“Before I could drive, I owned a Mako,” said Craig Brunstein, of Tampa, when asked about his custom 261 Mako.

Brunstein’s family had owned Makos since he was 10 and owning several himself, he kept that trend and purchased a 261. Brunstein had favored this model, for the roominess in a 26-foot package, ability to tow with a half-ton vehicle and seaworthines. This was actually his second 261.

His project all started from wanting to add a second livewell for more space when tournament fishing. But to plumb the correctly, the console and floor needed to be removed and the boat needed to be derigged. This is where it all started. Once the floor was off, Brunstein opted to replace the old gas tank. Once the plumbing and rigging was in place and deck back on, it was obvious the floor had been removed. From there, the whole cockpit of the boat was repainted.

It didn’t stop there. He wanted more storage for tackle and gear. He was able to add new storage compartments in the gunnels, one of them including a Glendinning hose reel for his saltwater wash down. A tackle station was also added to the leaning post. SeaDek was used extensively throughout the boat, making things a little more comfortable when on the water. Electronics weren’t left out of this build, Brunstein went with the latest in Simrad electronics, complementing them with a radar, as well.

With the second livewell in place, he now had 100 gallons of livewell, more than double the original. Add the rocket launcher on the bow for kite fishing, and Brunstein was ready for the blue water. There was one thing that he didn’t change, though: the windshield. The classic look of the 261 windshield resonated with Brunstein, being a Mako owner since his youth.

Brunstein had purchased the boat for $40,000, and after $60,567 in extras, his dreamboat came out to a total of $100,567.

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