow smartphones, keys, and wallets. Pop a couple of cold ones in the twin inset drink holders, queue up your favorite playlist on the Fusion stereo, and you’re on your way to an afternoon of boating bliss.
|Fuel capacity||189 gal.|
While there are tons of great things about this boat, I did find a couple of things I’d change. Access to the water for boating larger fish is limited, as it seems to be with lots of boats in this class with twin outboards. There is a transom walkthrough and small platform on the transom, but it’s limited in size. Additionally, the Plexiglas console windshield seemed a bit short and insignificant. If you’re going to use a boat in an offshore chop, it’s awfully nice to have something substantial to brace behind and stay dry. The one on my review boat felt as if it was a bit of an afterthought.
All in all, the Cobia 277 CC held few surprises. It looks and feels as capable and solid as the rest of the company’s center-console lineup. And while I didn’t get a chance to take the 277 CC out on the water and put it through its paces, if it’s anything like the other Cobia boats I’ve run, well, we’re all in for a treat. Oh, and the size? It’s just right.
Other Choices: Slightly smaller and slight larger choices include Cobia's own 256 CC and 296 CC models. Other solid choices in this category and size range include the Everglades 255cc and Grady-White 271 Canyon.
View listings for Cobia center consoles.
For more information, visit Cobia Boats.