Hawaii gets a better fishing boat
It should come as no surprise that Hawaii isn't the best marketplace for selling new boats. After all, most bigger boats require moorings and our state-run boat docks are falling apart faster than they can be replaced, which equates to multiyear waiting lists for slips throughout the islands.
There is, however, one category of boat that always seems to find buyers here waiting in line: trailered boats -- and particularly the kind you can fish on.
With this in mind I'm sure, long-time Honolulu boat designer, builder and restorer Gary Brookins officially introduced his latest creation, the Makau 23, to a group of friends and potential buyers at a blessing at the Hawaii Yacht Club last week.
Brookins described the Makau ("fishhook" in Hawaiian) as the largest fishing boat one person could reasonably launch and haul. And with an overall length of 23 feet, 8 inches and a beam of 9 feet, his new boat fits that description nicely.
Still, there is more to selling boats than just building another trailered boat for fishing. For Brookins it meant more than two years of computer modeling, consultations with naval architects and listening to what local anglers had to say.
"The Makau 23 was designed by Hawaii's fishermen," Brookins admitted. "They told me in no uncertain terms what they wanted in a recreational fishing boat and that's what we've tried to build."
One of the most common complaints was that they were "tired of being slammed around and perpetually wet." In response, Brookins created what he calls the "Dry Hawaiian Hull."
To better contend with Hawaii's notoriously challenging sea conditions, the Makau 23's hull begins up forward with a high flared bow that drops to a deep-V forefoot and continues back into an elliptically flattened aft run.
The combination of the bow flare and down-angled chine rails and lifting strakes force the bow waves down and make the additional above-deck bulwarks found on many local fishing boats unnecessary.
The boat's wide transom, hard chine rails, and lifting strakes also tend to minimize any side-to-side rolling action while drift- or bottom-fishing.
On a recent sea trial to Lahaina and back, Brookins reported that even with 10-foot head seas, near-gale-force winds, and small craft warnings, the hull met or exceeded every expectation.
As Brookins mentions on his Web site at http://www. makauboats.com, "The hull lets you down softly and parts head seas, as well as it tracks smartly in following seas and maneuvers like a sports car."
The Makau 23 is designed for several power options. The boat at last week's blessing had twin 115 horsepower outboards mounted on an extension bracket, however it can also accommodate transom-well outboard installations, as well as diesel or gasoline engines with inboard/outboard or V-drives.
Brookins told me the next six boats to be built are already committed to buyers. But if you don't mind waiting, give him a call at 841-2525 for a test ride anyway.