THIS is the first time we’ve done a boat test with Logan River Marine, and also the first time we’ve reviewed a Mako Craft. Logan River Marine has been around for a few decades, but in the last 12 months it’s been under new management and the boys are keen to get out there and promote the business.
With any boatyard it’s nice to have something a little different from the norm, and the Mako Craft is just that. There are two models the centre console range – the 6.1m and 6.4m versions. Centre consoles this size are aimed at serious bluewater anglers, who like boats which are not only capable of taking them into the blue yonder in search of those elusive big ones, but a boat which has plenty of room to move around and fish in.
You won’t find a stronger advocate than myself when it comes to praising the benefits of a centre console as a fishing boat. You have the entire boat to fish around, which not only makes it practical when fishing a few anglers, but it is so easy to fish when casting lures at surface feeding pelagics.
There is often only seconds to get in a key position to pelt out that lure as the fish erupt on the surface. If you have to work around objects in the boat and can’t make that perfect cast, you’ve often missed your chance. If there’s one thing the 6.4m Mako Craft centre console has, it’s open space.
The Mako Craft is made from plate alloy with a 5mm bottom and transom and 3mm sides. In the water you might just think it’s another plate boat, but below the water line there are a few design features that make it a little different from the rest.
The most obvious is the track rails that run along the hull between the centre keel and the outer chine. The main objective of these is to aid in the directional ability of the hull and, to a smaller extent, the stability of the boat.
Look closely at the transom and you’ll spot a couple of two inch round holes either side of the centre line. When the boat is at rest these fill a 300lt water chamber along the centre keel, which provides ballast to improve the stability of the boat at rest.
We headed offshore through the Gold Coast Seaway and the boat offered a high degree of stability and we could move pretty well everywhere around the boat with no problems.
I thought the boat would be a little slow to get up onto the plane with all that extra water in the hull, but we had no trouble getting underway with the 150hp Evinrude FICHT outboard. Once up and running, the water drained out quickly – although I couldn’t pick when it was completely drained.
The weight of the water perhaps helped maintain a level ride as we powered away. Three hundred litres of sea water weighs around 300kg, and weight up front in a centre console is always helpful as there usually isn’t much else up there.
The deck is fully sealed from the hull so no water from the deck gets into the hull nor does any water from below deck, including that separate water chamber, find its way elsewhere. Water that does end up on the deck drains out through the rear scuppers.
The 150hp fuel-injected Evinrude FICHT outboard pushed the test boat along with a top speed of 50mph, while the motor remained quiet running with no fumy fuel or oil smell.
As the engine doesn’t have to be worked hard to achieve a reasonable speed, the boat is a very economical platform to run around chasing fish from. The boat only has a 140lt fuel tank, which isn’t particularly big for a boat of this size, so the extra fuel economy of the engine is almost essential if you are going to do long range work. Alternatively a larger or second tank would be a good idea.
There’s not a lot to say about the layout of a centre console boat. The main unit is the console itself and in this case the unit offers protection for two to sit or stand behind it.
The big seat box is the largest dry storage area and can be used as a fish box. There’s another seat box in front of the centre console which offers the same.
The shade top on this particular rig does give good protection from the sun and still offers the opportunity to walk right around the console without having to go around support straps. The canopy has been made so that it can be removed easily to reduce wind resistance while towing on longer trips.
I was surprised to find no side pockets in the boat, which would have provided a lot more with storage area. In place of the side pockets, brackets were fitted which hold gaffs, tag poles etc. Personally, I prefer side pockets, in which all manner of items can be stowed.
The concept of a big, open fishing boat is great and the hull appears to handle the open water and rough quite well. There is plenty of scope to option the boat how you’d like, and there’s no doubt the base price of just under $35,000 makes this rig interesting to a lot of fishos.
The boat as we tested it with the FICHT engine, trailer, bimini top, deck wash, live bait tanks, fish finder and safety gear runs in at $45,000 – which isn’t bad either.
Make model - Mako Craft 6.4m centre console
Length – 6.4m
Beam – 2.45m
Weight – 730kg hull only
Fuel – 140lt underfloor
Construction – plate alloy
Bottom – 5mm
Sides – 3mm
Max hp – 175hp
1) The big centre console rides along nice and level, lifting to the plane smartly.
2) If you like a truckload of room in an open boat, then the 6.4m Mako Craft has it.
3) The 150hp Evinrude FICHT outboard has plenty of grunt and in a fishing boat anglers can enjoy speed, power and economy.
4) No shortage of room up forward.
5) Storage shelves across the transom accommodate essentials.
6) Having somewhere to sit in an open boat is always handy. In this case the seat doubles as a storage area or a fish box.
7) The concept of a centre chamber that fills with water while at rest, for stability, is an interesting one.Reads: 1231