The Stacer Nomad Fisher 489 is the newest addition to an impressive range of affordable vessels for anglers who require versatility and performance across a range of inshore fishing environments.
A part of the Telwater Marine group, there is no doubting that Stacer has the know-how and the ability to build solid, well thought-through aluminium boats for the demanding Australian environment and Aussie anglers. What continually stands out is the ongoing ability to improve on earlier models and deliver superior features and value for money.
The Nomad Fisher 489 is a tough centre console tinnie aimed at the dedicated fisho but numerous additions take it into a class of its own.
A larger anchor well with heavy-duty polyethylene insert/liner shows the designers are listening to what fishers are after, an anchor well with plenty of storage for multiple anchors and a retrieval buoy.
A bow mounting plate for an electric motor is something sport-fishing fanatics demands, whether chasing barra up tropical creeks, dangling for mulloway in southern estuaries or flicking lures for bream, flatties, bass or estuary perch.
The carpeted forward casting deck has an oversized storage compartment underneath with dual access hatches and is the perfect location to house the deep-cycle battery for the electric motor as well as tackle bags, safety gear and wet weather gear.
Stepping down to the self-draining treadplate deck, there is a decent-sized underfloor kill tank with a hatch just forward of the console. A swivel latch keeps the hatch closed.
Neat welds throughout keep the floor sealed, ensuring spray, wash or rain exits via the non-return scuppers aft. The two swivelling, folding pedestal seats have five position options throughout the cockpit.
Although there is a side-console option, the test boat’s centre console was just the right height and the steering wheel at the right angle for ease of operation seated or standing.
The fit-out is simple with two storage shelves, one at floor height for tackle boxes and kit that doesn’t mind a bit of water and the other more suited to personal items that need to be kept safe.
The test boat was fitted with a Lowrance VHF radio. The dash panel was simply appointed with a tachometer, fuel gauge, and three-switch panel but there is room for more gauges and switches.
The Lowrance Mark 5x monochrome sounder atop of the console will do the job for basic fishing but the more experienced angler would upgrade to a Lowrance HDS-5 sonar/chart plotter combo or larger.
Two side pockets run along each side of the cockpit, the forward ones with low rails that make them ideal for larger, bulky items. The aft pockets could house handlines, chopping boards and all the usual fishing paraphernalia.
Under the transom cap is a raised, carpeted platform big enough to house dual batteries and there is also access to the bilge, where the pump and wiring for the plumbed livewell is housed.
The battery isolation switch, single battery and water-separating fuel filter are located under the transom cap to starboard.
The gunwales are wide enough to walk on and run the full circumference of the boat.
The plumbed live-bait tank is large enough for a day’s worth of livies and its location at the port transom is ideally where the action happens.
Four flush-mounted rod holders come standard, although most anglers will want to add more in the gunwales or on the rails. Grab rails along the sides forward and aft are within easy reach from all areas of the cockpit.
Aluminium cleats are welded in position just aft of the anchor well and in each transom corner.
The port and starboard lights are just under the forward grab rails, while the all-round white light is towards the aft of the starboard gunwale, behind the fuel filler cap and forward of the rear rod holder.
The fold-away bimini comes with a zippered envelope and provides shade for the majority of the boat. Although this will impede the fishability of the rig, that shade sure is welcome when the Summer sun is beating down. For unimpeded casting and all-round fishing, the bimini is easy to remove prior to launching.
There is a treadplate boarding platform with small grab rail either side of the engine, which can be tilted completely clear of the water. The port platform has a bracket for a folding rear ladder.
There are transducer mounting plates either side of the outboard and a meshed intake for the live-bait tank.
Where the side and bottom sheets meet at the transom Stacer’s EVO Advance Hull becomes concave to allow easier turning, a softer ride, increased stability at rest and spray deflection while under way. This feature tapers forwards as the reverse chine takes over the job.
The test day had a consistent 10-knot north-easter and plenty of boat activity on the Harbour.
Once we’d taken the obligatory pics, I asked Alex from Penrith Marine whether he fancied chasing down some of the surface-busting pocket pelagics that had been catching our eye and soon we were off, zipping from one bust-up to the next.
While the mixed species weren’t interested in our small metal slugs and lightly weighted soft plastics, we spent a solid two hours going from work-up to work-up and channel marker to marker and I hardly noticed the boat.
While that might sound odd, to me that was a huge positive. We really notice things only when they don’t work well or the way we want them to.
The Mercury 60hp Bigfoot four-stroke seemed to provide the get up and go without the normal hesitation associated with four-strokes. Alex said that the four-blade Spitfire prop had really improved this and enabled a better hole-shot.
The hull handled beautifully and delivered a soft, dry ride. Pulling into corners and accelerating out of them felt sure-footed and with each attempt the speed and my confidence grew.
The outboard was pegged a hole too high on the transom and the prop ventilated when pulling out of a turn but this is a simple fix and was just a product of it being the first 489 Nomad Fisher through the rigging process.
The other slight let-down was steering stiffness, which is common with cable steering in centre console boats due to the number of tight corners the cable has to make.
The package comes standard with non-feedback mechanical steering and while it made it easy to let go of the wheel and keep the boat on track, single-handed control of the boat was more difficult. Hydraulic steering would add extra bucks to the package but give fingertip control.
At rest the Nomad Fisher was a pleasure to fish from. Alex and I were regularly rushing to the same spot in the boat to cast at the surface-feeding fish and I never even noticed the stability until thinking back over the morning.
This hull delivers the kind of stability at rest an angler wants.
Perhaps the only thing that impeded the fishability was the folded bimini, although to me the console was a little too far aft, reducing the space between the seat and the transom to squeezing room only.
On the road, it was a pleasant surprise to see an alloy trailer under a boat package priced at this point in the market.
First-time buyers often overlook the importance of the trailer but a well-matched, durable, low-maintenance trailer will change the way you enjoy your boat. Thumbs up on this aspect.
The total weight of the BMT package makes it easily towable behind a large sedan or medium SUV.
I really like this package, probably because it suits all the inshore fishing I love to do, from live-bating inshore reefs to beach launching in far-flung locations to estuary lure casting and everything between.
Easy to tow, easy to maintain and with a few basic additions the perfect set-up to tackle most of the fishing options Aussie fishing is all about.
|Weight BMT||882kg dry|
|Height on trailer||1.84m|
|Hull warranty||3 years|
Options as tested: Mercury 60hp EFI four-stroke Bigfoot with 4 blade Spitfire prop; bow mount plate; battery tray in casting platform storage; dealer delivery; inland waters safety kit; tie downs; on-water tuition; all registrations.
Test boat courtesy of Penrith Marine, 4/133 Coreen Ave, Penrith NSW 2750, ph 02 4731 6250. Price as tested $33,805 drive away. With Mercury 60hp ELPTO two-stroke $32,374.