Content courtesy ofIt is about time that we explode a widely-held myth about Mako boats: The legendary Makos of the 1970s and '80s were not better than the ones being built today. Mako center consoles were king of the hill in its day -- and rightly revered at the time -- but they had warts and bruises that fading memories have forgotten. (They also didn't have much competition.) Makos are now built by Tracker Marine Group, which has the expertise, infrastructure, and -- frankly -- the money, to do what the earlier builders of Mako boats would never have done. The Mako 284 Center Console, the largest boat in the 4-boat Mako Offshore line, is a good example of how Tracker has actually made offshore Makos better than they were in the "good old days".
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.
Mission of the Mako 284 Center Console
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.
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.
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.
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. ●
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.
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.
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. ●
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.
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. ●
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.
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.
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.
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.
Detail Snapshots of the Mako 284 Center--
Pricing Range: $94,995.00Prices, 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.