THE STESSL Group has refocused and concentred its efforts into improving its range of boats to bring them up to speed with modern day market demands. For those of you who’ve seen or ridden in a Stessl Boat you’ll see some significant changes in hull shape and design. For those who haven’t, you’ll find a boat that has a lot to offer in ride and performance thanks to modern developments in hull shape.
What we see in the latest Stessl 435 Edgetracker Tournament is the trend in 4-5m dinghies to be beamy (wide) and to offer a stable ride at rest and on the move, and a hull that enables the angler to fish in more adventurous areas than just the local creek. The new Edgetracker has certainly moved into modern requirements for such a boat, particularly in the tournament style bream and bass boats. Edgetrackers aren’t just for tournament anglers though – the deck layout can be formed into just about any lay-up that you want, so long as you don’t mind waiting just that little bit longer. The boat is also available in painted and un-painted versions for those who want to save a few more dollars.
Looking at the Edgetracker you immediately notice just how wide it is – and while only 2.05m at its widest, it’s still quite a beamy boat for its size. The look is no doubt increased by the continuation of the beam well towards the bow of the boat. The wide beam has a number of benefits, offering good stability to move about while fishing and while travelling, and gives a whole lot more area in the boat for casting platforms and storage. Add to this the increased planing surface and you can start to appreciate the benefits of this hull.
By modern hull designs the 40hp Yamaha outboard we had fitted on the boat is not regarded as a big or fast engine, and is probably on the smaller side of what many keen anglers would have fitted. The beauty though is that the 40hp engine has no trouble in getting this boat up and on its way, with little effort from the engine.
I purposely used little revs to see if the boat would struggle or be bow-high to climb onto the plane. With the initial turn of the throttle on the tiller it looked as though this would be the case, especially with the two of us sitting in the rear half of the boat and with no weight up the front. Instead, we lifted only slightly and the boat quickly levelled out and was happy to sit on the plane at the lower rev. Give it a hit and there’s plenty of speed and power to keep most anglers more than happy. Even though it’s a two-stroke, the 40hp Yamaha wouldn’t be a thirsty one.
As far as the actual ride goes, despite the Edgetracker’s beamy nature there was no pounding or harsh ride. This is because the hull shape has allowed the bow to be pulled in nice and tight so there’s a reasonably fine entry, and there’s still some tunnelling effect under the hull to soften the ride.
The Stessl design incorporates its Edgetracker system which, for want of a better description, acts like two keels, though down the sides of the boat. These extruded chines are where the boats’ derive their name and it doesn’t take long to appreciate the benefits of driving this boat. Edgetrackers track well and hold in very well while you turn and manoeuvre the boat. The outer rails trap both air and water under the hull which provides additional lift and stability.
For a 4.35m hull this boat is quite large and you’d have no hesitation heading out into a little open water chasing fish around the bay, or even over some of our inshore reefs.
The new layout is appealing in a number of areas. As with most boats this style the casting platform up the front. Due to the continuation of the beam well for’ard, and the height of the side, you end up with a substantial area up here for several anglers to move about and fish. There’s also a heap of storage below.
The first storage area has been built as a live fish well which runs the full width of the boat. A centre seam in this tank allows an aluminium baffle to slip into the centre to prevents a large volume of water rolling from one side of the boat to the other. If you do happen to land a big one that you want to keep alive you just slip the baffle out.
In front of this there is more storage in a number of compartments and, due to the depth, bulky items have no trouble slipping into here.
The very front hatch is reserved for the anchor, with an internal bollard to tie off. All is concealed under the hatch lid, and when you’re anchored a small slot in the lid allows the rope to come through and down under the bow sprit/roller.
There are no bow rails right at the front of the boat so this means a clear for’ard casting platform with nothing to snag the likes of fly lines on and ample space to mount a bow mount electric outboard if you wish.
Low profile side rails and stern rails are provided for mounting rod holders and other accessories, or to tie off if need be.
As far as seating goes, there are three positions in the aft deck for the removable pedestal seats (two provided) and one central location on the for’ard casting platform. It didn’t really matter where you put the seats – the ride remains more than satisfactory and comfortable.
Across the stern is another bench with storage below which can act as a small rear casting area. Below it is where you’ll find the batter and fuel tank. There’s the option of having a 60L underfloor fuel tank fitted, which is the better way to go because it gives great capacity, frees up a bit of room in the stern and sees the weight of the fuel centrally located.
Although the lines of this boat may look similar to others on the market, this new Edgetracker is sufficiently different to stand out on its own, with many benefits in ride and layout. There’s a range of sizes and options available in the Edgetracker boats, and for more information just contact your local Stessl dealer.
BMT package prices start from just over $17,000. Text boat supplied by Stessl Boats ph. (07) 5574 5655.
Make/model - Stessl Edgetracker 435 Pro Tournament.
Construction - aluminium
Length - 4.35m
Beam - 2.05m
Weight - 230kg (hull only)
Max hp - 60
Sides - 1.6m
Capacity - 5 people
Bottom - 3.0mm
Side - 1.6mm
Fuel - optional 60L under floor
Flotation - foam underfloor blocks
1. The revamping of the Edgetracker range sees a significantly improved boat in both design, performance and layout.
2. The 40hp two-stroke Yamaha was more than sufficient, providing speed and power.
3. At 4.35m you end up with an awful lot of boat with a smartly finished interior.
4. There’s a lot that can be concealed under the casting platform. To the stern there’s the baffled live fish well, cental storage and a for’ard anchor well.
5. The pedestal seats have three positions in the stern section of the boat with side pockets and stern locker for additional storage.
6. The track rails either side of the hull add to the performance of the hull.
6a. [INSET] Close up of track rail.