Canyon Runner a Potent Offshore Rig
  |  First Published: September 2007

Some impressive rigs are coming out of Mako Craft’s Gold Coast Factory. With three models (530, 560 and 610) to choose from the Canyon Runner will have just as much appeal to a family angler as the dedicated offshore or bay angler.

Based on the same hull as their 610 Trophy Console rig the 610 Canyon Runner takes levels of appointments and fittings to a higher level in that there are twin bunks, a bimini atop the five-piece windscreen over a sleek cuddy cab plus lots of other goodies.

Up front, a port-opening hatch allows access to the carpet-lined anchor well and a neat bowsprit with roller serves to keep the pick off the paint. Anchor tending is via the large cabin hatch, or via a recess in the fore deck ahead of the screen's opening section. Either way it's quite easy to reach the anchor while standing on the cabin's carpeted floor. A split bow rail is standard too.

The cabin is set up with a pair of bunks with storage boxes below. The bunks are well padded and the carpet lining on their exterior and storage box lids adds a nice touch. At around 2m long the bunks are certainly large enough to have a snooze on or to just sit on if the weather turns nasty. I found the leg and headroom to be adequate and access is as easy as slipping straight in between the driver’s and passenger seats on their storage boxes.

As I saw it, the cabin set up must be one of the strengths of this craft. There would be times, without doubt, when a fair amount of fishing gear needs to be carried (especially when heading offshore) and if the weather radar shows showers off the coast it would be a very easy matter to lift the cushions off the bunks and leave them home for the day so that the cabin can be fully utilized for dry storage space.

The skipper and mate are provided with very comfortable pedestal seats with the skipper's having slide adjustment to obtain the best driving position. The mate is offered a grab rail atop the neat glove box set-up with a handy storage shelf by the left elbow.

The skipper won't find the slightest problem with visibility when driving as the seat is high enough to offer plenty of visibility over the 5-piece windscreen. A set of clears fits between the rig's bimini top and windscreen and a zip opens the central section offering bonus visibility plus some air to keep things cool on a hot summer's day.

The neat dash area ahead of the skipper is set up with wheel central Smartcraft gauges to monitor the craft’s 175 Verado set out above the wheel, with ignition and further switches on the starboard. In all, the forward seating layout is fairly well protected from the weather and should provide plenty of comfort for both summer and winter fishing. A large floor hatch is located between the skipper and passenger's seat boxes and was easily accessed for gear storage.

The seat boxes were fairly open affairs with their design making them ideal for storage of gear that needs to be kept handy such as PFDs, the craft's EPIRB and the like. The rear extension of these boxes would also be handy to stand on when reaching up to retrieve a rod from one of the eight rod holders on the rear of the bimini’s frame.

No further seating was provided in the test rig, although a rear-folding bench is certainly an option.

The 610 Canyon Runner’s cockpit featured carpet and 900mm high gunwales for plenty of security and comfort. Long side pockets were standard, as were four rod holders, aft quarter grab rails and a pair of plumbed live wells set into each corner of the transom. A Bermuda bait board with a further pair of rod holders was set up centrally over the transom.

Aft of the full height transom a pair of non skid boarding areas (with hand rails) were set up on the engine platform with a telescopic ladder to make easy entry after a swim or dive. The entire transom, same as the rest of the craft, was a very cleanly laid out affair showing plenty of attention to detail and a high standard of finish.

175 Mariner Verado Delivers the Goods

Anyone who likes power will love this set up. The silky smooth and very quiet Verado had impressive power from start to finish. Being supercharged meant that the slightest touch of the super slick throttle lever (one of the smoothest I've experienced) saw the Verado providing instant power at any given rev setting. Planing was at 19.6km/h at 2,600rpm. At 3,000rpm the engine was humming with the GPS indicating a speed of 32.7km/h. 4,000rpm saw 51.4km/h, 5,000rpm saw 63.3km/h while 6,000rpm saw 83.8km/h. The best part was that there was always power on tap. At 5,500rpm if the throttle was pushed forward the craft leaped away as if the engine was operating at mid range revs.

And yet, as powerful as the engine was I found the rig to be perfectly balanced at all times. True, the 175 was a little above the maximum recommended power of 150hp and while I don't normally get too enthusiastic about engines being fitted that are above the recommended rating I saw no problem with the Verado 175. While it had a lot of power it was at all times very predictable and quite tractable.

There was no question that the 610 Canyon Runner’s hull rode and handled very well. Thanks to a smart design incorporating a fine bow section widening to a 2.4m beam with big reversed chines the boats was stable even when throwing the 13 degree Vee hull into sharp figure of eight turns. If anything, it was a lot fun. Any angler who regularly fishes off shore will readily comprehend the significance of having plenty of power on tap but it's not much use if the rig won't handle it.

The ride was also very good with the hull ironing out impact from chop or a little wave jumping with minimal impact. At some 630kg dry weight the Canyon Runner's hull has the ability to ride in the water to some extent rather than right on top thus delivering a much smoother ride when compared to significantly lighter alloy craft.

All up…

The Mako Craft 610 Canyon Runner and 175 Mariner Verado was a well performing package suited to either pleasure boating or serious fishing. While the rig is rated to carry up to six people, I can see four or five fishing with ease. The finish on the plate alloy hull was very good with welds neatly smoothed, good quality joinery and ample features to please the serious angler. At around the $54,000 asking price the rig is value for money.

Karee Marine supplied the Mako Craft Canyon Runner: contact phone number is (07) 3875 1633 or visit --e-mail address hidden--


Deadrise13 degrees
Hull thicknessBottom: 4mm plate

Sides: 3mm plate

EnginesFrom 115-150hp
Engine fitted175 Mariner Verado
Reads: 2613

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