Mako marine was one of those boatbuilders who hit legendary status, then somehow faded into the past. Their classics, boats like the 17 center console, had great runs back in the 90’s but weren’t followed up on past the turn of the century. Then, a few years back, they introduced the Mako Pro Skiffs. These were such unusually good-riding, well thought-out, and surprisingly low-priced boats that we named one of them as one of our top picks in Three Fishing Boats Under $15,000. But these were small, inexpensive skiffs—hot new boats in the upper end of their line-up didn’t materialize. Until now. We mentioned the new Mako 334CC in our preview of cool new boats expected at the Miami International Boat Show. And after finally seeing this boat up close and personal one thing is for sure: Mako is back.
When I first jumped aboard the boat, I was shocked at just how thoroughly Mako had attacked every detail of building a fishing boat. There are dual 34-gallon lighted oval livewells in the transom. They’re baby blue inside, so your baits stay calm, and they have clear viewing ports on top so you can always see how well your baits are doing. On top of that, the livewells are fed via a sea chest in the bilge, which is also where the raw water washdown gets its supply. Independent 2,000 GPH pumps push the water, and there’s a dedicated livewell back-up pump. This is the sort of plumbing system you expect to see on a five million dollar 50-foot convertible sportfish, not a 30-something center console that starts at more like $250,000.
Same goes for the fish stowage system. Sure, there are fishboxes in the deck, and yes, they’re guttered, gasketed, and insulated. But far more impressive is the 292-quart coffin box in the bow, which is large enough to literally crawl inside of and take a nap. Few anglers will ever catch a fish too big for this box, in their entire fishing career. And all of these boxes are evacuated with Gulper pumps, not macerators. Gulpers can pump wet sand, much less fish scales, without crapping out. Oh yes, and as if that’s not enough fish-stowing capacity (it is!) the entire coffin box swings up on an electric lifter to expose a gaping stowage hold under the foredeck.
Each and every system and design tweak, from the T-top and half-tower pipework to the copious rodholders to the leaning post tackle station and so on, is just as well thought-out and as well executed as the livewell and fishboxes. This boat is a serious eye-opener. If you want to find out more details, read an in-depth review of the 334 CC, and see the video I shot of the boat at the Miami show, you can check out Mako 334 CC: Jump Into the Shark Tank. But take my word for it, if you’re looking at 30-something center consoles, the Mako 334 CC is a must-see boat. It’s official—Mako is BACK.