Boat Reviews

Mako 414 CC – The Biggest, Baddest Mako Ever

The Mako 414 CC is not only the largest center console fishing boat ever built by Mako Marine, but it might also just be the best.

Mako boats have been in production since way back in 1967, and while today their smaller offerings like the Pro Skiff 190 CC may be their most popular, it’s the monster-sized 414 CC that will really turn heads. Why is it so spectacular, among today’s large fleet of center console yachts? Because this is no fru-fru cushy-comfy wannabe fishboat – it’s the real deal for die-hard anglers.

Halleluiah, people, it’s a monster-mega center console that still prioritizes fishing, period.

We’re going to stipulate right up front that what we’re talking about is the 414 CC Sportfish Edition, most certainly not the Family Edition that some marketing guy told the fish-heads they had to build. And make no mistake about it, the guys who designed the 414 CC are in fact fish-heads. We met them at the Miami International Boat Show when the boat was initially introduced (the Sportfishing Edition came first, thank goodness) and their intent to build a serious predatorial fish-killing machine was clear.

So, how did they set the Mako apart from the field? Start by looking at the console cabin. Many 40-plus-foot center consoles have a huge, blown-out cabin with all the perks and niceties of a cruiser, often including staterooms, multiple berths, a galley, and settees. That stuff is great for relaxing, but you pay for it in the loss of deck space and pass-through room along the sidedecks. That’s not a problem, in this case. The console cabin is a fairly simple, svelte affair with a head and a berth large enough for a couple of lazy crewmembers to crash out on overnighters between sword bites. Net result? You have room to slide from the cockpit to the bow while harnessed into a bent-butt, and the fishboxes running alongside the console are large enough to contain whatever the heck was attached to that bent-butt almost without exception.

Keeping the console svelte is a key feature in making fishing job number-one.

Speaking of fishboxes: in addition to the two flanking the console, there’s a pair in the cockpit sole. Add them all up, and you have a grand total of 483 gallons of fish-stowing capacity. You say even that isn’t enough, for a high-liner like you? Okay smarty, then add in another 68 gallons of capacity for the coffin box under the forward console lounge.

Other fishing perks run the gamut: a pair of 50-gallon livewells in the transom plus an 80-gallon well in the leaning post; oodles of built-in tackle drawers and stowage compartments in the post; a grand total of 20 flush-mount rodholders in the gunwales and transom; carbon fiber outriggers; chiller plates in the fishboxes (and A.C. in the cabin and helm); a full Garmin electronics suite based on a pair of 17-inch 8617 MFDs with GSD 25 CHIRP sounder modules; a bait-prep/storage center and cutting-board; 360-degree coaming bolsters; a sea chest system with baitwell pumps including a pair of 2,000-gph back-up pumps; and raw and freshwater washdowns.

You think the Mako guys meant business? Um… yeah!

Now, that’s what we call a good use of space – many builders would ruin this spot with an electric grill or a (shudder) wet-bar.

Two spots where we saw room for improvement: the Shadow-Caster underwater lights package includes four blue underwater lights. Do enough overnighting and you’ll come to realize that greenies attract more bait, and if we were going to drop $574,995 on this boat, we’d sure as heck want that green glow. Second, the half-tower and upper station are considered an option ($23,100). Yeah, we get that some people will have height restrictions, but we say you’re nuts if you get this boat without it.

Get this boat without the upper station? Forgeddaboudit!!

Another first for Mako with the 414CC: it’s their first and only model offered with quads. The standard power package is a quartet of Mercury Verado 350s, which will push this boat (lightly loaded) up to the 60-mph mark and provides a real-world cruise in the 40s even when loaded for bear. When we ran the 414 CC the seas were relatively tame, but we’re thinking this boat will leave the dock in most any sane conditions; the 24-degree deep-V hull design certainly wasn’t challenged by a bay chop, and the boat comes down in solid-as-a-rock fashion thanks to construction including a single-piece foam-filled stringer grid, a Coosa-cored transom, integrated transom knee supports, and a through-bolted and chemically-sealed hull-to-deck joint.

Wanna lay bets on who’s going to reach the canyons first?

Tech-heads will appreciate the boat’s digital switching system. It’s a CZone, which controls everything from lighting to the saddle tank’s transfer pumps (with manual bypass, of course). They may also want to upgrade those Garmins to 22-inchers (add $5,525), and perhaps add on the self-leveling trim tabs ($1,075).

Many old-time anglers will remember the Mako fishing boats of yester-year. The 17 and 19 were true classics in every sense of the word. Over time, will the 414 CC earn the same status? We can’t say, but we do know one inarguable fact: the biggest Mako ever built is still a serious fishboat. In a world of fru-fru glitz and glam center consoles, this one remains blood-and-guts beautiful.

For more information, visit Mako Boats.

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Lenny Rudow
Lenny Rudow …has been a writer and editor in the marine field for over two decades, and has authored seven books. He is currently the Angler in Chie...