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September 21, 2007

Mako 252

The 25-foot Mako center console has been around in one form or another since the mid-1970s, and is one of the most respected outboard boats on the water. The new 252 is the latest offering in that proud tradition, and includes some feratures not found in previous models.

First, it sports an integrated transom/engine bracket design which many people prefer, as it provides a sense of security in the form of an additional barrier to keep seas out. The boat has a transom gate to starboard for access to the engine platform, and there's an Armstrong ladder bracket attached to the transom itself for easy boarding from the water.

Console Features

There's a lighted 60-gallon live well on the centerline of the transom, and a bait-rigging tray to port that contains the oil and water fills, and the holding-tank outlet. The tray sits under a high-density polyethylene (StarBoard) lid. A bench seat for passengers can be folded out of the way when not in use. There's a knife-and-pliers rack to keep these tools handy, and to starboard there are both salt and fresh water washdown bibs. There are three rod racks per side beneath the gunwales. In the cockpit sole, twin fishboxes stretch fore and aft beneath the deck, and a transverse hatch just forward of the transom wall provides inner-hull access to the through-hull fittings, oil tanks, fuel filters, and the holding tank.

Our test boat came with a Mako factory-built rocket launcher/leaning post with four rod holders and room for a cooler below, and the console features a centered helm with Mako's proven, heavy-duty wraparound windshield. A wraparound surface for mounting electronics above the helm provides space for flush-mounting, and a centerline electronics box provides storage or room for additional electronics (that space held a Furuno FCV-667 color video sounder on our test boat).

Handy Head

The console has cockpit lighting on the side, but no passenger seating up front. An acrylic door to port leads down into the head compartment, where you'll also find the boat's battery switches and the storage bracket for the Armstrong ladder. Our test boat had the optional electric marine head and holding tank, but a porta-potty comes standard. The boat was finished off with a factory T-top that had four rod holders along the after edge.

Mako 252 specificationsTwo low-profile, welded-aluminum hand rails at the bow provide convenient hand-holds, yet stay out of the way when fighting fish or docking.The horseshoe-shaped, raised platform at the bow contains three dry-storage boxes for loose gear, and another in-deck storage box is located on the centerline. The latter box extends aft beneath the deck, and can hold either gear or fish. The anchor locker has a molded insert for hanging a Danforth-style anchor vertically, and you can order the boat with or without a bow pulpit.

Our test boat was powered by twin 200-hp Mercury Opti-Max outboards, even though the top recommended horsepower for the boat is listed as 300 in the specs. As you would expect, it was very fast with this power, cruising at 34.5 knots at 4000 rpm, and topping out at 46.3 knots at 5600. Our test day was calm, but the boat handled well, and its deep-vee, SeaTrac Suspension hull with 23 degrees of deadrise at the transom should knock down almost any seas.

The 252 comes with lots of standard features, including hydraulic trim tabs, hydraulic steering, salt water washdown, twin helm seats, and the aft bench seat. Options include two different leaning posts, a tilt helm, the electric marine head, the fresh water system, a bow pulpit, and a 110-volt battery charger with a shore-power cord.

The 252 center console will please Mako enthusiasts everywhere, and will win some converts, too. Like its predecessors, it offers a lot of practical fishing room, a great ride, and Mako's quality construction. Who could ask for more?

Mako Marine International, Miami, FL; (305) 685-6591.