Cobia Boats is among the top brands when it comes to manufacturing saltwater fishing boats. They are known for delivering quality and reliability in their boats.
A short visit to the boating community forums will give you an idea about their huge fan base. The praise for the boats far outweighs the complaints lodged against them.
However, if you are going to own and drive one of the Cobia Boats, you’re in the right place. While there aren’t any huge complications with the boats, it’s good to get an idea about what you’re going to face in the future.
What You Should Know about Cobia Boats?
If you know about the history of the brand, it may give you some closure about some of the issues you’re facing or will be facing. Some issues are related to the design of the times and others are caused by transactions and deals done by the company.
Cobia Boats started out in 1959 under the ownership of a single businessman in Orlando, Florida.
When the fishing industry was reaching new heights due to newer technology, lots of companies changed hands, and Cobia was no different. Yamaha bought it in 1993 and gave it a much-needed hauling.
Yamaha owned the brand until the March of 2005 when Maverick Boat group offered a deal. The deal was done, and it did create an issue that we will be discussing below.
Maverick took the brand to new heights, and Cobia is now one of the market leaders. Cobia Boats has a top spot in the center console and dual console saltwater fishing boat niche.
The first improvement was the boat’s build quality. In the old design, it was mostly fiberglass and wood. You will find such designs even today in the low-mid tier boat manufacturers. They do it to cut costs.
Maverick, on the other hand, changed everything and introduced wood-free structural design and hand-laid fiberglass. It also positively affected the boat’s performance.
It increased durability on the sea and prevented issues like rotting decks. The cleaning process of the boat also became easier.
Currently, Cobia Boats have 12 models of center console boats and dual console saltwater boats. You can also ask for customized models that require you to spend more than the price tag.
As you have seen, the developmental phase of the brand had some weaknesses and the handovers didn’t help. So there are still some issues owners have to deal with.
Common Problems with Cobia Boats
Here are the problems Cobia boats usually face. If you have the older Cobia boats, you may want to have a closer look.
Soft Spots on Deck
The community is overall content with the boats’ performance. But this seems to be the most common complaint received from the customer base. It’s a common issue in the pre-2005 Cobia boats, specifically the boats made in the late 1990s.
This problem was because they were using wood to build a large part of the boats. Wood was used as the structural support, aka stringers, in the boat’s design. It’s not that wood is a bad material, but it is certainly a bad choice considering it will be in contact with water all its life.
These soft spots on the deck of Cobia boats are because of the wood soaking in water. It happens when the wood wasn’t sealed properly during manufacture. The water slowly seeps into the wood and ultimately makes them rot.
However, this issue isn’t something experienced by only Cobia Boats. And fortunately, the complaints are barely seen with the new, improved design since 2005. Back in the day, more than a few boats from different brands had wooden decks. You could call it a feature of the time.
But since buying a second or even third-hand boat is an accepted practice, it’s our job to help you make good use of your money. For used Cobia Boats, it’s always better to stick to the post-2005 models as the design is made to endure the sea.
If you buy the pre-2005 90’s Cobia boats, make sure to inspect the boat’s all corners. You can hire some experts to do the inspection if you’re not a seasoned boat owner.
Fuel Capacity Isn’t High
This is something you must keep in mind before you purchase your Cobia boat and not after. If you are planning long fishing trips with one of the Cobia Boats, it isn’t the best of boats. There are certainly other boats that provide larger fuel tanks in a similar size and price category.
For example, The Cobia 240CC, one of the most popular Cobia boats on the market right now, has a fuel capacity of 125 gallons. It’s a 24-foot boat. And if you take a boat of a similar size from Aquasportboat, you’ll find it with a much larger fuel capacity of 170 gallons.
The newer engines made things even worse as they can provide better mileage per gallon. With 2 miles per gallon, it can provide almost 50 miles extra with the Aquasportboat.
This extra mileage can make a huge difference to reach the sweet spot for fishing in the sea. The less busy and best spots for fishing are always deep in the sea. So, keep it in mind if you’re new to the game.
Shortage of Engines in the Older Models
One of the worst design features in the older Cobia boats is the single-engine. But fortunately, the newer models got an upgrade as they now come with twin Yamaha motors as it’s now the standard policy.
Why did the design include only a single large engine? Well, according to the manufacturers, it was to save costs for a total boat package. And I might sound lenient, but back in the day, engine technology wasn’t as easy and simple as we have these days.
There is a belief among the boaters that a boat with two outboard engines is always the safer option. I am a believer. Even though this belief developed when the engines were less reliable and you needed a second one if the first one fails. And the engines did face issues a lot.
But that has changed with the constant improvements in the fields of science and technology. Now, you can depend on only one engine for the rest of your life if everything goes according to plan.
With that being said, I am still a believer in keeping options rather than making life hard.
Not everyone goes to the sea with a double outboard engine. Now, some fishermen cruise on the sea with a single engine.
Additionally, if contaminated fuel exists on your boat, no amount of engines will save you. And contaminated fuel is one of the most common issues in fishing boats, not only in Cobia.
Cobia Boats Are Pricier than Its Competitors
If you look up Cobia boats online, there’s a good chance you will always find it among the top 10 center console boat manufacturers. However, if your search includes terms such as “cheap” and “affordable”, I’m afraid Cobia doesn’t fall into that category.
Cobia is up there with the Contenders and Aquasportboats in the premium price tag category. There are more than a handful of brands with similar features and quality that provides boats at a much lower price. To name a few, they are Robalo, Boston Whaler, and Scout.
The thing that makes Cobia worthy of such price tags is their long-standing devotion to making fishing boats with tremendous seakeeping ability. For over 50 years, they have been building boats and constantly evolving and improving their designs.
There were many promising brands but only a few survived the battle for success. One of the features that made Cobia a success is its customer-oriented designs and constant customer support.
If you can ignore some of the flaws in their designs, the boats are some of the most durable and speedy boats you’ll come across today.
Now, does all of this make it worthy of the high price for you? It may or may not. But we can’t deny the fact that the pricing is too high for many people. If you can’t be patient enough to reap the benefits of such an investment, it’s not a good investment opportunity.
But as the saying goes: different people, different strokes. Someone else can grab that opportunity.
Crisis of Replacement Parts for the Older Models
Cobia Boats started out as a product of the C & C company which was under Yamaha’s ownership. Since 2005, Cobia Boats has been no longer a product of Yamaha. Maverick bought the brand from Yamaha in March of the same year.
The deal was about the manufacturing technology and machines, and of course, Yamaha’s consent. But as things were back in the day, the record of the older boats was left ignored. So Maverick doesn’t have all the information about the older boats.
As things stand, owners of pre-2005 models of Cobia Boats have no one to go to when they need replacement parts. Unfortunately, Maverick doesn’t have the design patterns or existing spare parts to support the old owners. No one is to blame for this Mishap.
After a few frustrations expressed at the situation, Maverick has stated that they will help the owners with any information they have about the parts.
And if you’re lucky, established businesses that dealt with Cobia’s parts may just have the parts you’re looking for.
A Quick Summary of the General Cons of Cobia Boats
- The pre-2005 models, specifically the 90’s models have weaknesses in design such as soft spots i.e. rotting decks, only 1 engine, and inefficient performance
- It has lower fuel capacity than some of its competitor brands
- The boats are pricier than average
- You will face trouble if your pre-2005 model boats need replacement parts as they are hard to find
Are Cobia boats top tier?
The Maveric boat group is now responsible for the manufacturing of Cobia Boats. It makes one of the best hulls out there and uses top-of-industry third-party solutions for its boats.
However, their design still has some quirks that need to be looked at. All in all, it’s regarded among the best mid-top tier brands in the market today.
Do Cobia’s boats have wood in them?
Cobia boats HAD wood in the deck and other parts of the boat. That’s in the past. Now, the design doesn’t depend on wood as they engineered a wood-free design. Yes, no wood whatsoever.
Is Cobia a Robalo?
It is a commonly asked question and not for the wrong reasons either. Between the years 1977 and 1991, Cobia Boats actually manufactured their boats with the help of Robalo Marine Corporation. The concept developed from then. But now Cobia and Robalo are two pretty distinct brands.
Where are Cobia Boats made?
Currently, Cobia boat manufactures both center and dual console boats in St. Lucie, Florida. But the parent company’s main product, Maverick boats, are made in Fort Pierce, Florida, where many other brands set up shop.
Are Cobia boats good in rough water?
Cobia Boats manufactures different types of boats for different types of scenarios. But yes, Cobia prides itself on building robust sea keeper boats.
That was all about the common problems with Cobia Boats. If you are new to the boating scene, make sure to weigh the features and the “issues” we mentioned with your list of priorities. If the issues don’t seem like a problem, you can make the purchase final. You’ll not be disappointed.