Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofThe all-new Mako 21 LTS (Light Tackle Skiff) is a development of the tried and proven Mako 18 LTS hull. She has a 8'4" (2.54 m) beam and draws approximately 13” (30.2 cm) and has a complete dry package weight including boat, motor and trailer of 3,310 lbs. (1,504 kgs.). The 21 LTS has a complete fiberglass inner liner and deck; her bilge is gel coated. She comes standard with a 150 XL OptiMax Pro XS outboard and a tandem axle trailer. She'll handle optional engines up to 250-hp.
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 21 LTS
The boat's mission in life is to pick up where the Mako 18 LTS stops. That is to say she is intended for anglers who need more boat, more room, greater beam, and increased carrying capacity (7 persons instead of 5). She only draws 1" (2.5 cm) more than the 18 LTS which means she can go virtually everywhere the 18 can go -- shallow lakes, bayous, swamps, canals, bays, flats and other bodies of skinny water -- but do it with more comfort. Most important, she is designed to be a stable platform that is fast and fuel efficient.
The 21's bottom is variable deadrise -- sharp forward warping to 16-degrees at the transom. This is four-degrees less than the 18 LTS and that together with its extra 9" (22.7 cm) of beam and greater weight (+803 lbs./+365 kgs.) will make her that much more stable when drifting or at anchor. Because she is relatively flat aft, which is not unusual for a skiff, she should be both fast and fuel efficient. The 21 LTS also has what Mako calls its "Rapid Planing System" transom which the company says allows the boat to plane with very little bow rise. Her chines and running strakes are designed to create lift and knock down the spray, two elements that make the boat dry in all but sloppy conditions. She also has a flared bow which knocks down small waves and also helps broaden the deck forward.
Major Deck Features.
The 21 has raised bow and stern casting decks which comes to about an inch from the top of the gunwales. This design serves several purposes: improving visibility, increasing storage space, and providing more cubic area for foam flotation. There is a 136-quart storage locker forward on the centerline with a locking stainless steel compression latch. The console has a toe kick all around it with courtesy lighting. The cockpit is self-bailing, which means that water in the cockpit drains overboard and not into the bilge. This is a "must-have" feature in our book for any fishing or sportboat other than the smallest ones. Removable screens make it easy to clean drains clogged by debris, fishing line, bait, etc.The transom height is 27" (68 cm). This is 2" (5 cm) higher than many boats in class and is an important feature for a skiff.
The 21 LTS's fiberglass hull is laid up by hand in a conventional manner. A one-piece, gel coated molded fiberglass stringer system is chemically bonded to the hull bottom providing for a smooth finish inside which is easy to keep clean.
The transom is 2" (5.08 cm) thick, is all-composite and has a high density core. This eliminates the use of plywood which can soak up water under certain conditions. In fact there is no plywood used anywhere in the boat. The deck is likewise cored and is all fiberglass composite. The hull and deck are chemically bonded 360-degrees as well as being mechanically fastened every six inches with stainless steel fasteners. This is as good as it gets. Aluminum backing plates are laminated into the bow and stern decks to accommodate the casting seat installations. Aluminum plates are also laminated in the deck under the helm seat and console to accept the machine screws holding the seat and console in place.
The console is molded separately from the deck. Some builders make the console part of the deck molding which severely limits its design. Mako have chosen to make it a separate part molded in a multi-piece mold that is labor-intensive to execute. Once the unit has been finished and polished, it is chemically bonded and mechanically fastened to the deck's high density composite core. Hatch covers are close-molded laminates with finished undersides.In virtually all cases, Mako used state-of-the-art or "best-practices" procedures in all its construction details.
Fishing Function Features
In the Bow.
The bow is rigged for a trolling motor. There is a removable casting net container integrated in the deck. Two dry storage areas port and starboard are each 90 quarts capacity. The starboard space is used as a rod locker that will hold seven rods. We like the pop-up cleat on the bow that is designed for anchor rode. The anchor and rode can be placed under the tub for a casting net. Those anglers who don't use a casting net can discard it and the anchor will be easy at hand.
The boat has a total of seven stainless steel pop-up cleats -- two stern, two bow, two spring, and one for the anchor. This is a rarity in a skiff where 4 cleats are often the norm. All hardware on the 21 LTS is 300 series stainless or aluminum. Marelon "corrosion-free" seacocks are used on all thru-hull fittings below the waterline.
In the Stern.
The stern casting platform is large and contains two large dry storage lockers and a 30 gallon (113.56 L) livewell with Pro-Air aeration system. The dry storage lockers are all guttered and gasketed. They also lock and have compression latches. Above the livewell on the center line a seat can be placed with a backrest with aluminum supports which fit into the deck. In this way the boat can actually seat six people, two here, two at the helm and two in front of the console on the cooler.
In the Cockpit.
The cockpit appears to be remarkably deep for a skiff. The reason for that being the 24.5" freeboard forward, 17’ aft and the high casting platforms. There is 360-degree mobility around the console so a fish can be fought around the boat and there is room for both the angler and someone handling a net on the same side of the boat.
The helm console is sculpted, something virtually never seen in a center console at this price point. The toe kick, sculpted slash on the sides and the molded-in reliefs make the console look upscale. The boat comes standard with hydraulic steering and a tilt wheel. There is adequate room for electronics and there is a high, tinted acrylic windscreen. There are three rod holders on each side of the console.
Perhaps the element that we like best about the design of this center console skiff is the standard, heavy-duty anodized aluminum grab rail. Because of this thoughtful design there is something to hold on to from nearly any position and the acrylic windscreen is protected. This allows out-riders to stand port and starboard as the skipper is racing across the flats to the next location.
The seat/leaning post has an aluminum frame, backrest and a 96-quart food and drink cooler under the cushioned seat. The base of the seat is screwed into aluminum plates that are molded into the deck, so it should be solid even with a portly skipper. Four rocket launchers are welded to the back of the frame, handy to an angler in the stern of the boat.
Forward of the console
is a removable 72-quart cooler/fishbox seat with integrated cushion. Behind the backrest in the forward face of the console is a place for two Plano tackle drawers.
Power and Performance
We have not yet tested the boat so can make no comments on the performance or handling of the 21 LTS. Standard power is a 150-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS 2-stroke engine. We think this is a good choice and it is the Mercury engine we would choose for this application because of its relative light weight and its high torque at the low end. The boat will definitely not be underpowered with this engine. Engine options are all from Mercury and include a 150-hp 4-stroke, a 200-hp and 225-hp Verado supercharged 4-stroke, a 200-hp and 225-hp OptiMax 2-stroke. Fuel capacity is 56 gallons (212.8 L).
The trailer is an important part of this package because the boat will spend most of its life sitting on it unless it is kept in the water year round. It is made of aluminum I-Beam. It has tandem axles with dual-axle brakes, leaf-spring suspension, and 14" galvanized V5 wheels. The tongue jack capacity is 1,000 lbs. (453.59 kgs.). We like the "no touch vault" oil bath hubs, LED submersible lights and PVC loading guides.
Price and Possible Options
Mako's nationally advertised price for the rig as described above is $35,995, including dealer prep and freight. In looking over the list of options we see a few things we would add, but of course everyone would use the boat differently. We would add-- ●Bimini top with stainless steel frame ●Removable helm and stern seat back rests ●2-tone hull with Gulfstream Blue ●Fore and aft bike seats, including seat, base, pole and spider ●Dual battery rigging ●Spare tire carrier with wheel and tireThose options give about a 7% increase over the base price which shows how well the boat is rigged as standard.
Overall, what we find most impressive about the all-new Mako 21 LTS is that virtually everything on the boat has been done first class, using quality materials and employing best-practices building techniques. This is a reasonably-priced boat, but it is not that way because corners were cut or materials or equipment were left out. In fact, we think the Mako 21 LTS is better executed than many boats in class.With decent attention and proper maintenance, we think the 21 LTS should last a lifetime.
Pricing Range: $35,995.00Prices, 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.