What is the simplest way to

Find a station or port that sells particular ships rather than fly round fingers crossed, is there a 3rd party tool that offers such info?

Also, some ships are only available with Horizons, so if you can't find a particular ship that is supposed to be at a particular station and you don't have Horizons, that's why.

On a final note, even if you do have Horizons you will never get the Cobra MKIV.
Welcome CMDR,

When you rank up in the pilots federation you may gain access to Jameson Memorial station in the Shinrarta Dezhra system. There all ships and modules will be available to you.

You can also get discount in systems run by Li Yong-Rui.
I-Sola Prospect in the Brestla system sells them all. And all modules.
At a 20% mark-up, mind.
You don't need to be Elite to shop there, either.
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