The Jack's Lap rig | Stabicraft 1650 Fisher

By: Jack Murphy, Photography by: Jack Murphy

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

For the Jack's Lap fishing tour around Australia we got this beaut Stabicraft 1650 Fisher package. Then we'll give it away to one lucky reader or visitor.

What is Jack’s Lap? Follow me, Jack Murphy, throughout the year as I travel from cold Melbourne to tropical Far North Queensland, back to Victoria, down around South Australia, up around the west coast, and all the way to Darwin. Then I’ll return in time to hand the keys to someone else.

That’s right, for 2015 we’re giving away the boat package you see here.

The Jack’s Lap trip around Australia will be aboard the Stabicraft 1650 Fisher package that you see here. Check it out.


The boat: Stabicraft 1650 Fisher

Stabicraft 1650 Fisher

Considering where we planned to travel, we knew we had to get the best gear available. On a trip like this you can’t afford to rely on the unknown, so we went straight to the top. Red Dog is a Stabicraft 1650 Fisher boat that some of you are already familiar with. When we previously reviewed a Stabicraft 1650 Fisher in 2013 our tester referred to it as a "seriously capable adventure platform" that handles "like a sports car on water".

I’ve already notched quite a few sea miles on this Stabicraft 1650 Fisher for the Jack’s Lap tour around Australia and I’m looking forward to doing many more — in considerable comfort.


Mercury FourStroke outboard motor

100hp Mercury outboard motor

Not so long ago, Trade-a-Boat did an exclusive review of the Mercury FourStroke outboard motor range. Our engine expert, Andrew Norton, subjected the Mercury FourStroke outboard motors to hours of on-water appraisal and thorough technical breakdown.

When we told the good folk at Mercury Marine that we needed a FourStroke outboard motor that was efficient and reliable to take me around the country, they came back with an offer we couldn’t refuse.

This was a ‘secret-project’: a 100hp Mercury outboard motor with Command Thrust gearcase (there's a video there you should see). It’s ‘secret’ because Mercury never released a Command Thrust 100 engine. For Jack’s Lap we got to test the first one in the world that was earmarked for reviewing.

The Stabicraft 1650 Fisher hull is rated to a maximum 100hp, so this outboard motor is a great fit, especially with that Command Thrust gear case which permits fitting a bigger prop.


Marine electronics

Lowrance marine electronics

Lowrance marine electronics are familiar to all serious fishermen. Navico – local distributor for Lowrance, B&G and Simrad – kindly decked out the Stabicraft 1650 Fisher with one a Lowrance HDS-9 StructureScan combo, plus a pair of VHF marine radios (one handheld). The all-important music comes via a Sonic Hub setup.

The Lowrance HDS-9 is crystal clear and bright and with the StructureScan transducer has already led me to some excellent fish catches. The integration with the Mercury outboard motor Command Thrust 100 has proven handy for keeping an eye on fuel flow, speeds and revs when testing props. 


Boat trailer

Transtyle boat trailer

If the massive fishing expeditions that Trade-a-Boat did over the years taught us one thing, it’s that you should always get the best boat trailer you can. Our first stop therefore, was the friendly bunch at Transtyle Trailers who were all too happy to help out. When I told them how far I was going and the roads I’d take (and in some cases, ‘roads’ is quite an embellishment), I expected Hoang and the team to be scared off. Instead they just upgraded everything and sent me on my way with a smile.

The boat trailer that will carry the Stabicraft 1650 Fisher is an aluminium Transtyle AT1700 trailer. It’s a single axle, bolt-together trailer with Transtyle rubber torsion axles. Rated to 1700kg, it happily carried the Stabicraft 1650 Fisher with plenty of capacity to spare, even when loaded with jerry cans of fuel and all my camping gear.

I should add that the guys at Transtyle genuinely look to make things easier for their customers. In my case, Transtyle fitted a neat post step to make solo launches easier and a walkway between the wheels, again making launching and retrieving easy.


Fishing gear

Fishing during Jack's Lap

No fishing trip around Australia would be complete without some first rate fishing gear and tackle. Our fishing equipment for Jack’s Lap is Pure Fishing, an agent for Penn, Berkley, Pflueger, Abu Garcia and more fishing gear and tackle companies.

Pure Fishing kitted me out with an enviable amount of fishing gear to review all across Australia, from lightweight rigs that I’ll be pushing to the limit on Spanish mackerel, to heavy gear with which to tease gamefish.



Like what you see? You could win the Stabicraft 1650 Fisher featured here, plus a 2015 Majestic Sierra Xtreme off-road caravan worth a cool $57,990. The Ultimate Adventures giveaway package is worth more than $100,000. Find out how to enter.


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