Living the Dream on the Morada 24

Craig Cohen was so enamored with Florida’s fishing scene, he left New Jersey for the Sunshine State. Now he has the perfect boat to fuel his passion

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Craig Cohen (left) and George LaBonte take the Morada 24 out on the St. Lucie River South Fork. Photo by George LaBonte
Craig Cohen (left) and George LaBonte take the Morada 24 out on the St. Lucie River South Fork. Photos by George LaBonte

For Craig Cohen, who grew up in New Jersey, an interest in Florida inshore fishing began in his youth during annual vacations to the Florida Keys with his uncle. Later, a basketball scholarship to The University of Tampa would offer the time to reinforce his passion and expose him to broader horizons as an angler. Tarpon and permit fishing would become a lifelong passion that would bring him back to the Sunshine State throughout his life.

Seating on the forward casting deck. Photo by George LaBonte
Seating on the forward casting deck.

After college, he began his career with a stint at the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and eventually owned and operated his own successful manufacturing business building stainless steel food equipment. A longing to retire and spend more time near his true source of happiness—the waters of South Florida—led Cohen to one day find himself admiring an unfamiliar bay boat on Florida’s Gulf Coast during a tarpon outing. He eventually discovered the identity, a Morada 24, and knew he had to have one.

After a trip to Stuart to tour the Islamorada Boatworks factory, Cohen and his wife, Kathi, not only pulled the trigger on a new Morada 24, but they also fell in love with all that the
Treasure Coast has to offer
and decided to become residents. A home in Palm City and a Hutchinson Island condo would become their base camps, and armed with his new 2022 Morada 24, Cohen could now divide his fishing time between the Gulf Coast, the Florida Keys, and the Treasure Coast chasing tarpon, permit, and sailfish. 

The deck is roomy enough for two anglers and features a Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor. Photo by George LaBonte
The deck is roomy enough for two anglers and features a Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor.

The Morada 24 offers the ideal layout for a boater in search of a vessel capable of handling the chop well enough to venture offshore while also at home in the backwater and easily towed over the road. This custom bay boat design offers wonderful stability and a soft ride. A forward casting deck is roomy enough for two anglers and features a Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor. Five compartments below deck forward offer space for anchor storage, a large dry storage hold, twin rod lockers, and a wet storage hold in the front cockpit deck.

A 9-inch Simrad EVO 3 MFD slave unit upstairs runs in sync with a pair of 12-inch Simrad units at the lower helm. Photo by George LaBonte
A 9-inch Simrad EVO 3 MFD slave unit upstairs runs in sync with a pair of 12-inch Simrad units at the lower helm.

Cohen added a custom hard top and a second station helm for sight fishing on the beaches and fly-by-wire controls to his F300 Yamaha power. The Yamaha is mounted to an Atlas jack plate for shallow running. A 9-inch Simrad EVO 3 MFD slave unit upstairs runs in sync with a pair of 12-inch Simrad units at the lower helm. The aft casting deck is also elevated and features three large, insulated compartments that can serve as storage holds or live wells. 

The aft casting deck has three insulated compartments that can be used as storage holds or live wells. Photo by George LaBonte
The aft casting deck has three insulated compartments that can be used as storage holds or live wells.

For everything Cohen has loved to do for a lifetime on the water, this model is his perfect full-circle dreamboat.

Power File

Length: 24 feet 

Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches

Draft: 15 inches

Deadrise: 20 degrees

Weight: 2,870 pounds

Fuel: 109 gallons

Max HP: 400 (recommended 300)

George LaBonte, who writes this column, has been a charter fishing captain in Jupiter
for
nearly 40 years. He also has hosted the television series Florida Sportsman Best Boat and Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat for five seasons. 

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