Remember Mako, the legendary boat builder that used to dominate the center console market? Well, after a somewhat lengthy period of allowing their canyon-capable lineup to go sort of stale—concentrating on smaller fishing boats instead—last year the builder began to blow loose the offshore cobwebs. It introduced the 334 CC, an extremely capable angling machine that was well-received by many. It gave us proof that Mako has no intention of drifting into irrelevancy when it comes to producing serious offshore boats designed to go after the big ones. And this year Mako went thermonuclear. It launched the 414 CC—the largest boat built in the company’s 50-year history—a fishing machine we just had to take a peek at.
Now, truth be told, most any builder can simply pile on the length overall, slap a quadruple rack of outboards on the transom, and call it a day. What we really wanted to know was if Mako had produced a boat that can compete against the highly populated space of 40-foot plus offshore center console fishing boats.
The 414 CC is a boat of firsts for Mako. Notable among those firsts is that the 414 CC has quadruple outboard power. That’s a potent dose of supercharged Mercury Verado 350 four-stroke outboards bolted to the stern, producing a total of 1,400 ponies. Mash the throttles down and the Verados push this 19,000-pound rig to 30 MPH in eight seconds flat. While there are boats rigged with the same horsepower in this segment that are faster off the mark—the Regulator 41 makes it to 30 MPH in 6.34 seconds and the Everglades 435cc does the deed in 7.13 seconds—the 414 CC feels plenty snappy.
The 414 CC does have a competitive top-end, too, topping just over 60 MPH at wide-open throttle. For comparison purposes, the Regulator maxes out at 63.5 MPH while the Everglades hits the ceiling at 60.2 MPH, both with quad Yamaha F350 outboards. If you’re feeling a sick need for speed you can also opt up to 1,600 horsepower, the 414 CC’s maximum power rating. That would mean using a quartet of Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboards. Though top-end is always the figure folks are interested in for the sake of bragging, fuel-conscious canyon cruisers will want to throttle the Mako 414 CC to around 35 MPH, which nets a range of around 360 miles with the 464-gallon main fuel tank and two 51-gallon auxiliaries.
Important to that canyon-cruising ride offshore is the 414 CC’s hull. The Mako 414 CC rides on a deep-vee bottom with a sharp entry and 24 degrees of transom deadrise. This should equate to a pleasant offshore ride, even if things get dicey between you and home while you’re out chunking for tuna. The 414 CC is put together using advanced composites. The transom is built with multiple layers of multi-directional fiberglass cloth laid over Coosa board to handle all the horsepower strapped on it, while a foam-filled, single-piece stringer grid enhances hull strength. The hull-to-deck joint is bonded both chemically and mechanically, using the latest in marine adhesives and through-bolted stainless-steel fasteners. The result is a hull and deck that work together as a single piece and that felt incredibly sturdy as we moved around on deck. A two-tone hull/deck is a $6,500 option in case the standard off-white is not to your liking.
Another first is obviously the 414 CC’s size, and that means there’s plenty of space inside the gunwales to get creative with the layout—both for fishability and comfort. One of the comfort features is a galley module that’s set aft of the helm seating, pushing aft into the cockpit. It has a Corian countertop, sink with freshwater mixer, two-burner Kenyon electric stovetop, and Dometic refrigeration tucked under the leaning post/helm seating. Under the galley counter is a bevy of tackle stowage drawers. But many anglers are also going to want to use this area for rigging baits, and it’s a bit fancy for skewering ballyhoo. Fortunately the Mako rep on-site told us that this area is also available in a rigging station version. And for serious anglers, one of this boats’ strengths is the fact that Mako put more emphasis on keeping the boat fishable than on making it a luxury-centric center console yacht—one of the down-sides to many giant CC’s that are fancied-up at the cost of fishability.
Sit-down meals that emanate from that galley are handled by a convertible chaise lounge seating scheme in the bow that’s set around a drop-in table. Though many boats this type and size have tables that rise and lower at the press of a button, the drop-in one Mako used here is sturdy and wobble-free. There’s a large, forward-facing, two-person lounge set ahead of the center console unit with an easily accessed 275-quart integral, insulated cooler beneath it. Simply lift up the seat and twin stainless-steel gas-assist struts do the heavy lifting. Additional seating is scattered about the perimeter of the deck with three flip-out benches at the transom and twin port and starboard flip-out benches abreast the galley station. All stow flush when not in use.
Under the center console is a mini-cabin with a head, sink, and access to various mechanical systems and control panels. It’s not as large nor as luxurious as many boats in this size range offer—remember, Mako prioritizes fishing over fluff in the 414 CC—but folks with an eye toward occasional overnighting will appreciate the sleeping area and we imagine most anglers will find it useful for rod and tackle stowage. Something to look for in every center console rigged with a head, regardless of size, is at least one opening port for fresh-air ventilation. The 414 CC has two of them. Rounding out the accoutrements that will keep you comfy, we like the shade that sprouts aft from the hardtop to provide sun protection over the cockpit—an area where anglers can really get their noggins cooked when the sun is beating down with a vengeance.
A common complaint among anglers is that even large center console boats can be severely lacking in the fish stowage department. If you do any tuna fishing you know the struggle is real. But not on the 414 CC. There are twin 511-quart macerated and insulated port and starboard in-deck fish lockers in the aft cockpit, an 824-quart insulated in-deck fish locker with drain in the bow, and a set of 455-quart insulated fish lockers amidships. The integral, insulated 275-quart cooler under the forward center console seat can also be used to keep your catch fresh and cool.
In addition to fish stowage, there are plenty of other piscatorial perks aboard. Anglers who rely on live bait need look no further than the transom, where Mako has fitted two beautifully crafted and rather enormous 50-gallon rounded live wells. We laid our eyes on plenty of in-deck and under-gunwale rod stowage, though there’s an obvious lack of it on the hard top and its supporting pipework. Part of the reason is that aforementioned aft cockpit sunshade that pulls out of the hard top, but there should be some sort of accommodation for rods in the pipework.
More fishing perks: there’s room at the helm for two 15-inch Garmin GSD 25 multifunction displays that can be set to monitor fish-finding, chartplotter, and even engine performance functions; cleats are hidden under the gunwale and metal railing is tucked flush to provide a virtually tangle-free deck; and an aft tuna/diver door makes getting up close and personal with your larger catches easy. All things considered, fishing aboard the 414 CC should be a real treat.
Infinitely comfortable and fishable, one of the best things about the Mako 414 CC is its $479,995 starting price. Sure, it’s easy enough to option the 414 CC up into the high $500,000 range, but that’s still a significant savings when you line it up against competitive models. Just think of all the bait you’ll buy with the savings.
Other Choices: Folks mulling over the offshore center console boats in this space should also take a look at the Everglades 435 or the Hydra-Sports 4200 Siesta.
For more information, visit Mako Boats.
See Mako 414 CC listings.
|Fuel capacity||566 gal.|
|Water capacity||50 gal.|
|Test conditions: 10 MPH winds, two POB, two-thirds fuel. Performance data courtesy of Mercury Marine.|
|Power||Quadruple Mercury Verado 350 HP four-stroke outboards, swinging four-bladed stainless-steel props.|