Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
Form and Function
It's nice when a company’s management uses their own boats. It nearly always makes a big difference in the details. The Mako 1901 has what you need and it's all easily at hand. Fishing may be a messy sport, but there are those among us who need to have "a place for everything and everything in its place", and for the most part, I find the 1901 Inshore takes care of the obsessive compulsive in me. Without a doubt, I'll mostly gravitate to the bow for my casting work. On the 1901 it's elevated and molded with non-skid for safety. A tournament seat is available (add $205) or a bike seat version (add $155) but I like to move when I fish so I'll keep the open platform. There's a pull-up cleat at the bow to keep lines from snagging, and an anchor locker takes up the forward section of the casting deck. The hatch is notched so the lid can be closed when the ground tackle is in use, and behind is a larger storage compartment. Without a 5 gallon (19 L) bucket handy it's hard to tell if one will fit in that larger compartment but I suspect it will. So now I have a place to store my casting net.
The 1901 comes with the bow pre-rigged for a trolling motor and choices are on the options list. Depending on your budget, you can opt for a MotorGuide 75 lb thrust (add $845) or a Minn Kota 80 lb. thrust (add $1040).
Bait and Switch
Often I see a boat with only one baitwell. With two casting stations, you're left with someone having to go without. Instead of switching positions now and then, why not two baitwells? On the 1901 there is a 13 gallon (49.2 L) aerated baitwell mounted under the seat forward of the console (add $50) and another in the port quarter (add $50). The tradeoff to the forward baitwell is you lose the usual cooler under the console seat. Both have several options as to how to present aeration and circulation.
As for the console, it has the usual vertical rod storage to the sides, and the helm is offset to port. The instrument panel occupies the space just above the helm with open territory off to starboard. There are three fishfinders on the options list but the first, the Lowrance X51, is discontinued. That leaves the X67C with color display (add $380) or the Hi-Def HDS5 with its split screen and GPS capability (add $940). Of course you're free to go elsewhere if you'd care for another choice.
You have two choices for a helm seat so both are on the options list. A cooler without a seat will set you back $140, and that same 94 qt (89 L) carry-on cooler with a seat surrounding it is $260 plus installation. Between the port baitwell and the starboard battery box is enough room to add another cooler for food and drinks, which is good, since the one we're sitting on will be filled with dead fish shortly.
The options list lets you build your boat the way you'd want it. But there are certainly crossover items that everyone would want. An inshore bayboat that craves skinny water will be more at home with a hydraulic jack plate (add $1,075). When fitted to boats I've tested, it allowed me to elevate my draft by at least 6" (15.2cm). A manual one is available (add $330) but that eliminates being able to change on the fly. Because white is boring, you can opt for 2-tone hull with Sea Foam, Midnight Blue, Fighting Lady Yellow, Onyx, Victory Red, Citron Yellow or Black Cherry sides and transom (add $250). Once you've driven a boat with hydraulic steering, there's no going back, so add another $750. If you opt for the trolling motor, then you may want to consider either a 1, 2, or 3-bank battery charger (add $115, $530, $770). As shade is a valuable commodity on the water, I'll be needing either a Bimini top (add $805) or throw caution to the wind and blow a whole week's BoatTEST.com paycheck and get the T-top (add $3,470). [ He’s kidding, folks! –Ed.]The best news is that the Mako 1901 Inshore won't break the bank. Mako has established a no hassle/no haggle price of $27,995 less freight and prep, packaged with a 115 OptiMax and trailer. That alone should keep you out of deep water.
Standard and Optional Features
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