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Product Spotlight | Stable and Sturdy Can Be Fun & Exciting
By Bill Gius

Introduced in the fall of 2011, the Mako Pro 17 Skiff is one of those boats that makes you want to challenge it. This Mako will challenge you and its competition. And it will surprise you with how it performs; it truly impressed me.

At first glance, it's a somewhat plain looking center console, white, fiberglass boat with rather Spartan seating; well, it has one seat for two people behind the center console, and kind of one seat on the front of the console so that's Spartan. But, that's where “plain” ends.

The Pro 17 is an extremely stable, broad beamed, wide open cockpit boat with voluminous room for gear or easy walking on its deck. It's 80” wide and 17'4” long with 18” of cockpit depth (floor to gunwale). Darn near every inch of that is open to easily traverse with a fish on your line. Yes, it's a Mako fishing machine but easy to use for so much more. You can add rod holders to each side and use the four console mounted rod holders. You can put five, six or seven tackle boxes under the foredeck. You can put a 60hp outboard on the back, but you can also carry a lot of gear as a work boat or tender. You can throw a whole lot of duck or goose decoys on board for a day of hunting (I asked if it was available in camo; it's not... yet) or you can add a poling platform for flats fishing or pedestal seating to the bow or aft decks for your fishing buddies and family. It's rated for five people too and can easily handle them.

Yes, it looks like it has a squared bow but it sure doesn't perform like a jon boat or pram. Below the deck is the secret of its performance and stability.

Mako calls it their “Inverted V Hull” design. It's more like it has three hulls bonded into one. It gets you up on plane quickly and provides a flat ride that invites you to attack waves from any angle to show you how it likes to hang onto the water.

This shot of the transom of the 1' smaller 16' Pro Skiff shows the water-hugging hull design.

The hull likes to grip the water. It stays more flat in a turn than a like-sized deep-v hull but never un-hooks or side-skips through a turn. The 40hp four-stroke is probably the perfect size engine for the boat. It has plenty of power for a quick hole shot and cruising speed. Drop the 60hp four-stoke on the back and this little rock ship really moves across the waves with speeds in the mid 30's.

This is an economical boat for everyday fresh or saltwater use. Fish, hunt or just cruise with it. It will carry you and all your gear over mil-pond ripples or through some sporty offshore “snot”. Mako packages it with either engine and mounts it on a galvanized trailer. Mako is a Tracker brand. Learn more about this boat and find your local dealer.

(Bill Gius is a three-plus decade marine industry veteran with extensive, hands-on accessory, boat and engine experience. Bill has been working with iboats.com for six years to help manufacturers and dealers use iboats' online marketing, advertising and lead generation services. Bill can be reached at 800-869-1686 x199 or bill@iboats.com.)

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