Review: Mako 284 Centre Console

By: John Willis & Tim Van Duyl, Photography by: Ellen Dewar & Nathan Duff


We water test and rate the Mako 284 Centre Console, a contender in the fibreglass fishing boats category at the 2017 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

Mako 284 Centre Console fishing boat
Australias best boats 2017 logo

We live in an age of extremes. Everything is bigger and faster, and we expect more of our toys. This is the age of the Mako 284 Centre Console, a big trailerable fibreglass fishing boat in anyone’s language but one with the size, power, layout and performance to manage the demands of today’s mobile sport and gamefishers. Mako is the defending Australia’s Greatest Boats champion; the little sister to this model, the Mako 234CC, having rocked the pants off all our judges last year.

Heads certainly turned when the huge Mako 284 Centre Console rolled into Hervey Bay for Australia’s Greatest Boats 2017. Like Wyatt Earp and the posse riding into Tombstone, it swaggered in with guts, determination and intent, and returned with glory. This is certainly one hell of an impressive trailerable gunslinger, with the looks and grace to charm the most discerning family, yet the capabilities to capture a gargantuan pelagic far offshore.

Mako 284Centre Console fishing boat in ation

If you’re looking for a fast, tough offshore rig that’s comfortable travelling at 25-30kt offshore, the Mako 284CC may just be for you. A pair of gutsy 300hp Mercury Verado outboard motors provided stacks of power to race to an impressive 49kt WOT. The hull rides immensely well with never a hiccup. And oh, the fishability – just awesome!

Judge Kevin Smith knows a thing or two about offshore fishing, having run charters in his original South Africa and here in Oz. He returned from a long weekend adventure in Hervey Bay and well offshore Fraser Island, stating: "Up in the bow, throw poppers for GTs. In the stern, put a spread out for marlin or whatever gamefish you prefer. And if you really want to, over the side, chuck a few bottom sticks down. It’s the best of all worlds." This glowing report qualified the big Mako 284 Centre Console as a contender this year, and we’re glad it did.

Helm of Mako 284 Centre Console fishing boat

This is a deep, beamy, beautifully constructed hull with exceptional seakeeping abilities. It features a deep V with a highly refined entry that just slices though the chop and spreads the spray. The hull combines heavy full-composite fibreglass construction featuring foam injection, a one-piece composite stringer system, and a very strong chemical bonding processes to produce a boat with great stability, exceptional ride and an ultimately smooth and quiet ride. She’ll get you to your distant destination quickly and easily, and when you get there you will fish any number of guests in total comfort and safety.

Twin Mercury 300hp Verado outboard motors

Non-skid surfaces on walking flats, foredeck, gunwale tops, stern platform and hatch covers plus big, deep sides keep you safe in a sea. Its layout is eminently fishable, with the bow section easily converting from luxury bowrider to roomy casting platform.

The centre console on the Mako 284 is a ripper, providing more seating and storage as well as the shade and convenience of a very solid T-top with rocket launchers and mounts for aerials, outriggers and toys. You’ll have no problems fighting a big pelagic from bow to stern with the deep, wide walkways around the console leading to one of the most fishable transoms on an American boat.

Livebait tank on Mako 284 Centre Console

You’ll love the Mako 284 Centre Console’s helm with its big dash for multiple displays, twin-binnacle control, overhead storage console and a moulded footrest all tucked nicely in behind a three-piece windscreen. There’s also a big toilet recess with vanity underneath that puts this versatile boat into the family category. It also serves as a large storage compartment, combine with numerous watertight lockers, wet box storage and kill tanks. The main cockpit seating console features a massive and fully pressurised livebait tank, thickly upholstered bolster seating with backrest, bait station and a freshwater sink.

Many American boats lack an acceptable transom workstation layout for Aussies – they should take notice of the Mako 284 Centre Console design. It has a full-width engine well with a walk-up back and convertible rear seat that gets anglers close to the action and the rod tips over the engines.

Mako 284 Centre Console at rest in shallow water

Editor Tim said: "No bull***t – this has room for all the squad. It’s a Mako 234 on steroids, which is a great thing!" Steve Starling made an interesting comparison: "Open, uncluttered and utilitarian, the Mako is a serious fishing machine. It’s impossible to compare the Mako and the Sea Fox head-to-head; they’re quite different beasts. You’ll pull more chicks in the Sea Fox but your fishing mates will love the Mako. Built for business and that business is bluewater fishing with genuine bang-for-bucks."

John Ford piped in: "Beautifully proportioned sleek design with classic Carolina flare set off by big black Mercs," and Jo Starling added: "Designed as a daytrip game boat, this is a sturdy, punchy weapon that can also cater to a family when required. But what I like most about the Mako is there are no distractions from the task at hand. It’s surprisingly quick and that manoeuvrability at speed really blew my eyebrows back!" Kevin offered a simple sum-up: "This is a powerhouse that rides like a knife through butter."

Mako 284 Centre Console on the water with twin outboard motors

 

Mako 284 Centre Console specs

Mako 284 Centre Console price: $275,000

Price as tested, ex Brisbane

 

OPTIONS FITTED

2x 300hp Mercury Verado outboard motors, 360-degree coaming bolster cushions, white powdercoat on all alloy frames, electric toilet and holding tank, electric anchor winch, deluxe hardtop, T-top and gull-wings, Taco outriggers twin Garmin 12in 7600 MFDs with 1kW thru-hull transducer, ICOM VHF, 6000kg rated trailer

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 8.63m

BEAM 2.99m

WEIGHT 2700kg (boat only)

FUEL 863L

ENGINE 2 x 300hp Mercury Verado outboard motors

Bow storage of Mako 284 CC boat

 

Mako 284 Centre Console rating: 90.5/100

 

Kev

Tim

John

Starlo

Jo

Fishing Suitability

9.5

10

9

9

9

Innovation

8.5

8

8

9

9

Design and Layout

9.5

9

9

9

10

Quality of Finish

9.5

9

9

9

10

Handling/Ride

9.5

9.5

10

9

10

Stability at Rest

9

9

9

9

10

Ergonomics

8.5

9

9

9

9.5

Standard Equipment

9

8

8

9

9

Value for Money

9

8

8

8.5

9.5

Wow Factor

9.5

8

9

9

10

 

More on Australia's Greatest Boats 2017

Aluminium fishing boat

Aluminium fishing boats 2017

 

Best fibreglass fishing boats

Fibreglass fishing boats 2017

 

 

 


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