STABICRAFT 2570 SUPERCAB FISHING BOAT TEST
A commercial heritage and focus on failsafe unsinkable design elements may rob the Stabicraft 2570 of classic good looks, but she will quickly get you, your family or mates to the big hunting grounds way offshore in comfort and safety
Not only were New Zealand-made Stabicraft boats considered a niche concept when they hit the Australian market, they were also considered butt ugly. Serious seafarers, however, couldn't give two hoots for looks - for them it's all about function, ride, strength and ultimately safety. Indeed, commercial operators like the coast guard, police, marine safety services, SES and even fire authorities have taken to these serious Stabicraft like ducks to water.
As a result, the adventurous Australian recreational boating public has slowly but surely seen the light, acknowledging the extremely high level of safety and practicality makes the Stabicraft boats a force to be reckoned with.
Stabicraft's new 2570 Supercab supersedes the 759, thereby making an appealing boat even better. We recently tested one out of Rye, on Victoria's Port Phillip Bay, courtesy of Australia's largest Stabicraft dealer MY Marine. Our test boat had been transformed into a veritable offshore weapon by merging the dynamic power of twin 150hp Hondas with enormous range from two 250lt fuel tanks.
The new 2570 has a huge bow platform with a bowrail that wouldn't look out of place on an Iroquois-class destroyer - it's huge! The big bowrail encapsulates the large for'ard platform making it a very useable area rather than just the useless pointy bit. Its construction is strong, but it does appear to suffer from some flexibility, making me wonder if it will fall victim to that dreaded aluminium disease, fatigue. Time will tell, but for now I like it.
The new extended Supercab looks great and works even better. Its roof actually extends almost a metre from the rear cabin bulkhead to protect those in the cockpit. There is a rocket launcher on top and room to store a lifeboat, buoys or water toys - I believe a few tuna towers have been built for gamefishos. The walkway around the cabin is a little narrow but there are grabrails everywhere you look, so venturing forward is quite safe. There is also non-slip, rubberised matting on all of the walkways, including the gunwales.
The test boat featured an optional and fully-enclosed wheelhouse complete with sliding rear doors. It's protection was especially welcome in the cold environment we encountered on test day.
Of course commercial operators don't often have the benefit of refusing to go to work just because the weather is foul so the security of the enclosed cabin is paramount.
Stabicraft offers a number of optional layouts for the 2570 - the one we tested is aimed at sportsfishermen, heading out on big day trips. There is also a Supercab featuring an extended cabin, plus a Matt Watson Signature variant.
The Stabicraft designers must have done plenty of overtime on the ergonomics of all their models. For example, visibility through the big safety glass windows is terrific, although shorter skippers may prefer not to tick the optional dashboard extension on the window sill. It isn't really needed anyway as there is a stack of dashboard space available, particularly from modern, integrated instruments and screens. Our demo boat had a Garmin 5012 12in colour-sounder GPS-plotter and NMEA link to all engine displays. I can't speak highly enough of these terrific electronics.
Back in the cabin, I opened the big, sliding side-windows for ventilation and hit the wiper washers to remove salt spray from the screen. The twin throttles are set on a side-mounted box with storage underneath - just the place for sunnies and other gadgets. The helm is quite simplistic but practical, comfortable and ergonomically friendly with a smooth, carpeted finish.
The bolster-style helm and passenger bucket seats are both large and thickly upholstered. They are mounted on shock-absorbing Softrider pedestals, with swivel and slide adjustment. For extra support there are footrests on both ends of the vee-berth to brace against.
For added privacy MY Marine has fitted a canvas cabin divider to the dash bulkhead. The cabin is fully lined to match the comfortable vee-berth and has sidepocket storage either side. There is extra stowage under the berths, as well as a recess below the floor to store gear.
Stabicraft supplies a Porta Potti as standard and there is service access to the Stressfree Mini winch from a hatch in the for'ard bulkhead.
The wheelhouse ceiling has three longitudinal grabrails suited for tall passengers and there's an overhead console for radio equipment.
The cockpit is a hard-core workstation boasting enormous deck room. Okay, so there aren't any toeholds because of the floatation chambers but it's got everything else including high freeboard, wide gunwales and self-draining floor.
Our test Stabicraft 2570 Supercab had a tubular flooring mat for comfort and will be appreciated when the summer sun heats the checkerplate floor like a barbecue plate. Full-length sidepockets will keep knickknacks secure, while on the gunwales are full-length siderails and stainless steel rodholders.
Under the floor is a big wetbox and fuel capacity from the standard 360lt tank or optional 500lt version.
Stabicraft's Super Fish Transom combines big baitboard with huge livebait tank and enclosed storage for batteries, pumps, oil bottles and switch gear. There's also a small doorway on both sides of the transom making boarding easy.
Even though the twin 150hp Hondas are fitted to a full-length pod they are quite easy to fish around.
The 2570 Supercrab retains many commercial features: strong bollards, big bowrail, 6mm hull with 4mm sides, and compartmentalised floatation pontoons. Even so, the whole family can enjoy this boat.
On the move the Stabicraft showed its surefootedness in difficult conditions. The ride is generally very good and you can travel fast even in quite tough going. In fact the 2570 Supercab is surprisingly quick and covers plenty of water at an efficient and comfortable 26kts at 4200rpm. The 22° deadrise hull pops out of the hole nicely, and will plough through the nasty stuff at 16kts and 3200rpm. The boat's boxy shoulders will cause some bangs but that's a fair compromise for safety and buoyancy.
The favoured Solas 18in props hadn't arrived for our test, so the pair of 17in Enertias instead redlined the engines at 6100rpm for a slick 40kts. This big machine can fly, especially with the added acceleration of the Hondas' BLAST feature. I estimate the package could break the old 50mph barrier at around 6000rpm with bigger props.
An old mate explained how to tell true friends from your acquaintances. Basically he said your friends are the ones you can depend on in a life-threatening crisis. The Stabicraft 2570 Supercab may not ride like a Jaguar, but I'd choose it as a big, strong, trusted friend in any sea.
STABICRAFT 2570 SUPERCAP
PRICE AS TESTED
Twin 150 Hondas, Dunbier aluminium trailer, dual sliding and lockable transom doors, twin fuel tanks, two-tone metallic paint, Super Fish transom, LED lighting, remote Golight spotlight, Fusion stereo, cabin infill cushions, tubular matting on deck and gunwales, three-piece collapsible outrigger set, Garmin 5012 touchscreen, 1kW transducer, and more
$145,000 w/ single Honda 250
Two Honda BF150 outboards
6100rpm (WOT) 40kts
* Sea-trial data supplied by the author.
TYPE: Deep-vee monohull
MATERIAL: Aluminium (6mm hull; 4mm sides)
WEIGHT: 2900kg (BMT)
PEOPLE (DAY): 9
REC. HP: 225
REC. MAX HP: 300
FUEL: 360lt (500lt optional)
MAKE/MODEL: 2 x Honda BF150
TYPE: Four-cylinder four-stroke outboard
WEIGHT: 220kg (each)
DISPLACEMENT: 2354cc (each)
GEAR RATIO: 2.14:1
PROPELLER: 17in Enertia
Corner Nepean Highway and Ponderosa Place,
Dromana, Vic, 3936
Phone: (03) 5987 0900
From Trade-a-Boat magazine Issue 431, Sept-Oct 2012. Story: John Willis. Photos: Ellen Dewar.
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