Tournament-style fishing tinnies really don’t get any better than Stacer’s 459 Barra Pro, it’s perfectly laid out for every species from barra and jacks in northern waters to bream, flathead, kingfish and mulloway in more southerly climes – and everything in between.
Designed and built with serious Aussie anglers in mind, this medium-sized package is ready to get the keenest of anglers in the zone and focused important things like the snag up ahead or the tournament-winning fish marking on the sounder.
The Telwater group is an Australian marine powerhouse with decades of experience and an understanding of what Australian anglers want from their boats, and what the boats themselves are put through over a lifetime of ownership.
The thoughtfulness of design and the quality construction are immediately apparent.
The 459 Barra Pro is decked out with sturdy hatches and hinges over well-planned storage compartments under the forward and rear casting decks, providing loads of space for safety gear, rainwear, tackle boxes, bags and pouches.
At the bow a lined anchor well will house all the rope needed for all but the deepest of estuaries, but who really needs and anchor when there’s a Minn Kota with iPilot to keep you silently in position.
Marine carpet creates a safe, non-slip surface throughout, welds are robust and neat and the finish is clean and looks great. The two-tone glossy black paint gives the whole rig a slick, professional appearance.
The two pedestal seats have folding backs and four mounting locations ensure you can be comfortable no matter where you like to position yourself.
The side console is positioned perfectly and the gauges, electronics and small open glovebox are all in the right spots.
I liked the sports steering wheel, adds a touch of flair and there is another shelf under the dash.
A lined fish well under the forward casting platform will accommodate all but the longest fish and can be turned into an extra large livewell if desired, but the weight forward could influence the boat’s handling.
The livewell to port in the rear casting deck is plumbed ready for action.
Battery storage, water separating fuel filter and wiring can be easily accessed via starboard aft hatch.
The Mercury 60hp four-stroke will get this outfit up and going pretty quickly to where you want to fish, pushing out a top speed of 29.6 knots (55kmh). For more speed you can always opt for the maximum rated 70hp engine.
Hole shot is quick, at around 4.5 seconds from standstill to planing in calm conditions.
Stacer’s EVO Series II Hull design delivers a ride which tracks true, is sure-footed through turns and powers out of them with a feeling of security. The ability to make hard turns at pace isn’t great, but then these boats aren’t designed for towing skiers or horsing about, they are at home cruising up fish-filled creeks and zipping across estuaries, harbours and impoundments before most people have stirred from their slumber.
Stability at rest is awesome. The wide beam is carried forward and two or even three anglers could move about confidently and safely to get into the action and not pause to think about weight distribution.
The Stacer 459 Barra Pro is a fishing fanatic’s dream, from the bow-mounted Minn Kota RT55ST Terrova iPilot electric motor complete with a stainless steel prop, through to the many storage compartments and the tournament-ready livewell.
The upright rod rack built into the front of the console will safely house four outfits, while a further four gunwale mounted rod holders are positioned to provide options for trolling or bait fishing.
The test boat was fitted with the Humminbird 597 CX HD DI sounder/plotter combo, an upgrade well worth the extra dollars.
The near-silent operation of the Merc 60hp four-stroke is well suited for trolling lures without too much concern about putting fish off the bite.
All in all, you will find it hard to beat the sheltered-water fishing capability and the quality of design and build delivered by the team at Stacer, especially for the amazing drive-away price of $34,106
Purchased complete with boat and trailer registrations and delivered on a Stacer TQ48VBHW single-axle trailer with skids, this package can be towed easily behind a medium-sized car. At just over 5m total length, finding a location to store your pride and joy will be easy, too. It’s easy enough to launch and retrieve single-handedly, so there really is no excuse not to go fishing if you’re lucky enough to own one of these.
Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.
|Height on trailer||1.74m|
|Fuel:||65L alloy underfloor|
Hull warranty: 3 years
Options as tested: Plumbed livewell; enclosed waters safety gear; Humminbird 597CXIHDDI down imaging GPS/sonar combo; Minn Kota Minn Kota RT55ST Terrova iPilot and deep cycle battery; marine battery and box; all registrations.
Price as tested: $34,106. Prices from $28,500 with 60hp Bigfoot four- stroke Mercury.
Test boat courtesy of Penrith Marine, 4/133 Coreen Ave, Penrith NSW 2750, ph 02 4731 6250, web: www.penrithmarine.com.au.