John page williams
The following review was written by John Page Williams, Editor-at-large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine. John, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been a regular contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 30 years, specializing in environmental issues, nature, wildlife, fishing and boats. He has been testing new and used boats for the magazine's Time-Tested and New Boat News departments since 1998.

FEBRUARY 2012
 
   
Length overall  21' 6"
Beam  8' 6"
Draft 14"        
Deadrise 21 degrees
Weight 2,800 lb Fuel 100 gal 
Max. Capacity 8 persons or 1,600 lb          
Max. Power 225 hp

Maverick Boat Company, the parent of Cobia Boats, is known for its shallow-water skiffs and bay boats. But the guys who build them fish offshore too, and they spend time on the water with their families. Cobia's new 217CC reflects that experience. She has enough freeboard and deadrise to go offshore, but she's light enough to run well with Yamaha's efficient F150, so her range at speeds in the low to mid-20s is a whopping 360 miles (based on 90 percent fuel capacity and Yamaha's performance report).

Like all Cobias, the 217CC offers abundant fishing features, from well-designed livewells to rod holders, tackle storage and an anchor locker built for deep water. Family features include comfortable seats with cup holders (capacity eight persons), a large in-console head and an afterdeck with swim ladder.

Details show that the 217CC is built to last, as well as provide comfort in rough water. Comfort features include a recessed bow rail that extends back to the helm, handholds on the T-top (optional) and cockpit covering boards that provide toe room for leaning over the side. Even more important, if you run a hand along her chines and lifting strakes, you'll see this hull is built by an experienced, meticulous lamination crew. This is a hull designed for maximum seaworthiness, comfort and efficiency. And yes, she's pretty too, with a classic flared bow and raised sheer.

The base price for the Cobia 217CC with a Yamaha F150 is $46,762 with a T-top and several other useful options. Cobia Boats, Ft. Pierce, Fla., 772-465-0631; www.cobiaboats.com.