As a boat company, Stessco seems to be on a bit of a roll at the moment. The factory is busy, there’s some keen, young managers in there getting things done, and they are kicking out some great product.
This was no more evident than at the most recent Stessco boat test we completed – the launch of the Renegade 480.
We were met at the ramp in Caloundra by Stessco’s Adrian Beil. Adrian was very enthusiastic about the boat, and with good reason.
For starters, the Renegade 480 is a good-looking boat. The test boat was fitted with a tasteful vinyl wrap, a bow mounted Minn Kota, a flash Humminbird Helix and Yamaha’s swanky digital all-in-one gauge.
Boarding over the transom, we noticed the polished rails. All the rails on the boat are polished alloy and add a classy touch.
The next thing you notice is how beamy this boat is. The Renegade carries the 2.2m beam nearly all the way to the bow, giving you a mountain of cockpit space, and the simple deck layout lets you use nearly all of it effectively, no matter what your intended purpose of use is for this boat.
Powered by Yamaha’s superlative F70, this is one of the most frugal boats I’ve been in recently. One-up, I cruised at between 3-3.5km/L of fuel burned, giving a cruising speed range of well over 200km for the 80L underfloor fuel tank.
That’s more than enough for nearly every weekend trip I’ve ever done.
The design of this hull reflects a modern trend of pressed aluminium boats with pressed bottom and sides, and smooth top sides. They look the goods and perform just as well. This Renegade used 3mm thick marine grade aluminium for all of the outer sheets – pressed or not.
Reverse chines help with stability at rest, lift when you put the hammers down and are a virtual necessity on modern boats.
At the bow, there’s a substantial anchor well with a chain-silencing rotomolded liner and beside this is the optional electric motor bracket.
The front deck is as wide as it is long and offers plenty of space for the lure-casting angler. Under that deck is a 109L livewell/kill-well and more storage.
The console is as well designed as I’ve seen on local boats of this type – with room for bracket mounted large sounders and in-dash controls from any motor manufacturer. Yamaha’s colour screen Command Link gauge is fantastic, but possibly a luxury for a boat this size.
The rear deck conceals a smaller live-well (30L) and the cranking battery and fuel filters.
Performance wise, this rig was set up for economy rather than blistering speed. Quick out of the hole, it cruised nicely at anything over 3500rpm with fuel economy bordering on the ridiculous.
Stessco build their own trailers and this hull was matched neatly to one of their single axle models. With only a moderate level of skill, drive-on retrieval should be achievable.
In short, if you’re looking for an all-purpose boat that’ll be just at home drifting over an estuary flat as it is chasing mackerel on a calm day, then you should definitely have the Renegade 480 on your list of hulls to check out.
BMT packages start from $28,000, and the test boat package was from $35,000. More info is available at www.stessco.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.
|RPM||Speed (km/h)||Fuel (km/L)|
Note: figures with three adults onboard
|Max Transom wt||180kg|
|Hull only weight||438kg|
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