By: Warren Steptoe.

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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A serious fishing boat that looks good enough to keep the family happy for social boating, that’s the Stacer 479 Nomad, says Warren Steptoe.




I'm a fisherman and Stacer's Nomad line has always been among my favourites. Generally simpler than similar offerings from other boatbuilders, Nomads have always delivered the goods as fishing boats without the unnecessary frills sometimes affecting other brands.



History records that a Territorian named Alex Julius originated the concept of this boat in co-operation with Quintrex, which soon developed the original Top Ender. So immediately successful was the Top Ender that it was very quickly imitated by virtually every other fishing boatbuilder in the country, including Stacer.

Julius' idea has since evolved from its original tiller-steered bow and stern-casting decks with flat lower-deck between configuration, to become what you see here. The prime difference is a side-console with remote steering and controls replacing the original tiller.

Funnily enough, I still prefer the tiller-steer. In fact, you could classify my current boat as a tiller-steer "Top Ender," despite it being made from GRP. This explains my preference for the "TS" Nomads.

Even so, the tiller wasn't all this preference was based on. It also had to do with the differing transoms which previously came with the tiller and side-console versions. I know I'm not alone among fishos in liking my casting deck space, and the tiller-steered Nomads made much more efficient use of their interior because the aft casting deck ran all the way to the actual transom, while the "MP" side-consoles had what Stacer called the "Mod Pod" transom.

Mod Pod had its advantages (notably a full-height aft bulkhead) and was certainly an asset in runabout, cuddy-cab and bowrider models. However, I always thought it consumed too much of that precious casting deck-space in the more fishing-oriented Nomads, and it's something I have mentioned in a number of previous boat tests.

I'm told comments like these from customers and the boating press influenced Stacer to develop a special version of the full-height bulkhead transom for the Nomad range. This pleases me immensely because, as a direct result of feedback, Stacer created a fishing boat that's really quite special, but which retains all the safety and social advantages of the preceding Mod Pod.



Our test boat was a 4.8m Nomad "479" side-console with a full-depth cockpit instead of an aft casting deck. Some boaters who fish rougher open water as much as the calm will prefer this arrangement because it creates usable cockpit space, while those who spend more time lure-casting on calm water would probably prefer the raised deck aft option.

In any case, the new transom consumes minimal interior space while still providing stowage for items like batteries. It also has room for a decent-size livebait tank in the port side of the transom covering-board. It's simply brilliant.

But that's not all… There's still enough flat checkerplate around the outboard to make it pretty easy to climb aboard over the back. The centre-section of the aft bulkhead, right in front of the outboard, is cleverly hinged so it can fold down when boarding over the transom, or tilt up for an outboard with a higher than usual cowl.

Stacer really got it right here, leaving me shaking my head in admiration at one of the best fishing boat backsides in the business…



Stacer has, over time, delivered several generations of the stretch-formed "EVO" hull, and the latest for 2010 is called "EVO Advance."

An EVO Advance hull has new bows with a finer rake compared to previous versions. Although not that subtle when you take a close look, the change in ride quality that these new finer bows bring is dramatic.

In my opinion, Quintrex's stretch-formed Millennium hull has for some time been the leader in terms of ride quality among aluminium boats, and I look forward to an opportunity to directly compare Stacer's new bows with a same size Quintrex.

Perhaps to expect these new bows to reach that level is unrealistic. They're neither as fine in that critical area where the bows slice through surface chop as Millennium hulls do, nor do they have Quintrex's characteristic flare above the chines. However, I'm happy to observe that these new Stacer bows easily place them in a league of their own, well beyond the average aluminium hull. Yes they're that good!



Inside the 479 Nomad we still have the reworked side-console introduced last year. This allows an icebox or tacklebox to be stowed behind the rise of the casting deck at the driver's feet. I'm glad Stacer left it alone because it was a good idea to start with.

Beside the helm are two sockets in the deck for mounting a passenger seat. This works well because it allows the passenger to be moved forward or aft to help trim the boat laterally, depending on the passenger's weight relative to the person at the wheel, and whether you wish to shift weight forward or aft to suit sea conditions. It's yet another of those deceptively simple arrangements that works well.

On the bow casting deck is yet another seat-mount socket, and space underneath is fully utilised as stowage. At the aft end there's a big lined compartment (the liner is tough rotomoulded material) with a pair of underdeck lockers between it and the bow bulkhead. These go all the way to the inside of the hull.

Up on the foredeck the anchorwell featured a new drop-in divider. It's apparently an option and I can see it serving as a cutting and cleaning board, or as something to divide the anchorwell into two sections. It's a small thing I think people in the north will appreciate. The livebait tank too has a Teflon cutting-surface as a lid.

For our photo shoot we stowed the standard bimini top inside its envelope. When opened into place it shaded the helm and passenger seats well, but unfortunately it also got in the way of fishing ambitions in the aft end.

As an alternative the bimini can be laid down flat across the transom, or even removed altogether with the aid of a screwdriver. Admittedly it could become a pain that interferes with the fishing, but good shade is essential these days and the standard bimini on this boat certainly provides that when erected into place.

The only comment I'd make here is that perhaps Stacer could think about replacing the pin that releases the bimini to fold down onto the deck with some kind of quick release arrangement. That way you don't need an easily misplaced screwdriver.

Along each side of the cockpit is a big sidepocket that again has been kept to sensible proportions so it doesn't protrude too far past the sidedecks, where they would interfere with leg support when fishing in the cockpit. Nonetheless, they'll still swallow a fair amount of those odds and ends that us fishos leave around.



Out on the water it soon became apparent that this boat was meant to be driven while seated at the wheel. Standing up puts the wheel at a low and awkward angle, so seated you remain. With your own stern end firmly planted in the seat, the Nomad was an easy to handle and fun boat. It would be equally comfortable on long runs to fishing spots that the Top End is (in)famous for, as it would on family and social outings.

Our test boat was powered by a 75hp Mercury two-stroke outboard with an 18in pitch Vengeance propeller, an optional upgrade from the standard 60hp two-stroke Merc.

While this engine is more expensive, the 75 provided sufficiently brisk performance to drag kids about on wake toys, if that's a requirement. I'd personally choose the upgrade because it allowed the 479 Nomad to cruise effortlessly, and I should imagine economically, at 18-20kts at between 3500-4000rpm. Flat out the GPS recorded a top speed of 34.7kts (64.3kmh) at 5800rpm while lightly loaded. Even with more gear onboard the 75 could be expected to maintain an impressive cruise rate in the middle of the Merc's rev range.



The 2010 479 Nomad's new transom, new bows and improved interior combine to make it one special fishing boat. Of course, if you're after a purely family/social boat, then maybe a bowrider or runabout would be a better proposition.

Even so, this well-thought out side-console, with an extra bucket seat or two mounted in the extra seat-mounts, would make for a more than reasonable family and social boat, even if it wouldn't offer quite the same level of wind and spray protection as a runabout or bowrider.


SPECS: Stacer 479 Nomad



Price as tested: $31,000 (ex Nitro Marine)

Options fitted: Bimini top and envelope, 75hp Mercury upgrade


Type: Side-console fishing boat

Material: Aluminium

Bottom sheets: 3mm

Side sheets: 2.5mm

Transom: 3mm

Length: 4.8m (4.88m LOA)

Beam: 2.2m

Deadrise: Variable

Hull weight: 143kg

BMT trailering weight: Approx. 810kg

Warranty: 3 years on hull


Fuel: 77lt

People: 5

Max HP: 75

Max engine weight: 184kg


Make/model: Mercury 75hp

Type: Three-cylinder in-line two-stroke

Rated HP: 75

Displacement: 1386cc

Weight: 138kg

Gearbox ratio: 2.3:1

Propeller: Mercury Vengeance 18in pitch



53 Waterway Drv,

Coomera, Gold Coast, Qld



Nitro Marine Southport

34 Smith St,

Southport, Qld, 4215

Phone: (07) 5531 5812





Originally published in TrailerBoat 258.

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