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1987 mako 285 or 261?

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  • 1987 mako 285 or 261?

    Hey guys, I have the opportunity to buy one of these boats. Both were made in 1987. The 261 has newer motors 97 Evinrude 175s. The 285 has late 90s Mercury 250s. I understand there is more to be inspected in regards to the value of the purchase. Such as condition of fuel tanks, transom condition, and overall wetness ...

    However, my question is for guys that have owned one or both or if you have had the pleasure to ride or fish on both to make a comparison.

    I am wondering what the difference in the ride, handling snotty seas. ( I fish out of the Raritain bay with occasional trips 10 to 20 miles offshore )... my main use for the boat will be fishing with friends mostly in the bay. And taking my family out for day trips. It would be my wife and 2 teenage girls that just like to take the sun and hang out. It is important to me that the boat has enough space for the girls to lay out while I get to fish.

    Would love to hear your thoughts... thank you.

  • #2
    Are you looking at the 261 in haddam? Been meaning to get up and look at that boat myself. For the use you seem to be going for I would say the 285 as the dual console has a lot more family amenities. with its weight it should ride well and you can find several redone on here that were used as near/off shore boats but with 13 degree deadrise its a shallow v at transom.

    The 261 is a little more fishing oriented (at least to my preferences) and with a 23 degree deadrise it will handle the seas a little better but will rock more at rest which can be a little annoying when trying to bait fish which is a large portion of the fishing ive seen in the bay. (I fish out of the Atlantic highlands myself quite a bit)

    Honestly they are both great boats and whichever one checks out better would be my choice, especially with the engines.
    John[br]1989 Mako 210 (Sold and Missed)[br]


    • #3
      We have owned both models. The 285 has a nice ride but if the 261 cannot take it we don't want to be out there anyway. We are currently running a 92 261 which we re-built. If the 285 has the original fuel tanks plan on replacing them that monster will pitch and yaw and if you or your guest are not hanging on someone will hit the deck, the original tanks did not have enough baffles.

      We do a lot of sandbar trips with the kids and spend time in the Bahamas the 261 is a great fit and I prefer it over the 285, The 285 is a big heavy boat and the wind will move it while at anchor at the sandbar. We owned ours when our kids were 12 and 14 and it was all they could do to assist in the anchor and the lines at the dock if we were in current and or wind.

      The one nice thing about the 285 was the hard top and lounge style seating made it nice trolling for palegics.

      My wife did not like the 285 because the forward seating places you facing sideways to forward motion when we took guest out.

      I'm a 261 man (until I can find an Intrepid 32 to re-build[])
      Miss Grace[br]Mako 261 of a kind[br][br]Cracker Boatworks[br]