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March 03, 2011

Mako 284 CC

The redesigned Mako 284 CC comes with the family fisherman in mind.

It's hard to get on a Mako boat today and not think back to the glory days of the '70s and early '80s, when you were hard-pressed not to see a Mako at a marina. But it's important to remember that there were few other brands with a full product line from 17 to 28 feet and a top-shelf dealer system, plus few companies were as focused on fishing.

Mako's new 284 center console is a breath of fresh air for the company. Built on a nice-riding hull surface and utilizing some proven, advanced boatbuilding components, the 284 is a respectable family fishing boat. Boats like this often get lost in the maze of center console offerings, but the 284 can hold its own when a competitive analysis of similar boats is performed.

We tested the boat on a cool early winter day out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a 10 mph easterly breeze and a two-to three-foot chop - great for a good run to check out the boat. As I eased the boat on plane out Port Everglades Inlet and turned a course to run up the beach looking for bait, I was pleasantly surprised by the hull's handling of the slop. It was very consistent, not hard or loud on entry, and dry, thankfully, as I had forgotten my foul-weather gear.

I love to really drive boats, and I liked the responsiveness of the 284, with its twin 250 hp Mercury Verado engines and agility when reacting to my adjustments to the wheel - we lifted up and over waves and rode down the backside with no banging or massive amounts of water flying skyward. Even turning into the seas, the 284 hull did a fine job. It drifted beautifully for a nice kite spread or a fluke drift over a favorite piece of bottom. It slipped easily through the water for a slow troll and didn't sneeze any spray in front of the boat when we sped up to troll a bit faster.

The 284 CC has its share of innovative features, including a nice complement of standards and some very useful factory options to make your 284 a bit more suited your personal needs. On the foredeck I found line chocks and a single 10-inch cleat, as well as deck-mounted USCG-compliant navigation lights and a brushed anodized aluminum bow rail that trails back along the sides of the forward cockpit. The anchor locker, under the foredeck, is accessed through a louvered door and features a hard mounting point for the ground tackle to keep it from banging around in the locker.

Two forward seats lie port and starboard, with 214 quarts of storage underneath. Along the centerline is a cavernous 470-quart storage bin in the forward cockpit sole. Aft, a 36-quart drink cooler in the console forward seat keeps beverages handy, and two cup holders rest beside the cushioned upholstery. There is a starboard-side gasketed, lockable walk-in door to the console with an oval porthole. Inside the finished console, there are 75 inches of headroom and a freshwater sink, plus good access on the back bulkhead to the battery bank and backside of the electronics dash. An optional electric head with holding tank is available.