Stacer have made it their business to keep a close eye on customer demand, and they are always on the lookout for ways to make a good thing even better.
With their Proline series of entry level fishing tinnies they’ve managed to neatly balance practicality with price, and for very good reason: there are many keen fishos that are dedicated to their pastime yet are rendered time poor by family or work, or perhaps have strict budgetary commitments. These anglers need a boat to enjoy their precious time on the water but cannot justify an overly large outlay for a state-of-the-art craft that’s going to see only occasional use. Far better, for these fishers, to seek out a budget package that can cover a wide number of angling activities but without over commitment.
This value for money concept has been the strength of the Stacer Proline series. They have always been regarded as boats that can comfortably fish small families or groups of mates, tow and stow easily and (despite modest price tags) still look quite attractive behind the car or on the water.
This year’s release sees the already successful Proline Angler series of models (from 409 to 449 in length) featuring a new ‘Striker’ series of redesigned hulls. These hulls offer more beam, more depth thanks to a deeper entry point, and more easy performance from given horsepower.
Interior dimensions reflect these changes; models with casting platforms, such as the Angler 449S I reviewed, have up to 10% increase in cast deck area up front. Other features include extra storage space, roto anchor wells, optional live wells and smart wraps to add extra bling.
The deeper entry of the Proline Striker series results in an increased interior depth of these craft, particularly up front and towards amidships. It’s not so noticeable in those models where a floor is fitted but very easy to see in craft without a floor, such as the 399/429 models, where the forward floor area is substantially veed.
The added depth between sides and keel is a contributor to ride quality as well as minimizing water intrusion when underway. With the almost metre depth of the sides of the 449 Angler, boaters with youngsters aboard will doubtless be reassured by the Proline’s excellent freeboard.
The new top-of-the-range 449S Proline Angler Striker comes standard with a carpeted floor, two rod holders, an extended front casting platform, extruded side decks, transducer bracket, a painted hull, side rails, two strong pedestal seats, and six seat positions. Engines are rated from 40-60hp, with the reviewed 449S being equipped with a long shaft 60hp Evinrude E-Tec.
Options are numerous, with over a dozen on the factory specs sheet, and among those most likely to be chosen include a live bait tank, 70L under floor fuel tank, side pocket, bimini and envelope, a sounder GPS from a wide selection of units available, decal combinations and perhaps a side console in lieu of the standard tiller steer set up. An electric motor bracket is also an important option.
Construction of the Proline 449S Angler sees 3mm bottoms and 2mm sides linked to ample ribs to ensure rigidity. With a hull weight of 335kg, the craft is certainly no lightweight – hence the engine ratings as mentioned – and this gives it a really sturdy, solid, feel whether at rest or underway. It takes up to four people, ideal for a fishing boat of this size.
On the water the 449S Angler will make a lot friends with its easy, very smooth ride and high degrees of stability at all times. The reviewed rig was set up with a tiller steer (top power) 60 Evinrude E-Tec on the transom but I’d see it going almost as well with a 40 E-Tec if there were only one or two people aboard most times.
I was impressed with the lack of hull slap, thanks to the Proline’s excellent design, and also with the overall comfort experienced with three aboard during test runs around the Southport Broadwater. The very snappy performance from the smooth E-Tec with its muted hum astern also added to the pleasure of the boating experience. Performance figures with three aboard saw the craft planing at around 13km/h and cruising easily and very quietly at 40km/h, with a top speed of almost 54km/h recorded.
The new Stacer 449S Proline Angler is in many respects an ideal smaller family craft for sheltered or semi-sheltered waters given its generous beam-to-length ratio of 2.05m to 4.59m, the excellent freeboard of 0.91m and very easy going ride. Competent sportfishers would also enjoy the same attributes and no doubt catch their share of fish in this boat. It’s right sized, could be towed by most family sedans or SUVs, and won’t involve too much of an outlay to own. The hull warranty is three years.
For more info visit your local Stacer dealer or go to www.stacer.com.au.
• 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.
Length on Trailer: 5.65m
Height on Trailer: 1.40m
Max. HP: 60hp
Min. HP: 40hp
Weight (hull only): 335kg