Fish Offshore with the New Freedom Boat Club Cobias

Freedom Boat Club’s new Cobia 237s should quicken the trip to prime striper and false albacore waters while ensuring a smoother ride. No doubt, these new additions will also see plenty use for family cruising as well. Photo by Felicia Scocozza.

By Tom Schlichter

Freedom Boat Club members in the New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island area are in for a treat this upcoming season. That’s because the organization, which allows club members at any of their locations across the country to access the vessels at any other Freedom Boat Club location, is adding a heavy hitter to their northeastern operations. This spring, 11 new Cobia 237’s, fully outfitted for both fishing and family fun, will be added to the fleet, providing a little more luxury, speed and big boat power for anglers and families looking to push further, ride faster and enjoy more of a power feeling while on the water.

If you are unfamiliar with Freedom Boat Clubs, they operate a total of 16 locations within our Coastal Angler coverage area where you can join-up, be your own captain and head out on your own schedule to find the best fishing or on water adventures. Become a member at one Freedom Boat Club location and you have access to the boats at all 180-plus Freedom Boat Clubs across the country – including what will now be over 150 vessels between Long Island, Connecticut and the Rhody coast alone. Freedom Boat Club has also recently opened several European locations for members to utilize at no additional cost!

The Cobia 237 is a serious entry in the luxury/fishing boat market. Thanks to a special arrangement, going forward it will be exclusive to Freedom Boat Clubs.

It’s no secret that the salty waters surrounding Long Island, Connecticut and Rhode Island are some of the fishiest in the world. From bottom-feeding favorites like tasty fluke, sea bass, scup and blackfish to inshore gamesters including stripers, blues, weakfish and false albacore, the depths in this region are particularly fertile. Even better, there’s something to catch every month from May through December – and many recreational fish species attain lunker status.

Of course, the action with each species rises and falls based on a variety of factors such as time of season, water temperature, abundance of baitfish and even fishing pressure. That means different ports light up with action at different times of the year. Some anglers do their best to follow the fish by hopping on party or charter boats throughout the region while others trailer their own vessels from one end of Long Island to the other or up and down the New England Coast. Shore-bound anglers, meanwhile, try to find access from beaches, docks, jetties and parklands, hoping the fish will come to them rather than powering off to intercept the best of the action.

Freedom Boat Club owners Peter DeVilbiss and Dick Cromwell ( think a club membership is a better way to go. “Being a member really gives you the freedom to head out when you want and from the port that’s nearest the fishing action you hope to enjoy,” notes DeVilbiss. If you’re looking for fluke you might sail from Freeport, Babylon or Port Jefferson, NY in May and June or from Stamford, Bradford, Mystic, CT or even Newport, RI in July and August. Scup fans will appreciate the Long Island Sound and Rhode Island access in July, August and September, while the fall run of stripers, blues and false albacore allows anglers to actually follow the schools from Portsmouth to the New York Bight. With a Freedom Boat Club Membership, the possibilities are endless.

Since each Freedom Boat Club already has a full fleet, including several Key West 239s that can get anglers well offshore, the addition of the Cobia 237s isn’t intended to increase range as much as to increase comfort. “This is the class of the fleet,” says DeVilbiss. It sports a 250 hp Yamaha outboard and is fully outfitted for fishing or family fun with a super electronics package, full bumpers and bow cushion for comfort, plus a 129-gallon gas tank. It’s a step up for our members and a serious investment in our fleet.”

Indeed, with a retail price of over $90,000, the Cobia 237 is a serious entry in the luxury/fishing boat market. Now, through a special arrangement between Freedom Boat Clubs and the manufacturer, the 237 model going forward will be exclusive to Freedom Boat Clubs only.

“As Freedom Boat Club has continued to grow and succeed locally,” continues DeVilbiss, “we thought it best to reinvest in our fleet and our members. We’ve had requests for some bigger boats and we are responding to that feedback. We expect these vessels will see use both for local and near offshore fishing expeditions as well as family cruising. Either way, we want our members to be riding in style.”