|Deadrise/Transom||21 deg.||Water Cap||
|Max Headroom||open||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Std. Power||2 x 200-hp Mercury OptiMax XL|
|Tested Power||Currently no test numbers|
2 x 250-hp Mercury OptiMax XL
2 x 200-hp Mercury Verado XL L4
2 x 225-hp Mercury Verado XL
2 x 250-hp Mercury Verado XL
2 x 300-hp Mercury Verado XL
The new iteration of the Mako 284 Center Console is better than anything the brand has ever built, in our opinion.
Mission of the Mako 284 Center Console
Mission: To go offshore and provide everything needed as standard and recapture the offshore sportfishing market's hearts and minds that the brand so strongly dominated 35 years ago. In a word, to restore Mako's good name with the offshore saltwater fishing community.
The Method of Restoration. By listening to owner feedback on the 284 in the years after it was first introduced in the last decade, Tracker management realized changes needed to be made. It redesigned and retooled much of the 284 to solve the problems and then began building the boat in a modern facility with state-of-the-art machinery. The result is not only a fix of the boat's shortcomings, but also a new fit-and-finish quality that has never before been seen on a Mako, even in the beginning.
Pricing. Tracker Marine Group is known for building small aluminum and fiberglass boats for freshwater fishing at low prices, but the Mako 284 Center Console is its flagship for saltwater fishing. It wants the Mako brand to concede nothing to any competitor in order to keep the price down. That means that the Mako 284 Center Console won't be cheap. In fact, foot-for-foot, and in total price, she will be one of Tracker's most expensive boats.
But Tracker knows the key to success with Mako is to load the boat up, have everything done right, and then price the 284 attractively vis-à-vis its competition. Thanks to its manufacturing, component procurement, and retail efficiencies it can be done and have a first-rate boat at the same time.
It is hard to see detail in this image but our reason for showing it is to show all of the storage bins and how large they are. There are 8 in this picture and a few more that can't be seen.
This is one of the two fishboxes in the stern of the boat, port and starboard. Each hold 390 quarts. Note standard 9' rod racks in the bulwarks.
The head compartment under the helm console is so deep a three-step ladder is needed so there will be no problem with headroom. The console has been redesigned and has an acrylic door with double gaskets and lock to keep it water tight.
A boat like the 284 Center Console should have three batteries and it does. These live in the head compartment behind a hatch that has been removed. Note the tidy wire runs on the bulkhead in the background. Today, every wire on the Mako 284 Center Console has its function printed right on it every 6" so wires can easily be traced. The switches above look complicated but are not. Turn one switch and the vessel is good to go.
On floor of the head is an acrylic cover with a flip-up edge in order to access the shower sump pump without having to unscrew the plate.
●For Anglers Only. The Mako 284 Center Console is not a "crossover" or "fish-and-cruise" center console. She has one purpose and that is game fishing in blue water.
●Nearly All Fishing Equipment Needed is Standard. When we looked down the options list we found only one fishing accessory that we would add. That was a pair of outriggers for $1,700. That's it, other than electronics.
●Comfort Amenities Not Standard. Things like forward cushions, a sound system, a conventional boarding swim ladder and an electric head are all optional. Optional, because this boat has one primary mission.
The leaning post console has been redesigned. The 50 gallon livewell has a tight rubber seal and is anti-slosh. Sink with pressure cold water is at left. Lower the lid and the counter becomes a bait pre-center.
In order to draw a picture of the depth and breath of the equipment and amenities built-in as standard we will tick off the major ones --
●Leaning Post Console. This is a sophisticated design with every bit of space inside utilized; bait prep station with cutting board, sink, tackle box storage and a 50 gallon (189.27 L) aerated, anti-slosh livewell. Plus there is a lockable glove box and a storage bin under the seat.
●Canvas T-Top. We like canvas because it is lightweight. It has 3 spreader lights, 5 rod holders and a fiberglass electronics box. Boaters who prefer to trade this out for a composite hardtop can do so at little added cost.
●Insulated Fishboxes in Stern. There are two 390 quart (369.08 L) fishboxes in the cockpit sole. They have gravity drainage and a diaphragm pump which we think is better than having a macerator.
On the port side of the leaning post are the tackle drawers and the rack for the cutting board. Note the hatch to the raw water washdown at right.
●Storage Bins in Bulwarks. In addition to the tackle drawers in the leaning post console there are also port and starboard bins which can hold gear, tackle boxes, or trash.
●Port and Starboard Molded Casting Platforms. These forward casting platforms have a cooler-mounting flat between.
●Bow Storage Compartment. The 284 Center Console has a number of storage compartments which all drain. The largest capacity is in the deck at 470 quart (444.70 L).
●Forward Seat Storage. Under the forward seats are self-draining 214 quart lockers that can be used for storage, as fish boxes or for cold beverages.
●6 Gunwale-Mounted Rod Holders. Most builders make only four standard.
●Back-Up Pump for Livewell. The pump for the livewell is 1,600 gph and has an auxiliary back-up pump of 1,100 gph.
This is a view of the "pump room" which is just forward of the transom. Partially in view under the forward lip are the port and starboard engine fuel filters.
●100% Composite Construction. This means that there is no encapsulated wood in the transom, deck or stringers.
●Closed Molded Hatch Covers. This is an important advancement for Mako construction as it means tighter tolerances, better finish work, molded-in groves for rubber gaskets and quieter operation.
●Four 2" Drains in Cockpit. Mako has installed two 2" drains in each stern quarter of its cockpit, thereby cutting in half the time to drain the cockpit. There are valves on these hoses. In-deck water channels drain water directly into the drains.
●Tempered Glass Windshield. Mako has eliminated the plastic windscreen and upgraded to glass.
●Upgraded Head Compartment. The head enclosure has a fiberglass inner liner, sink, mirror, removable storage and an access hatch to batteries and wiring. Most important, the lockable acrylic door now has double gaskets to keep it water tight.
●One-Piece Stringer. The 284 Center Console has a gel coated, single-unit stringer system.
●All Thru-Hulls Quickly Accessible. A concern all boaters have (or should have) is the integrity of thru-hull fittings and hoses leading to them. Mako has provided quick access by means of hatches to all through-hulls, which in turn all have ball valves.
The tempered glass windscreen provide distortion-free visibility. Now all we need is a windshield wiper.
This is the way all Mako 284 Center Console helm consoles begin life. It is hard to see in this image, but the right one-third of the instrument panel is angled toward the skipper for better visibility. The compass is where it should be, directly over the hub of the steering wheel.
With nav screens and other electronics added the instrument panel comes to life and is large enough to handle it all. Note that the accessory switches are under a clear acrylic screen that both keeps water off and protects them from being accidently hit.
The leaning post can also be sat upon and foot rests in the console give both skipper and navigator support.
Under the helm seat is a bin to store any manner of items plus a lockable glove box for wallet, cell phone or other valuables.
●Standard Trim Tabs. Mako is using Lenco electric trim tabs as standard equipment and on the dash are indicator lights showing their position. When the engines are turned off the tabs retract automatically which keeps them from being damaged when the boat is being hauled or trailered.
●Hydraulic Steering. Mercury makes its own hydraulic steering mechanisms and installs them on their outboard engines and is the only brand to do so. Other outboard brands use third party vendors to make the hydraulic units and the builder must install them.
●Two Bilge Pumps. The 284 Center Console has two, 2,000 gph (7,570 lph) bilge pumps that are automatic and also can be activated manually.
●Raw Water Washdown. Every fishboat needs to be washed down and the 284 Center Console has the pump for it.
We would order the optional fold-way transom seat ($1,000). It is removable.
The 2-stroke 200-hp Mercury OptiMax XL is standard and is one of six engine models available for the 284 Center Console. The standard engines have 2-stage direct fuel injection and a multi-point oil pump system. The engines come with SmartCraft diagnostics which monitor 23 different key engine functions.
Power & Pricing
The 284 comes standard with twin Mercury 200-hp XL OptiMax 2-stroke direct-injection engines. 2-stroke engines are known for their low-end torque that can get a boat on plane quickly. These V-6 3.0 L outboards have 20" shaft lengths and weigh 508 lbs. (229 kgs.) each. The price of the boat with the standard engines is published on Mako's website as $94,995.
Mako offers five optional twin outboard rigs ranging from 200-hp Verados to 300-hp Verados. All outboards offered are by Mercury. Pricing ranges from just under $100,000 to about $111,000 for twin Mercury Verados 300s.
This is an option that we like and would have rolled up in one of the forward compartments. We like it because it extends the number of days the boat can be used in the spring and fall. It might also come in handy in a driving rain storm. Note the "gull wings" that tie to the gunwales. ($1,250.)
Two key features of the Mako 284 Center Console are her relatively high freeboard and deep cockpit. The freeboard at the transom is 30" (75 cm). Note the gunwales reach up to the thighs of the stern. The 284 is well-known for being a dry boat and its freeboard, bow flare, and wide chine are the reasons.
The Mako 284 is not your father's Mako, nor even yours if you bought one just a few years ago. The big issues such as leaky hatches, poor fit of the head door, busted gas shocks and other issues have been solved in the Gen II version of the 284.
Now Mako is also offering a number of hull colors for the boat for a $940 up-charge. We'd go for it as it will set the boat apart from all of the white ones in the marina.
Important Attributes. The four most important features of the 284 are the same as always --
1) She is incredibly roomy inside thanks to the wide decks around the center console and the deck area in the bow and stern. Her 9'10" (2.99 m) beam makes that all possible.
2) The 284 is remarkably dry thanks to her high freeboard forward, bow flare, wide hard chine and running angle.
3) She has a reputation for being quite seaworthy far offshore where things can get sloppy. Again this is due to her relatively high freeboard, but also due to her weight and CG.
4) Because of her 6,000 lb. (2,727 kg.) dry displacement, her 21-degree deadrise at the transom and her 9'10" (2.99 m) beam she is more stable offshore, particularly when drift fishing or trolling, than other boats with a deeper-V, less beam, and lower displacement.
Essentially these are the reasons that real men and women going offshore to hunt fish have always liked the Mako 284 Center Console.
The three-man crew are all working together to fill their larder. Note that there is plenty of room for three big men in the stern of this boat.
Detail Snapshots of the Mako 284 Center--
The fiberglass cabinet under the standard t-top can come in handy for all sorts of things, including a stereo, VHF radio, binoculars, etc.
The Mako 284 has opening bins in the bulwarks both port and starboard.
Most people will use the lockers under the forward seats for gear. Note the rubber gasket that the builder says will keep water out of the locker.
The anchor locker on the Mako 284 Center Console is most unusual, but frankly we like it because it is so handy.
Simply reach in, grab the anchor and chain and throw it overboard under the bow pulpit. Note the chock that leads the rode to the cleat mounted on the centerline.
This is the largest storage compartment in the boat. It is under the deck forward of the console and is 470 quart. It has a drain.
Most center consoles have a seat forward of the console and the 284 Center Console is no exception. Mako has created an insulated cooler with drain to be a handy place for refreshments on ice.
The standard t-top is supported by aluminum tubes that are affixed to the deck. Note how close they are to the console. Because of the boat's beam they do not restrict passage fore and aft.
All lights on the Mako 284 are now LED which lowers maintenance.
|Washdown: Fresh Water|
|Washdown: Raw Water|
= Standard = Optional
|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.|