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Author Topic:   Defective Mako Hulls
garylb posted 06-15-2004 03:47 PM ET (US)   Profile for garylb   Send Email to garylb  
Last week five friends were 20 miles off shore in very calm weather when a three foot section of the 28-foot Mako hull somehow tore open; the boat quickly filled with water and rolled over. A Coast Guard chopper picked the five men up within an hour. I was told that several years ago Mako used defective materials and this problem occured more than once. Since another friend is in the process of repowering an older Mako hull I am requesting any information on this problem.
UnderDog posted 06-15-2004 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for UnderDog  Send Email to UnderDog     
Hello Gary, sorry to hear about your friends boat. I am glad that they were rescued. but you came on a site all about Boston Whalers to ask a question about a different manufacturer. Seems like you are asking to get flamed. But that being said if you want to be safe stay on dry land or stay on a Boston Whaler. Most people on this site will say the same thing. giving the choice of a brand new Mako or a 20 year old Boston Whaler both of the same size both with the same outboard {new} most people on this site would always take the Whaler...... Why? you ask.... Safety, cut a Whaler in half and you still can get home safely.

Just my opinion


ryanwhaler posted 06-15-2004 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for ryanwhaler  Send Email to ryanwhaler     
I suggest going over the to ask this question.
17 bodega posted 06-15-2004 04:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     

TampaTom posted 06-15-2004 04:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for TampaTom  Send Email to TampaTom     
Suggest you check

The company was sold by the founder (or his son) in 1992. Bad quality followed.

striper swiper posted 06-15-2004 08:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for striper swiper    
In the early 80"s I owned a 21mako,nice boat smoothe ride,lots of storage,but the deck had a crack in it.mako said it would repair it free but I sold it. You dont see many old makos ;they always seem beat up I dont know from over use or poor quality.Striper.
Liteamorn posted 06-16-2004 05:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
I owned a 1978 19" Mako,that boat was made of concrete I saw it on the water last year. I understand (but can not substantiate it) that Mako's quality suffered for a while. When I moved down this year I looked at Mako's also . I own a Whaler.
I had that Mako out in 35 mph winds and pounded the crap out of her she never let me down.
tombro posted 06-16-2004 07:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
I owned two mid-80's Makos that were rock solid. Loved those boats, and ran them very hard offshore. Funny thing was that at last years NYC Boat Show, I walked right past the Mako display on my way to the Whalers and never even looked at them. Felt funny, like I was a traitor or something.
jimithing posted 06-16-2004 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimithing  Send Email to jimithing     
1975 Mako 22....

State of the art at the time....just sold her last year...

Except for some rot in a the plate covering the gas tank she was excellent isn every measure...a great skinny water boat...would beat you silly in a chop.....but still could take more that you could....

IMOP, the 70's era Mako's were battlewagons, well built, although some of the hardware could have been better.

too bad they never garnered the kind of following whaler of the reasons I sold her was because the classic Mako site was si unhelpful....had it been more like this site I may have kept her.

RingLeader posted 06-16-2004 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for RingLeader  Send Email to RingLeader     
Alot of things could have gone wrong with that Mako hull, but it goes down in my mind as a freak occurence. You don't hear of many boats, especially Classic Mako boats, having catastrophic hull failure.

Its obvious that having a plan and being prepared to put it into action made the whole thing easier and safer.

I wouldn't write the brand off just from one accident. Two luhrs and a Welcraft went went down one season, but I hardly think that those brands are the worst you can get. It would be nice to know what exactly was the cause. Obviosly catastrophic failure somewhere in the hull, but it had to be caused by something. Could be a number of things. The boat could have been stored/trailered on a poorly set up trailer. It could have had an accident or injury that nobody knew about or felt at the time and it propagated. A marina forklift may have caused an injury. Could have been a manufactureing defect that left a hard spot in the hull bottom. It could have been a rotten or delaminated stringer or bulkhead. Its tough to say. There is a possibility that this was something that had been there for a while and was overlooked or missed or not even seen at all in any inspection by the owner. If there was bottom paint, a growing problem would be alot less obvious.

Don't write off any brand till you know the facts. In this situation. We may never know any facts. Something like this is a freak occurance. It could happen to a Contender, Seacraft, Mako... the list goes on.

I grew up fishing in a 1978 Whaler Revenge 21. Great boat. A real classic. My dad still has her and she is in great condition. Shes a fine bay and shallow water boat, but when it comes to the ocean she'll knock the fillings out of your teeth.. When I got older I bought my first boat which was a 1985 Mako 21. This boat was the inspiration that started the little webpage now called I'll be adding a link to you guys on our webpage. Feel free to come over and visit anytime. We'll do the same.

Ed ---

17 bodega posted 06-17-2004 12:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
Thanks for the post, Ed.

It's nice to see folks from the other "camp" drop in for some chat. I was close to buying the 17 Mako that Guenter has for sale before I decided on the whaler. I sought out some info on the classicmako site and they were helpful, and actually informed me about the total foam sandwich construction of the whaler. I am still very green about fishing boats, but have learned much from sites like this and yours. We all have the same thing in common; get out on the water and fish and have some fun.

Thanks also to Jimh for hosting this forum as well enforcing poor internet grammar, which, I am very guilty of!


BIGSTICK posted 06-17-2004 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for BIGSTICK  Send Email to BIGSTICK     
Speaking of catastrophic hull failure. My neighbors 53' Hatteras started coming apart at the water line last year. De-laminated. He was able to get back to port w/o too much trouble. He moved fuel around and used the trim tabs to keep the hole above the water. Nerve racking, I helped him bring it from the Yucatan back to Galveston a few years back. Glad it happen after the Mexico trip.
bsmotril posted 06-17-2004 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I guess it depends on your locale. On the TX coast, old Makos sell for a premium. There's a lot of 70s and 80s Mako hulls running round here, some with very nice total restorations. They may look beat, but that is because many are used by guides and go offshore every day weather permitting. There was a period of time where the company ownership was in transisition and where the quality was questionable. But even then, I never heard anything to the extent of hull failures you mention. The only used small boat hulls on the TX Gulf that carry a higher premium than old Makos are old whalers and Bertrams. BillS
drumbeater posted 06-17-2004 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for drumbeater  Send Email to drumbeater     
I heard a guy tell me a story about his Mako having a peice of the hull delaminate. A section about 1' x the length of the hull came loose. I was dragging behind the boat all the way home. It made it very difficult to steer, and any amount of speed was out of the question.


devildog posted 06-17-2004 11:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for devildog  Send Email to devildog     
One of my suppliers bought a new Mako in 2000 or 2001. He's had major problems trying to get the dealer or Mako to take responsibility for his delaminated hull. When he told me the story about two months ago he was to the point of legal action.


Chap posted 06-18-2004 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     

Love the 80's 224 hull, loved the Outrage 22 better. Buddy has a 224 with a Yamaha 200 HPDI pushing 7000 hrs currently, tech corroborated, sweet.

Didn't Mako's change in ownership occur in the late 80's and Mako phased out their expert Cuban glassmen?


hooter posted 06-18-2004 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
Ah've come close to pickin' up Mako hulls sev'ral times over the years but always came back to a Whaler before the money burned a hole in mah pocket. As both manufacturers' hulls have aged over time, it seems the Whalers have held up a li'l bit, a smidgeon (that's the scientific term), better than the Makoes, but both will restore nicely. One of mah favorite hulls on the water, for the kind of fishin' mah crew likes to do, is Mako's 25' center console from the 1980s. Properly powered, they're hard to argue with, especially in heavy water, three to five foot conditions. They weigh a friggin' ton, which accounts for a very stable platform in water that can make rig fishin' in a 25' Whaler a li'l bit, a smidgeon, uncomfortable. But at the end o' the day, Ah like the safety, the lines and lighter weight of mah Whalers. From close observation of plenty Mako owners, however, Ah can predict you can be very, very happy with a Mako. Just don't make the mistake most common to Mako owners and under-power your rig. Compared to any Whaler of same length, every Mako is a heavy beast. Put all the power you can afford on the back, stickin' to the maximum rated for the hull if at all possible. That will ensure you the most enjoyment possible out there. And there ain't none of us goin' out the driveway with our boat behind the truck yellin' to the wife there at the back door in her houseshoes, "Honey, Ah'm goin' out to save money and economize today. Wish me luck!":-!
nine rock posted 09-25-2007 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for nine rock  Send Email to nine rock     
i hate to wake a sleeping dog but after reading these posts some of them are way off base .i have read 1000,s of posts and this is the first i have heard of . next the real fact of the matter is the level flotation verses positive flotation. is way overrated if you factor in capsizing it is a 100 times more likely than sinking. and obviously the heavier boat aka Mako is harder to capsize. but either one is highly unlikely more likely to die in a plane a far as the USCG the DNR and marine police all using BW this is based on gov incentive contracts . don't tell me Chrysler is the best made car and they led in these same type contracts for years. it all based on the mighty dollar.all this being said . if you want a boat that wont sink when its capsized buy a whaler . if you want to go offshore and not loose your teeth buy a mako
towboatmako posted 10-21-2007 06:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboatmako  Send Email to towboatmako     
I am a marine surveyor and USCG licensed Captain. I also worked for Tracker Marine in 2004. If you own an old Mako, you got yourself one helluva boat. If you own a new Mako, you got the bait and switch.
highspeed_jd posted 10-21-2007 07:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for highspeed_jd  Send Email to highspeed_jd     
"If you want to go offshore and not loose your teeth buy a Mako."

Its easier to go out and buy dentures than it is to come back from the dead.

maverick posted 10-21-2007 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
My dad owned a marina in Port Clinton, Ohio from's where I grew, and Lake Erie can be very tough, very dangerous.

After being a a couple of wooden boats that made me nearly swim for it (not Makos, obviously), was that there can be no substitute for confidence on the water when the only thing standing between you and your family and port is the integrity of your craft. That said, my boats have since been Whalers. This sums it up nicely: SAFETY, UTILITY, RESALE = Whaler. I personally like Makos, but I have spent my money on the Unsinkable Legend (7 times now). Looking to buy a 22...up from the 18 Outrage which is also fine.

Dan posted 10-21-2007 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
Quote of the month just in time for Halloween: "Its easier to go out and buy dentures than it is to come back from the dead."
MWH posted 10-21-2007 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for MWH  Send Email to MWH     
"Last week five friends were 20 miles off shore in very calm weather when a three foot section of the 28-foot Mako hull somehow tore open; the boat quickly filled with water and rolled over. A Coast Guard chopper picked the five men up within an hour. I was told that several years ago Mako used defective materials and this problem occured more than once. Since another friend is in the process of repowering an older Mako hull I am requesting any information on this problem." - garylb

Its obviously the Mako 282 which was defective and has been documented as such. Congress and Boat US got involved. They no longer manufacture the boat. Hopefully Jimh won't delete or edit, here is a link to the information. After Tracker Marine purchased Mako and SeaCraft the quality went out the window.

sweetrevenge posted 10-25-2007 08:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for sweetrevenge  Send Email to sweetrevenge     
Hi Chap... Yes they did change hands. Mako was bought by Johnny Morris "Bass Pro Shops" He also owns Sea Craft.. I have a friend who was a Mako salesmen.. he had one of his customers walk up to him in Outdoor World (Bass Pro Shop) in Fort Lauderdale and hand him a very large piece of gelcoat! that sank and floated past him to the bottom when he was diving down in the Florida keys. He was very upset and very loud, the boat was only a month old. My friend was also very upset and quit his job there.. As far as Boston whaler's go I've told this true story before... I was at Lauderdale Marina about ten years ago, when they had a 25' Outrage there that had been broadsided by a frighter. The two men that were on the whaler had been swordfishing late at night and had their backs to the frighter that was bearing down on them.. at the last minute the herd the breaking water off its bow and the rumbling engines, and had just enough time to dive overboard! The frighter struck the Whaler so hard amidships that the impact sheared both motors off the transom. The Whaler was knocked clear of the ship which never slowed or stoped.. The fishermen who did not have enough time to put on their lifejackets, swam back to their battered but STILL FLOATING BOSTON WHALER! even though half the side of the boat was missing and there was foam floating everywhere.. They managed to hook up the VHF radio and call the Coast Guard. They sat there on their battered Whaler and waited till they arrived.
If they had been on any other boat than a BOSTON WHALER they would have been just an other sitistic, Lost at sea, Devils triangle bullshit. They owe ther lives to the best boats built. Boston Whaler.
Binkie posted 10-25-2007 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
That scenario with the freighter is hard to picture.


sweetrevenge posted 10-26-2007 11:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for sweetrevenge  Send Email to sweetrevenge     
Hi Rich.. Its true... the boat was at the Whaler dealer here in Ft. Lauderdale for quite a while.. I have a picture of it somewhere.. If I find it I will scan and post I said this happened over 10 years ago.

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