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Mako 254 - DecoJones

Old 05-06-2021, 07:15 AM
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Default Mako 254 - DecoJones

To build a fiberglass bracket or buy an aluminum bracket? That is the question..

The boat is a 1992 Mako 254 which was an old police boat in its previous life. Transom/stringers and fuel tank were redone in 2005 along with twin 2005 225 Optimax prior going up for auction in 2008. A friend of mine purchased the boat in auction and used it for a while before removing one of the motors due to drainage issues and filling with water while anchored in rough seas.

In 2011 another buddy and I bought the boat together and used it for fishing 2-3 times a week for almost 3 years, mostly together for bottom fishing out of Miami. I was using the boat a lot more and ended up buying my buddy out and continued to use the boat almost every week until 2017 when my wife and I had twin daughters.

During the pandemic my family was in NY for a lot of the time and ended up bringing the boat up to do some work on scratches/gouges/scuffs from the previous years of abuse we put into it - a thread will be started on that at some point. Now that the boat is closer to where we are and where the pelagic are a lot further, I'd like to go back to twin motors for safety and piece of mind.. but with a bracket and transom notch closed in and scuppers/motor well deck raised.

Now to the question.. Buy an off the shelf bracket such as Stainless Marine/D&D Marine/Armstrong and bolt it on (open to other lower priced, similar quality brands.) or Build a bracket from a mold on the boat but build it to be bolt on rather than pulling stringers thru and glassing it in.

Build my own

Pros: Cheaper, great learning experience, follows deadrise and can be made exact fit, fiberglass can be easily repaired.

Cons: Longer for me to do, never done a project like this before so I question my ability but willing to learn.

Bolt an aluminum

Pros: Quicker to buy, bolt on and go, tried and true.

Cons: More expensive, wont follow lines and provide maximum flotation (I think.), boat will be in water so worried about corrosion

I’ve read a ton of older posts from Daytrip, Bly, Seabird (project in progress) and really am inspired to take this on just don’t want to be way over my head. It would also be great if I had someone with hand-on experience to supervise but I don’t unfortunately.

Here is the current state of the transom I have to fill in the old transducer holes and get a fresh coat of paint before the barrier coat and bottom paint.

Old 05-06-2021, 06:29 PM
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What's your timeframe? You could probably build one faster than you could get one made. From what I understand most of the manufacturers are months behind. That said, I like products from companies like Armstrong who've been doing this a long time, have great customer service, and good products that have been well vetted in all conditions. But I also like building shit
Old 05-08-2021, 03:15 AM
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Here is the problem as I see it, who is doing the engineering on this? And what would happen if it failed? The answer is, the motors would fall off, I would not like this, and would not trust my life or motors to something this important. If you want to make something out of fiberglass, chose something like a livewell or seating, not something structural. If commuter boats or bills were building it, I would have no problem with it.
Old 05-09-2021, 06:27 AM
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The fiberglass bracket will be incredibly heavier than the aluminum. So, what ever you gain in floatation from a larger fiberglass bracket will have to offset the immense additional weight. With regard to engineering, you’ll need to do some figuring, and where you are unsure, you’ll end up using a lot more resin, glass and materials. Again, this will add more weight and cause diminishing returns.

I would buy the aluminum, a fiberglass bracket can be done but I certainly wouldn’t want it to be a learning experience if it were me. Just my opinion.
Old 05-09-2021, 07:31 AM
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Thank you all for your insight, all points going back and forth in conversations with friends as well.

I’ll be getting quotes in the next few weeks from the top manufacturers and pursue that route. If the bracket build is more then 4 months out I’ll likely rekindle the build it thought and ask someone who has built them in the past successfully for proper plans.
Old 05-09-2021, 09:52 AM
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You'll be adding 2 four strokes and a metal bracket to the back of that boat. Im guessing a thousand pounds give or take.Concerned about the change in balance?
Old 05-10-2021, 12:37 PM
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I have an 85 mako 254. The bracket with twin 225 optis was good. I'm looking now to replace with twin 160s though.

My bracket came from epic marine in largo. Not sure if he's still building them but it has held up great for 4 years. It was about a grand cheaper than the big names and the same quality.
Old 05-18-2021, 05:25 AM
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I used an A&J marine welding bracket with extra flotation tub and it floats the transom 2" higher than without. I am running a single 300 Suzuki

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