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COBIA 344 CC

Introduced last season, Cobia’s 344CC is the flagship of their growing fleet and offers anglers a quality alternative to pricier mid-30s ocean-going center consoles.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
For more information:
View Website Cobia
 
COBIA 344 CC

It is the latest addition to its center console fleet that includes seven sportfishers ranging from 20 to 34 feet. Ever since the Maverick Boating Group purchased and transformed Cobia’s boatbuilding operations a few years back, the change in the design, quality, construction and performance of Cobia boats has been dramatic and well-received by the boating public. I am seeing more of these new-wave Cobia boats at marinas and on the offshore fishing grounds than ever before, and from what I am hearing, their owners absolutely love them!


The new 344CC takes the efficiency of the center console sportfishing design to the next level with one of the most impressive layouts that I have come across in a mid-30s CC to date, blending high performance, luxury and fishing smarts into a solid, tournament-grade package. The double-stepped hull is fast, responsive and easy to drive, providing a stable platform while at anchor or drifting. A level floor from bow-to-transom makes for sure-footed maneuverability when bending the rods or bringing the big ones to boatside. The wide 11-foot-plus beam offers plenty of space and walk-around room even with a crowd onboard. I found the wiring harnesses, plumbing and electronics rigging on the Cobia 344CC to be extremely well-done and as neat and organized as some of the stuff that I have seen on semi-custom sportfishers costing five to 10 times more.
The cockpit aft of the leaning post/bait prep center measures 113 inches wide by 56 inches long (44 square feet) and the freeboard is perfect for fishing in heavy seas. It will keep both the crew and anglers safe with a sure and solid footing, offering 26 inches of cockpit depth aft, 29-1/2 inches amidships and 33-1/2 inches forward. Rodholders are not an afterthought on this sportfisher, with eight stainless steel gunwale-mount units and horizontal storage racks under each covering board. The 344CC is elegantly appointed with a roomy console berth and head area down under and dedicated seating for up to a dozen passengers. Serious anglers will appreciate the hidden below-deck locking rod storage, twin 42-gallon baitwells in the transom bulkhead (with optional pressurizing pump box plumbing system) and two huge 62-gallon macerated in-floor insulated fishboxes (69 inches long by 14 inches wide by 14 nches deep). An additional pair of in-deck storage boxes set forward of the fishboxes will accommodate additional gear. The tackle station offers a covered sink and bait prep area, with enough storage space to support myriad fishing pursuits. It also features a comfortable rear-facing perch for keeping an eye on the trolling baits. Additional standard features include a bow table that adjusts electronically to create a huge sun lounge area, or it can be fully recessed into the floor for complete unobstructed bow access when it’s time to fish, plus fresh and raw water washdown spigots set in the cockpit’s transom corners. An inward opening side door to starboard makes dockside boarding, diving or hauling aboard a big tuna safe and hassle free. The bilge is accessed through a large door that opens via a heavy-duty electric ram and the main rigging and plumbing is easily reached through the in-floor hatch.


RIDE LIKE THE WIND


Standard power on the Cobia 344CC is provided by a pair of Yamaha F350 four-stroke outboards, that offer a top speed of 59.3 mph at 6,100 rpm and an optimum cruising speed of 30.2 mph at 3,500 rpm, which according to recent Yamaha factory tests, produces 1.37 mpg efficiency. Bumping the electronic throttles up to 4-grand, she’ll scoot along at 34.2 mph at 26 gph, for a net of 1.32 mpg, which is decent for a 34-footer sporting twin V8s. If you have a need for more speed, she’ll hit 43.3 mph at 4,500 rpm, drinking almost 34 gph for 1.28-mpg efficiency. With a standard 320-gallon fuel tank, overnight canyon range is a definite can-do. The twin stepped hull and ideal 3-to-1 length-to-beam ratio allows this 34-footer to slice and dice the rough stuff and bridge the gap between short, choppy seas, producing a solid, smooth and dry ride.


Optional power for the Cobia 344CC is offered in the form of triple 4.2L Yamaha F300 V-6 four-strokes, which ups the top-speed to 67.9 mph at wide open throttle. Optimum cruising speed comes at a rather sedate 3,000 rpm, where the trips will hit 31.6 mph on the GPS at 21.1 gph, which translates to 1.5 mpg. Advancing the electronic throttles up to 3,500 and 4,000 rpm will generate 38.4 mph/1.4 mpg and 45.3 mph/1.25 mpg respectively. If this were my ride, I’d probably opt for the rigging simplicity of the twin V8s, which cleans things up dramatically both at the transom and the helm.


MORE FOR LESS


Competitive mid-30s go-fast center consoles can go for $75,000 to $100,000 more than the Cobia 344CC’s asking price, which is a very reasonable $222,583 outfitted with twin Yamaha F350 V8 four-stroke outboards. Are they worth it? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you can be the judge - but I don’t see how the competitors can be asking that much more for their boats. I do know one thing for sure, the Cobia 344CC is an excellent offshore fishing machine, with built-in quality and an excellent fishing layout at a fair price that’s right down at sea level. If you are in the market to upgrade your ride, the Cobia 344CC or any of its smaller sister ships should definitely be on your short list. For more information, visit the website.

Specifications:
Length- 34 feet, 4 inches
Beam- 11 feet, 2 inches
Weight- 8,600 pounds (dry, without power)
Deadrise Aft- 21.6 degrees
Draft- 24 inches
Fuel Capacity- 320 gallons
Max HP- 900 horsepower (twin 350s or triple 300 outboards)