About MAKO Boats
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Among a great number of other issues, the trim tabs ($750) have never worked. They were installed too low on transom, exerting a strong pressure forcing the bow down, particularly on the port side. The boat then always drives bow down with a considerable list to port. The resulting performance is hard steering, and a wet ride. This is most noticeable when riding with a following sea where the bow should be up. What happens is that the boat coasts down the face of the wave and then digs into the next wave, slowing the boat and causing a wild lurch to the side.
I complained the dealer, Scott’s Marine in Eufalla, Alabama many times with no corrective action. The Mako propaganda says that if the dealer is uncooperative the customer should contact Customer Relations at their home office. I wrote a respectful letter with photos, then followed with a phone call a few weeks later. Naturally they claimed they had not received my letter but they gave me an address where they would be sure to receive it. They managed to lose that letter too. On another follow up call, they gave up trying to appear helpful said my only recourse was to go the dealer. Knowing that Scott’s would be useless, I called Bass Pro. They said that I was on the work list and that they would call me when they could work me in their schedule. Five weeks have passed since then. I called many times, if I got a person, they put me off, if I left a message, they never returned the call.
In March 2016, I purchased a Mako 19' Skiff from Bass Pro Shops. This boat is designed for shallow water fishing, exactly what I have done for 23 years using my 18' McKee. I took my new boat out fishing that spring and noticed that I could drain a small amount of water from the hull after a fishing trip. I considered this not good, but I was anxious to use the boat and continued to do so. I got used to draining the water and forced myself to think this was some insignificant problem and used the boat thru 2019. I began to see more water draining from the hull. I was now getting 5 gallons on each 6 to 7 hour fishing trip. This fall (2019) I took it to Bass Pro Shop and they found a substantial crack in the hull. They had someone from Mako (I assume, it was Mako) review the hull to see if it was a warranty repair. It was DENIED. They claimed the hull was damaged.
There are some scratches on the hull and along the edges where the side walls meet the hull, there are places where the gel coat is so thin that it chipped off the edges. I believe this happened loading the boat on the trailer or some other scrapping of the boat at some rickety dock. Ugly, yes. Integrity damaging, no. I am 76 years old. I do not mistreat my boats. This boat has drifted onto shell reefs and gotten stuck on muck, but it has never hit anything substantial. I have used my boat as designed in shallow, salty waters. My McKee was used for 23 years in these same waters.The Gel coat was scratched down to the fiberglass in several areas, but no leaks. I know, I know. Maybe I should have kept my McKee. But I didn't. This Mako has everything I really wanted in a small boat. It will easily fish with 3 people. It is just plain perfect. Almost.
The fact that both bow and aft casting decks developed stress cracks in them in the 1st year of use is disappointing, but the CRACKED HULL problem is serious. It seems that Mako's lifetime hull warranty only applies if the boat is never used. I will attempt to ask for a review of their decision. And should they resolve this matter to my satisfaction. I will return to this site and make a notification that Mako has honored their warranty. Blue skies and calm seas. Tim ** Your review may not be published if it has profanity, threats or personal insults. Review guidelines. I certify that this review the with the cracked hull is.
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I own a fully loaded 2014 LTS. This boat did everything I expected it to do. All systems worked well, live well, electronics, handling, room for the family to have a great day on the water. We never have any issues with power. Minn Kota 101 lb salt water 36v troller with foot pedal and remote, and to top it off.... Mercury 225 Pro XS (WHAT A BEAST). I noticed some soldering on the top gel coat, I wasn't worried and thought it was normal wear and tear. One day this past May, the first day my adult kids were home from college, we took the boat out to a nearby lake to fish. We spent the entire day on the water and finally decided to head home to get dinner ready before the boss got off work.
We were scooting along the lake at approximately 5k RPMs. All of a sudden, the boat jerked and made a hard 90 degree turn to the right. It was so hard, my hands came off the wheel, and I flew towards the side heading for the water. I saw my daughter fly from her seated spot in front of the console heading the same direction. Thank God my son has the strength of Hercules (collegiate o lineman). He grabbed me with lightning fast hands, and I grabbed her. He held onto the grab rail and we all stayed inside unhurt and dry. We inspected the boat when it stopped and I even got into the water to see the motor, and prop. Everything appeared normal. It wasn't until we got it on the trailer that we saw a massive section of gel coat missing. We knew we didn't hit anything submerged because we were in the middle of the lake.
I called my insurance company, GEICO, and they immediately sent an adjuster. The adjuster looked at the boat and made a call. He said they will send out a marine surveyor because it was beyond his expertise. The next day, a surveyor inspected the boat after I dropped it off at the Fiberglass repair center. The surveyor and owner of the center looked at the boat. Combined these men have over 50 years of experience. They are highly qualified and very well respected in their fields of mastery. I received call from both at separate times. Both said the same thing. "Your boat is totaled. It is not repairable and you need to contact the manufacturer, MAKO." The issue was, the Hull has delaminated and the section that ripped off was just the beginning. It would be a matter of time before the rest delaminated.
Professional prognosis was as follows. One layer of meat, One layer of roven, Thin layer of adhesive and a layer of gel coat. If you don't believe me, look at these photos.... If you start at the bow and use a tapping method, you should hear a solid thud all the way to the transom.... My boat is hollow all the way down which means the inner hull is not adhered to the outer making it solid. I reached out to MAKO/White River. They took the boat to the plant in Miami Oklahoma. It got there June 19, 2019. It sat in the yard until they hired a guy to "inspect " it on July 11, 2019. He was "busy" and didn't get his findings sent to the decision makers until August 6, 2019. Don't know about you, but almost a moth to turn in your work is a little excessive.
So I get a call from a young lady at MAKO, (TC), and she tells me the following. "Your boat has been used and not treated well. It has scratches on the hull and we are denying your warranty claim." According to them, it has been wrecked at the bow and not repaired correctly. The hulls are separating and it's from misuse. THIS IS COMPLETELY ABSURD!!!!
That boat has not not been wreck on the bow. The rivets were pulling apart because of poor manufacturing. At one point, they tried to tell me my boat was not a 2014, it was a 08 or 09. They even said I drilled holes in the hull to install lights. This is also false. I installed 2 green LED strips on the underside of the rubber strip that goes around the boat. The lights have a self adhering peel and stick backing. I used the port where the transducer wire goes into the boat to get power. Obviously the inspector didn't see that. I'm still waiting for the outcome. I really thought well of MAKO and this boat. I saved a long time to buy it and was very proud of it. It was babied and we really miss it. I hope White River does the right thing.
I recently purchased a 2018 LTS MAKO boat from Basspro in Lawrenceville GA. I have now had this boat back to this location several times for various issues. At this point I have given up on the hopes the bait tank will actually work. The tank does not circulate enough water unless I crawl on the deck lift up a deck hatch and fool around with a valve. Often causing the tank to overflow. Even with all this effort the shrimp just die. Have lost hundreds of dollars of bait. I fish with guys who own Grady Whites and their tanks never have these constant issues. If you plan on chasing fish where live bait is the preferred method of catching these fish, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOAT. THERE ARE MUCH BETTER ALTERNATIVES THAN MAKO/TRACKER MARINE DESIGNED BOATS.
I purchased the optional Livewell for my 214, the only way to fill or drain it is to open a maintenance hatch at floor level and turn a T valve, after months of trying to get something less crude I was referred to a manager in service who said, "That's state of the art". The only thing they would be willing to do under warranty (they advertise the best in the business) is install a drain plug inside the Livewell so I'd go from getting down on hands and knees to drain it to sticking my arm in up to my armpit to pull the plug, equally crude. All in all a horrible group to try to get any kind of information or help from.
I have my issue resolved and my warranty honored and am very pleased with the outcome. It was just one person that rejected my claim, but since it has been solved and I will be very happy to do business with Tracker marine as always. They are a great company as I am very happy with my Boat and looking forward to more fishing!
I bought a MAKO 21 LTS from Bass Pro Fort Worth TX on May 17th 2014. I have used the boat only on tournaments 7 of them a year. Last April boat was taking on water and bilge pump was working overtime pumping out water. When looked at onshore it showed big area of gel coat and showing approx. 18"X18" two places of fiberglass and other cracks in the hull. Took it back to Bass Pro and they sent it back to the manufacturer. They sent it back saying it was my fault as it had scratches and gouge in the center of the hull. No way could this happen in any situation, as someone with little experience can see this is Tracker Marine/MAKO issue, period... Warranty should have covered this as it was not from anything I done, its just bad fabrication, Delamination!!!
The manager and staff at the Bass Pro could not believe that the hull was not replaced and were sorry but they could not do anything. I since have taken it to a Fiberglass Boat repair company and they have agreed with me and the Bass Pro dealer that it is and was a manufactured defect, bad workmanship. I have experience in this area of fiberglass, A Inspector for A aircraft Mfg. for over 20+ years and have certifications in this process. This is the worst experience I have had with any company that is suppose to have the best warranty for a boat hull in the business, but they just give you the business and do not honor anything they say or have in righting!!! Will not do business with this company or subsidiaries and would suggest everyone do the same.
So, where do I begin? Tracker Marine has a complete scam going with their boats and frankly, I cannot believe they are still in business. Boat #1 -- I regrettably purchased a 17' deep v hull design 8 years ago. Took the boat out the day we bought it only to find that it had about 15 gallons of water in the hull after only an hour or two of putting around the lake to break in the motor. Drove the boat back to the dealer (MW Marine, who now does not even sell Tracker boats due to nonstop complaints and issues!). They contacted Tracker, who deemed the boat "no good" (in their own words) and we were given a new boat to take home that day. Now to be fair, I understand that there is a mishap every now and then and wrote it off as exactly that.
Boat #2 -- After having our new boat for 2 and a half years, I started noticing a little bit of water when I'd pull the plug, but it wasn't much. Lied under the boat and didn't see anything that really stood out as a crack. Took the boat out fishing that summer on a Saturday and almost sank the boat. We stopped to fish an area and when we decided to leave and give the boat gas to get going, hundreds of gallons of water shifted from laying flat in the bottom of the hull, to the back of the boat coming up through the carpet and the existing mounts in the floor for other seats. You can imagine how scary that was, and I happened to have my 9-year old with me that day. We luckily made it back to the launch and upon pulling the boat out of the water, noticed 4 cracks, about 3-4" long and about an eighth of an inch wide up near the bow, and directly next to welds that are very visible, even from the outside of the hull.
Whatever stress fractures were there that I wasn't seeing must have finally tore enough in the 1-2' waves that my deep v hull SHOULD be able to handle, no problem. Now I have a few thousand dollars of electronics equipment on my boat alone, so you can imagine I'm not out there pounding waves as I was accused of by their so called customer service/warranty rep, SANDY **. After dealing with Tracker for 3 months trying to get some answers on what to do next, our season in Wisconsin was coming to an end. And let me tell you how rewarding it is to be paying on a product that during peak time, is unusable. It really is great. Tracker finally told us we had to trailer this $20,000 cracked hunk of aluminum on our own time, with our own money, down to their service center in Illinois to have it shipped back to their plant for repairs.
When they received the boat in Lebanon, MO, which is their repair center, they told us it was "unfixable." They decided that the best option was to give us a brand new hull which they claimed was a "better design" and guaranteed us that it wouldn't crack or leak like the previous two boats had in a matter of three years. It gets better...
Boat #3 -- Fished with this new hull for two years or so before the exact same nonsense began once again. Boat had water in the hull and stress cracks in the bow. Went through the hassle of dealing with the lovely SANDY ** and JEFF ** to have the boat shipped back to Lebanon for repairs. This is where it gets good. They told us that we would be out of their "limited lifetime warranty" but they would do us right by giving us a one year warranty on their work and once again, guaranteed it wouldn't happen again. Well, needless to say, it happened again one year and 22 days later. Guess what? Out of warranty now. Dealt with SANDY ** again who this time I gave a piece of my mind stating that they have a reputation for cracking and asked what were they doing about it. She told me that it was an unfair statement and with attitude, told me that my statement was flat out untrue.
I told her to take 5 minutes to enlighten herself and Google "Tracker boats cracked hulls" and to get back to me with what she finds. She then told me that my deep v hull is not made for big water such as Lake Michigan. I laughed in response and told her to call Lund or Ranger to ask if they would consider their comparable hulls to be seaworthy enough for big water. That struck a nerve and I received more attitude. We have large inland waters here in Wisconsin that at times can be worse than Lake Michigan, Lake Winnebago being a great example. So basically they are telling me that my deep v hull isn't even designed for some inland waters. I responded by asking if my boat was more of a toy and is made to strictly be run on county park ponds. Now I know it may sound childish but I'd had enough.
So they told me that they would fix my boat one last time under some "goodwill clause" that they had in place at Tracker but this would be it. This was once again all given with a side of attitude.The only catch... I have to bring the boat down, and when it's done, I have to go pick it up. You would think after 8 years of nothing but issues, it would be the least they could do. We did all the necessary paperwork and I was told there would be a guard on duty and that I could drop the boat off anytime. So I hooked up my boat, hopped in my dump truck, and drove 550 miles one way to their facility in Lebanon. Upon arrival at 12:30a.m. I was told by their on-duty guard that I should have some paperwork which is not what Sandy told me, but it didn't surprise me that they couldn't even get that right.
He then proceeded to tell me that they had no room for my boat which in response I said that the boat would be getting dropped off right in front of his guard door and they could figure something out from there. Now I'm not a very passive guy so this is all very difficult for me to deal with. If I had it my way, there would be some broken jaws by this point in the game. The guard called a supervisor who was "too busy" to come deal with us but walked the guard through how to print up a receipt stating the boat had been dropped off. I was told to drop off near the warranty door which had 27 boats in it waiting for cracked hull repairs. But they don't have a reputation for that, right?? So that is my current state, they told me 4-8 weeks and come back down to get it. I will be planning this trip to arrive at Lebanon at 8 a.m.. I will be hooking up and heading down to Springfield, MO.
Considering they won't help us anymore and I have nothing to lose, I will be walking into their front office and asking to speak directly to this SANDY ** and I will be giving her a solid piece of my mind. I'm sure she won't be expecting to see me and doesn't have this happen very often, but I feel like I owe it to myself after all of the bull crap I've put up with to speak with someone face to face. I'll get the boat back and sell it off for the lousy 3-4 thousand that it is now worth. Take that money and throw it at a Ranger. Sooo, the moral of the story is... Tracker boats are priced "well" for a reason, don't get fooled by that. I wouldn't trust a Nitro, I wouldn't even trust a Mako. They are all made by Tracker Marine. Spend the extra to get something you'll feel safe taking your family out in. Owning a Tracker boat has been my worst nightmare.
I purchased a new 2010 Mako 18 LTS in April 2012. There have been 2 recalls for the trailer and the center console, and every year the rivets pull through the joint holding the deck and the hull together and need to be replaced. The first recall came when Tracker realized the weight of the boat was too much for the trailer. Trackers recall fix was to manufacture a new axle, install brakes and larger capacity tires. My boat was at the shop for 4 months while they did this.
The second recall was for the center console. The letter said it could come off causing injury or death. Their fix was to add 8 bolts. Six bolts were glued into place because there are no aluminum backers in the floor where they were added. The other 2 bolts were added by drilling holes and tapping into the floor where there were aluminum backers. They also smeared 5200 adhesive sealant on the joint where the console and floor meet.
Every year rivets pull through the joint holding the deck and the hull together and have to be replaced. This year, when I took it in again to replace the rivets, they told me that unless I signed away the limited lifetime warranty on the hull, they would not repair the boat. When I refused to sign their letter, they told me to take my boat out of their shop and get a lawyer. These were the worst of a long list of problems with this boat. It is poor built and Tracker does not honor its warranty or value its customers.
I purchased a 2013 Mako 17 pro skiff, from Tracker Marine/Bass Pro, in Fort Myers FL. The boat was on a Legacy Trailer Inc DBA Rolco. The brake lines fell off the trailer on the way home from Bass Pro. I live very close to the boat ramp that we use to launch the boat, but after only 6 months both tires wore out on the inside - I mean bald on inside!
I returned to Bass Pro and showed them both problems. The manager said he would order parts for brakes, but the tires that came on the trailer were cheap, and guaranteed me that if I bought new tires the problem would be fixed. I bought new tires and now the new set of tires are showing the same balding on inside of both tires and never got a call that the brake parts were in. Wow. What poor follow up by the dealer. I'm out 4 tires, no brakes and the trailer is still going to wear tires out! And I only have maybe 500 miles on the trailer. I was a VIP customer of Bass Pro but I will never spend any money in that store!!
I bought the boat with my cancer stricken father (R.I.P.) because he found a "great deal" on it. He wasn't the type to do a lot of research because he believed (foolishly) that people should/would do the right thing. The boat was a year old, but still new, never sold. What little time I had to review it, mentioned how Mako used to have a bad reputation, but it was better now. This was before I knew this was a hacker product. Had I known to research hacker, things would have gone differently. But I digress. The first thing that happened was a crack in the bow floor on our first trip out. Basically, the test drive. We decided to wait 60 days before returning it to the dealership for repairs.
Man, the things that went wrong! The acc battery drained completely for no apparent reason. RECHARGE! The fish finder stopped working, the trolling motor stopped working, the rubrail on the rear came loose, the livewell stopped working, a crack developed behind the driver’s seat on the floor, ALL of the storage hatches leaked due to the rubber gaskets pulling loose along with the latches not seating correctly. The upholstery (what little there is) is CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!!! The graphics on the side of the hull peeled and broke off. The best part of this boat is the 60HP Merc 4 stroke. Sips gas and runs extremely quiet. The design and performance of the hull is excellent. But the construction and attention to detail is less than the worst Chinese standards.
When we took it back to the dealership (over an hour away), they recharged the battery, put stabil in the tank (?), and put some cheap epoxy on the cracks! Something I could have done and I'm sure is not to factory specs, and got the trolling motor and fish finder working, and charged me over $100.00 for the "service". It took them a month to do this, not to mention it took three hours of detailing when we arrived home to clean the boat up. They did push (or tried) the rubber back in the tracks... sort of. I was livid about the epoxy issue and have never received a return phone call. That has been two years ago. After many calls to the BPS in Shreveport (2 1/2 hours away), I still have no satisfaction and am stuck with a complete POS boat. I will not take it to the Gulf to go fishing because it leaves me stranded every other time I take it out.
I live on a lake that is small enough I can use my jet skis to tow this hunk back in. Buy ANYTHING other than a hacker product. A co-worker bought one of their aluminum bass boats and sold it within 8 weeks. It was such a hunk. Different problems, but this company is ridiculous! Someone will eventually be killed by one of their products. It's just a matter of time. RUN AS FAR AND AS FAST AS YOU CAN FROM ANYTHING BASS PRO!!! Terrible product, non-existent customer service, terrible service departments. When I get it paid off ($20,000.00+), I'll probably take the motor off (it's a good motor, obviously not made by them), then invite all the jilted hacker customers to a party in front of BPS and set it on fire. I can't wait to have this nightmare out of my life! Feel free to contact me if you would like pictures of this mess they call a boat.
MAKO Boats author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team
MAKO is one of Tracker Boat Group’s brand, and the company has been making boats for saltwater fishing for over 50 years. Today, they continue their tradition of developing quality fishing boats, and their lineup ranges in size from 16-28 feet. Find their boats online or at one of their hundreds of dealers around the world.
Offshore boats: MAKO sells full-featured offshore boats that are great for cruising, snorkeling, offshore fishing, swimming or just getting away from it all.
Inshore boats: MAKO also sells full-featured inshore boats, which are ideal for fishing in bays, bayous and inland lakes.
NO HAGGLE NO HASSLE: MAKO guarantees consumers that the prices of their boats will be the same, no matter where they buy them. They set their pricing at after-negotiation levels, so consumers never need to haggle to get a better deal.
Quality fishing features: Every MAKO model is equipped with fishing features like wide-open casting spaces, non-slip decks, plenty of room for storage and gear, a solid fishing platform and designated rod holders.
Certifications: Every MAKO boat is NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) certified, which means their boats are designed and built to meet or exceed industry safety and quality standards that are set by the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Boat & Yacht Council.
MAKO Boats Company Information
- Company Name:
- MAKO Boats
- 2500 E. Kearney
- Postal Code:
- United States
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