From battleship to longboat
  |  First Published: May 2004

THE EXTRA heavy-duty Savage Cobia dory has been around for a long time, but Quay Marine in Cairns, in conjunction with local fisho John Bout, has created an entirely new concept boat.

The Cobia has been extended by 700mm with an alloy pod, and is designed for use from Tinaroo Dam to the outer reef and everything in between. The joint venture is a new way of thinking aimed at delivering a far more customer-specific boat than the standard factory fitout. The other big advantage of starting with a stock standard hull is to deliver a custom boat without the extra cost involved in having a rig totally custom built.

This approach is only possible because of the availability of top quality tradesmen in Cairns who have the ability and experience to deliver first-class work at reasonable prices. The likes of NB Prop Works, who did the alloy welding, and Cobra Body Works, who painted the Cobia, are to be congratulated on their workmanship.

This article is the first of a two-part series which will follow the fitout of the Cobia through to its launch. At the time of writing the Cobia has just been given its all white paint job and was drying, ready for fitout.

With the floor removed, the extra heavy duty construction of the Cobia is clearly visible and it explains why this boat is so popular with commercial operators. There’s an impressive number of cross section floor ribs – 19 in all – with a mere 22cm between each (centre to centre), and nine of these carry right through to the gunwale. Add to this, 3mm bottom and 2.5mm topsides and it's easy to see that the Cobia is built to take a pounding.

The checker plate foredeck offers extra rigidity up front, as well as excellent grip when working off the nose. The junction between the foredeck and the gunwale also has fully welded corner bracing. The keel has been carried right up to the towing bracket and has been cut out and bent to match the curve of the nose and then each cut is fully welded. An internal 8mm solid alloy keel stringer, to which all 19 floor ribs are fully welded, adds even further structural strength.

The boat will come with two under floor fuel tanks located in front of the low profile centre console, and will be fitted with a 90hp Mercury Optimax. The extra fuel capacity will make it ideal for long range work in the likes of the Gulf, Weipa, the Northern Territory and Hinchinbrook Channel. John will be able to travel log distances along the coast to remote estuaries in comfort, then fish from a rig ideally suited for luring and flyfishing.

The centre console is wide but low, offering plenty of storage on the shelf and floor without obstructing vision or interfering with casting. The dash will hold all the electronics the mind can conceive and the pocket afford. The front corners of the console have tubes welded in for holding the lift off canopy, which has a further two mounting sleeves in the top of the transom.

The welded pod is 700mm long and carries the hull through for a longer planning surface. It has twin boarding handles, which double as bracing. The original cutaway transom has been filled in to create a full height transom for better protection from a following sea. The port side will have a fold down ladder and there are two transducer brackets, one each side of the engine. There is also an inspection hatch in the top of the pod.

The original floor has been removed but will be replaced after painting and will carry through under the new front casting platform to keep gear up out of the bilge. There is a seat mount in the middle of the forward casting platform, as well as another one up on the rear side of the foredeck. The cross bollard has been shifted to in front of the self draining anchor well and a bowsprit and bow roller have been added, along with a mounting bracket for an electric thruster. The bracket is used in preference to a fully mounted unit so that it can be easily removed when going to the reef, thus reducing its exposure to the elements. The checker plate foredeck makes it a safe platform in calm conditions for those that like elevation for flicking lures or waving the wand.

The modified Cobia is an interesting concept and I'm very keen to see how the finished product performs.

Base hull price for the new Savage Cobia dory is $6990. For further information contact Quay Marine in Cairns on (07) 4041 3166.



Length - 6.2m

Depth (freeboard) - 630mm

Depth (keel to gunwale) - 1m

Max hp - 90

Beam - 2.1m

Bottomside thickness - 3mm

Topside thickness - 2.5mm

Max people - 5

Length on trailer - 7.2m


1) The 700mm pod gives the modified Savage Cobia a long sleek look.

2) The pod has bracing, twin transducer brackets, a fold down ladder and an inspection hole.

3) With the floor removed you get a good look at the impressive amount of framing in the Cobia.

4) The checkerplate foredeck, with seat mount, electric thruster mount, bowsprit and roller.

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