The Mako 18 LTS is designed for sneaking into the little hidey-holes that other boats can't reach. Her rigged hull draft is just 11'' (28 cm). She also features Mako's patented Rapid Planing System for quick hole shots and minimal bow rise… a pivotal factor when operating in the shallows.
Completely bonded and lined hull/deck assembly
Rapid Planing System hull design for quick holeshots and nimble handling
Flip-flop helm seat with 72-qt. (68.14 L)cushioned cooler
Center console with analog gauges, removable windscreen, grab rail, stainless steel steering wheel and vertical rod holders
Forward console seat with 18-gal. (68.14 L) aerated baitwell
Raised fore and aft casting decks with watertight storage compartments with close-molded lids
Stainless steel cleats and bow and transom eyes
Aluminum single-axle trailer with EZ lube hubs
Mako 18 LTS (2014-) Specifications
18' 6'' 5.64 m
1,297 lbs. 588 kg
7' 7'' 2.31 m
11'' 28 cm
28 gal. 106 L
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Mako 18 LTS (2014-)Engine options
1 x 60-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
Currently no test numbers
1 x 90-hp Mercury ELPT OptiMax 1 x 115-hp Mercury ELPT OptiMax 1 x 115-hp Mercury ELPT OptiMax Pro XS
The mission of the Mako 18 LTS is to create a fishing boat that can easily penetrate the skinny water along shorelines. Between her shallow draft and Rapid Planing hull she makes an excellent combination for operating where other boats can't reach. Add the optional jack plate and she can go into even thinner water.
The layout offers plenty of room for two or three anglers while underway and separation while fishing.
There’s plenty of room for storage but the large forward compartment will probably be serving time as a fish locker.
• Rapid Planing System Hull Design. According to Mako, this provides for quick hole shots and nimble handling.
• Flip-flop Helm Seat with an 18 Gallon (68.14 L) Cushioned Cooler. Easy to get a drink while drift fishing.
• Forward console seat with an 18 gal. (68.14 L) aerated baitwell.
• Raised Fore and Aft Casting Decks. They also include watertight storage compartments with close-molded lids.
• Aluminum Single-axle Trailer with EZ Lube Hubs. The package is light weight making it easily trailerable with anything that has a hitch.
• Fully Composite Construction. This ensures a stiff hull while maintaining lightweight and means no wood is in the build.
• Self-bailing Cockpit. No worries about rain storms sinking the boat at the dock.
The cockpit is recessed between two elevated casting platforms clearly denoting this as a purpose-built fishing machine.
The styling of the 18 LTS is all bay boat with a recessed cockpit between two elevated casting decks. While small in size she still provides plenty of room to easily move about the center console, even with three vertical rod holders to either side. Her hull style is reminiscent of the old Mako 17 but with a much shallower draft.
The single axle trailer comes as standard equipment. Trailer options add brakes, aluminum wheels, a spare tire carrier and swing away tongue.
The bow features a completely elevated casting deck and Mako thoughtfully provided raised toe rails to keep feet from slipping off the edge. The deck is easily large enough to toss off a casting net and snagging is kept to a minimum thanks to the boat's three pull-up cleats. Two storage compartments are located on the centerline of the foredeck. The compartments are gel coated and the hatches are made in closed molds with gel coat on all sides. Since they have no support struts or wires they can be opened against the deck.
The forward storage compartment has room for an anchor line and other gear. Note the opening, rather than the hatch, is gasketed.
A nonskid surface and raised toe rails add safety to the fore and aft casting decks.
Additional rod storage tubes are located under the bow gunwales.
The center console helm includes three vertical flush-mounted rod holders to either side. Ahead of the console is a padded seat above and 18 gallon (68.14 L) livewell. Aerated and recirculating systems are available as options. The helm seat has a flip flop seatback to easily convert face aft. Underneath is an optional 18 gallon (68.14 L) cooler. Inside the console there is room for three batteries, one for engine start, one for the livewell and electronics, and one for the optional trolling motor. Single or dual bank battery chargers are available as an option.
The helm seat can be flipped forward to make a comfortable seat while waiting for the fish to bite.
Additional storage, and room for three batteries, is accessed from an open port at the aft side of the console.
At the helm, full instrumentation even includes a water pressure gauge. The engine control is a side-mount type affixed to the starboard side of the console, which saves space on the panel, but can be bumped when someone moves fore and aft.
Mako offers Lowrance electronics as options with plenty of room on the panel for installation. Notice the side-mount engine control.
The stern elevated casting deck has large molded storage compartments to both sides. Much like the bow compartments, the lids close against gasketed openings and can lie flat against the deck when opened. Also, as with the bow, an elevated toe rail surrounds the casting deck. A poling platform is available as an option, and considering the 18 LTS's 11”(28 cm) hull draft, that may be a smart option to get.
Three power options are available for the 18 LTS, from 60-115 hp. I can easily see the 90-hp option being the popular choice for giving good midrange performance and outstanding economy. The 115 will obviously add more speed. Of course if economy is the deciding factor then the 60 will be the motor of choice.
Boaters intending to operate consistently in shallow conditions should buy the optional hydraulic engine mount jack plate. With either engine choice the 20”(50.8 cm) shaft length motor mounted to this 25”(63.5 cm) transom and it's tunneled hull will still ensure excellent shallow-water performance. Trim tabs are also available.
While we haven't tested this boat yet, it seems that the Rapid Planing System works well because it has received an NMMA innovation award. Certainly, with any boat operating in skinny water, quick planing times with minimal bow are essential.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Mako 18 LTS (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Washdown: Raw Water
= Standard = Optional
Mako 18 LTS (2014-) Warranty
Mako 18 LTS (2014-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.