Stacer is a name well known amongst boaters across Australia for their no nonsense approach to making boats. Nothing has changed in this regard and it was with much excitement that the 2014 range of Stacers was released to the media on a windy and sunny day in South East Queensland.
I was lucky enough to get an invite to the day and I have to say that there is a lot of good in the new range from Stacer. Unlike some media releases of new ranges, Stacer has taken some very large steps to improve their range. They have not simply changed a model name or altered how they measure the craft, they have literally listened to dealer and customer feedback and solved issues in a very fine manner. But not only has Stacer delivered better boats with better features, they have managed to deliver these improvements with much better value.
Ordinarily you would expect that improvement comes at a cost, but this time it hasn’t. All the 2014 models have been improved, but not one of them comes at a higher cost. That is simply brilliant for the end purchaser!
We had the chance to look over 8 new boats from the tournament-style 519 Assault Pro through to the wonderful little 429 Seaway. The list of boats we were introduced to included the 519 Assault Pro, 429 Seaway, 489 Seaway, 449 Bay Master, 449 Proline Angler, 539 Easy Rider, 619 Easy Rider and the 509 Sea Runner. Each craft had its own upgrades and alterations, so let’s look at a few that I found to be well worth the exercise.
Starting off with the side plates, Stacer has reduced the number of pressings to make a sleeker looking craft that is very appealing to the eye, especially with the range of new logos and wraps on offer to customers. They have also include a pre-fitted universal sounder transducer as many of their customers wanted to upgrade the sounder to a unit more to their liking. This is a big plus as most boat buyers these days are fitting top end sounder/GPS units.
Across the different ranges there are a number of new internal layouts including dashboards, side consoles, seating, storage and more. Instead of simply adding onto existing mouldings, in some models Stacer has reinvented the entire moulding and made the dash far more user friendly. Features like more room for larger sounders and gauges, appropriately placed drink holders and glove boxes and even extensions to the entire mould to include side extensions that fit the look of the craft and ‘finish off’ the internals.
Other alterations I liked included the improvements to the toehold spaces in the open water, bay-style models. Essentially what Stacer has done is make these spaces larger and extended them right to the transom so that anglers will have better balance when fighting fish in a bit of chop. While many would think this is not a big feature, from an angling point of view, it’s sensational. Better balance means better fish fighting ability and that is important. There was also some modifications to the sides in the bay-style boats. Instead of having sides that tapered away toward the back, Stacer has maintained the height to the transom giving the boats a feel of greater safety. The reality is there is little difference, but the boats do look more complete with the change.
Of course the Stacer Evo hull is used throughout and on our play day I had a chance to experience it from the smallest 429 Seaway right up to the 619 Easy Rider and I have to say the boats ride very well. With 8 boats zooming around the Broadwater, adding to the impressive wakes created by the many super yachts cruising around at 20 knots, there was plenty of opportunity to test the hulls in swells and wakes. I’ve got a dodgy ‘old-man’s’ back at the best of times and even when I was crashing through heavy wakes in the 420 Seaway (which is a forward control boat), never did I feel that horrible jarring of the back usually associated with tinnies. Yes we drove the boats to the conditions and yes I could have made all sorts of nasty impacts if I wanted too, however that’s just being silly and driving a boat to the conditions as best as you can gives you the best feel for what they offer the end user, and the Stacers offer plenty.
And one last thing Stacer has altered. They’ve taken a long, hard look at their trailers and improved them as well. The trailers, which are built specifically to transport their boats are now price-competitive with a feature’s list that allows these trailers to compete with any others on the market. If you’re looking at getting into a Stacer, then take the time to check out a BMT package. I really liked their aluminium trailers, even the small boats had the option of an aluminium trailer and that’s got to be good.
Of the new boats we played around with, there was one boat that stood apart for me, the 519 Assault Pro. This is a real tournament beast. Fitted out with a 135 HO Evinrude, it fair scooted across the water. With its sleek red colours, trial black carpet and range of accessories, it looked the boat for my style of fishing. I am right now organising a full test of this boat and I am really looking forward to spending a few hours in it as the time I spent in it on the media day was just a sampler of what is hopefully to come. Stay tuned on that!
With the media day concluded, we headed back to the boat ramp and I headed home with the thought that Stacer is moving in the right direction. The changes made are angler and boat user friendly. They have improved the entire look of the craft and best of all, Stacer has improved the value for money in all their range. What more could you want?
If you’re interested in the new models, log onto the Stacer website or see your nearest Stacer dealer. The new models will be rolling out in May and June, so if a boat show is happening in your town, make sure you pop into your Stacer dealer’s stand and check out the new models. There is something for all boaters in there.Reads: 3251