Boat Review: Mako 414 CC

On a steady path to rekindling the widespread passion for the fabled shark-silhouette brand, Mako draws from its 50 years of boatbuilding expertise to meet the demands of offshore- angling devotees, which continue to grow along with the size of today’s center consoles.

While a lot has changed since the 1970s and ’80s when 17- to 25-foot Mako boats were staples of the sport-fishing scene throughout the Southeast, the 334 CC launched a year ago was a loud declaration of the brand’s intent to reclaim its place among the leaders, and the recent debut of the 414, Mako’s largest model to date, reiterates the company’s commitment to expand beyond previous boundaries.

Featuring a 24-inch deadrise for a softer ride, lifting strakes for high performance, and a set-back transom to deliver undisturbed water to the props, the deep-V hull boasts 100 percent composite construction and a one-piece, foam-injected stringer grid with integrated transom knee supports for high strength-to-weight ratio and maximum rigidity. The hull-deck joint is chemically sealed and bonded, stainless-steel fasteners every 6 inches add to the soundness and integrity, and all cleats, chocks and hinges have aluminum backing plates.

The wealth of attributes begins at the front with a through-hull breastplate and roller holding a 35-pound stainless anchor, and an anchor locker that hides a windlass and stores 600 feet of rode. Raised compartments afford 59 quarts of dry-storage on both sides of the bow, and, a step aft, a cavernous 824-quart chamber stows fenders, buckets and other large items below deck. For safety, recessed handrails stretch along both covering boards, from the bow to the helm, and coaming bolsters border the top of the gunwales and transom.

There are flush-mounted holders for eight rods, and horizontal racks cradle six more. Large in-floor fish boxes, a telltale sign of a hardcore offshore fishing machine, parallel the gunwales — two 455-quart boxes at midship and two 511-quart boxes (with macerators and overboard discharge) in the cockpit, their dimensions well-suited for icing down trophy-size pelagics. Strategically located on the transom corners, identical 50-gallon livewells with blue interiors, clear lids, and steady water flow from a four-pump sea-chest setup are further evidence that input from experienced anglers played a major role…

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