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Help! Thinking about upsizing to a 254

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  • Help! Thinking about upsizing to a 254

    I spent two years totally rebuilding a 1978 deep v 21. I worked my tail off. Spent a fortune(to me anyway) and I love the boat. I put in 4lb foam a new tank, few bulkheads , new transom, Yoi name it it was done. I powered with a new yam. F175xa. Its a sweet boat. I love it BUT I need more boat.

    I fished The U.S. Open this past weekend and. I was limited. I rocked and I rolled.

    The second day was great. It was calm. I almost headed offshore. Glad I didnt because seas turned to snot crazy fast. I couldnt run where I needed to. I could have but I would have beat myself to death.

    Now I find a sweet deal on a crazy good project hull 254. 1985 model. My 21 rides extremely dry and has never taken in a drop of water. It has high gunwales.

    It looks looks key the gun ales on the 254 are low. What is your opinion?

    Wife says go for it. I figure I can restore the 254 then sell the 21 for reporter money.

    Will the 254 handle chop and moderate seas that much better than my deep v 21?

    Im thinking the length alone will help. I want to be able to comfortably be able to run 20 miles. I know I can run past that in the 21 on calm days but seems less me every chance I get to go its blowing 10-15. I like to go when its calm to 10mph winds. In the 21 thats my comfort level.

    Do I keep the 21 and either learn to jump waves or do I go with the 254. Is it enough of a step up to justify the purchase and rebuild on the 253? The 254 doesnt need near the work the 21 did. If yall think the 254 is a step up enough for a better offshore boat Im getting it.

    Ive never felt unsafe in the 21 just beat up. If its forecast to blow over 10 I stay home while everyone else fishes.

    What days You? Thanks for any advice!

  • #2
    Any time the Admiral says go bigger, Do not ask just find a boat quick. A 25 will always handle the swell better and a 28' is even better. The 254 will split the waves with the bow and the lower freeboard will not be noticed.
    1995 282


    • #3
      The 254 will be a big improvement over your 21. I doubt the freeboard is any lower on the 254. I would bet the length makes it appear so. I would go for it.
      2007 Everglades 243 250 Suzuki[br]1988 201 Yamaha 200 - Sold[br]1990 261 T/200 SWS - Sold[br]1978 25 225 Johnson - Sold[br]1975 20 85 Merc - Sold[br]Jacksonville, FL[br]


      • #4
        I can't speak to the ride characteristics of either with first hand knowledge, but I'll say this: If my wife ok'd a bigger boat, I'd be buying the boat before she changed her mind
        1973 Mako 19[br]


        • #5
          I can't imagine you (or she...especially she) being disappointed in the ride of the 254 compaired to the 21. They are completely different boats.
          Ole Joe
          Just floundering around
          Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania
          1978 Mako 25, Sold


          • #6
            I know my question may seem strange. Of course a 25 will be better. Being half asleep, I didnt ask the question right. I dont want to go from my deep v 21 to the 254 then wish I had gone to a 28 or a 30. I will have to sell my 21 and motor in order to be able to power the 254. I want to fish more tournaments and the 21 has limits. Man I lov the boat though. Never takes in a drop of water front or back and I rebuilt it very strong.


            Ok so who wants to trade a fairly new f-300 or 350 for my entire rig??

            I think the back of the 254 looks shallow because of its length. The 21deep v has deep


            Well....if I get it Ill post pics. Thanks for the info and opinions. I never hear anything but good opinions on that hull.


            • #7
              I have owned 3 21 footers, and now have a 254. I love the 254 as it is about the same boat as the 21, only 4 feet longer. It is not much heavier.

              I did not like how low the transom was on the 254 though and did put a bracket on it. They are really nice boats. I built mine to run to the Bahamas and have redundancy with twins. I will say though for the wife and I it is too much boat and I am starting to contemplate selling it and going back to a 21.
              \'07 Mako 19 bay, sold[br]\'76 Mako 21, sold[br]\'77 Mako 21, dump[br]\'77 Mako 22, sold[br]\'80 Mako 23 WA, sold[br]\'82 Mako 21, sold[br]\'85 Mako 254 currently[br]\'78 J24 USA 292 (sold)[br]\'05 Melges 32 racing sailboat


              • #8
                Great info Jeep guy. Im not sure about my plans with the transom. The thought of adding a bracket has entered my mind,however,that will take a lot of studying on my part as Ive never done a bracket. If I can afford a 300 or 350, that will be my power plan. Maybe I can figure out the bracket.What did You not like about the transom? Too low?


                • #9
                  Oops! Just realized You said transom is low.


                  • #10

                    I am going against the others on this topic. First the gunwale height has never been an issue with water coming over. I actually like them low because I am continually leaning over the side to wash my hands. I have had others on my boat that were used to leaning on higher sides that could not get used to the difference in one trip. I do not think the 254 will allow you to fish more days than you are now. On any day that I choose to go out and fish comfortably and enjoy you would be fine in your boat. What the 254 would allow you to do is take more people out or go further because of fuel capacity. In reality I think you would probably fish more in the boat you have now because it is more economical to run, trailer and store.



                    • #11
                      I have had 21', 23' and now a 25' Makos. Each one has been an improvement over the previous. Big difference is once you go over 25' you have to go with twin outboards. More money, more to service more gas bigger truck to trailer. Having said that I already have a 3/4 ton diesel and the budget so my 25 is for sale and the next will be a 282 or 284.
                      1995 282


                      • #12
                        Gonna go against the grain, which im semi surprised to be doing, and say the 254 will allow you to fish a lot more days then the 21 your in now. From a specs stand point the 254 is 2800 dry weight and 23 degree deadrise vs your 21 which is 2100lbs and 19 degree deadrise so it is 1/3 heavier and a true deep vee in comparison. It aslo holds 150 gallons vs 86 in the 21 this equates to another 384 pounds which will help a lot in the ride and allow you to go a lot further and faster. But keep in mind the bigger it is the harder it is to run solo
                        *on the hunt for a 241/261*[br]1989 Mako 210 (sold and missed)


                        • #13

                          Originally posted by Makolarry

                          Oops! Just realized You said transom is low.

                          My 254 stock came with a 25" motor so the transom was only about 5-6" out of the water. That is really low in my opinion. We would go offshore fishing and I would really have to watch the waves rolling in seas. With the enclosed transom I do not have to do that anymore.

                          I will say the space on the 254 is really nice. It really is just a 21 that is longer. There is no height difference in the back of the boat really in my opinion. You can still reach the water and wash your hands.

                          If I had to do it all over again, I think I would raise the transom up and put a 30" motor on the back, like a 300 or 350. The boat is rated to 370 technically.

                          The bracket is just really nice for extra space in the back.
                          \'07 Mako 19 bay, sold[br]\'76 Mako 21, sold[br]\'77 Mako 21, dump[br]\'77 Mako 22, sold[br]\'80 Mako 23 WA, sold[br]\'82 Mako 21, sold[br]\'85 Mako 254 currently[br]\'78 J24 USA 292 (sold)[br]\'05 Melges 32 racing sailboat