Review: Stabicraft 1850 Supercab


We water test and rate the Stabicraft 1850 Supercab, a contender in the aluminium fishing boats category at the 2014 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

Aussies have taken to Kiwi plate-alloy boats in a big way and one of the most popular brands is Stabicraft. The pontoon-style boat builder's Stabicraft 1850 Supercab is a terrific hull.

STABICRAFT 1850 SUPERCAB

 

STABICRAFT 1850 SUPERCAB REVIEW

STABICRAFT 1850 SUPERCAB AGB FINALISTThose intrepid Kiwis have retained all the features we liked and then added a few more beauties to the Stabicraft 1850 Supercab. The Arrow Pontoons have softened the shoulders that could give previous models a bit of a jarring in sloppy head seas, while retaining the safety of the segmented positive floatation. Stabicraft improved the ride too, extending the keel sheets all the way to the back of the pod.

Stabicraft has also perfected the Game Chaser transom and not just in layout but functionally too. The work station is tremendous with even a big livebait tank under the central cutting board. The 1850 has good access, a functional pair of fold-down rear seats that double as boarding steps, a raised battery and plumbing compartment, well-proportioned rear platforms and a unique overall design that allows you to back-up on a rampaging pelagic at speed.

It’s a very efficient hull on the water with seagoing abilities far in excess of its 5.6m overall length. The 115hp Yamaha four-stroke was yet again the engine of choice.

The hardtop is a beauty and the large windscreen provides amazing visibility. There’s also plenty of storage with full length sidepockets.

Yep, it’s another winning rig from this tough Kiwi contender.

 

STABICRAFT 1850 SUPERCAB RATING

Fishing suitability

8.8

Innovation

8.7

Design and layout

8.1

Quality of finish

8.1

Handling and ride

8.2

Stability at rest

8.9

Ergonomics

8.6

Standard equipment

8.1

Value for money

8.1

X-Factor

8.3

TOTAL SCORE

83.9

 

UNDERSTANDING THE RATING SYSTEM 

BOAT AT RAMP Boat judges  
Meet the judging panel

The rating criteria
explained
 

 

THE JUDGES’ NOTEPAD

Angelo Sangiorgio: "The new Stabicraft 1850, with its Arrow Pontoons, is a very efficient hull. It’s quite light on the nose which means it’s very responsive to trim so you can drive it how you like it. You still get a little noise but only when you come off the plane and a little water breaks off the shoulder. We love the layout — it looks like a Super Cobra attack helicopter from the front! There’s no joins in the windscreen, so there’s nothing to impede vision. The Game Chaser transom allowed us to back up at around 12 knots — that’s heaps! It’s not just a day boat; it’s a legitimate offshore game boat. The full-length keel to the back of the pod gives more lift out of the hole without the boat lifting its bow."

John Ford: "This is my first drive of the new 1850 Stabicraft HT and it’s a really nice thing. Over the years we have all been getting used to the sponson design and now it has improved even further with the Arrow Pontoons. It’s a very soft ride and a confident one at that. You could nearly waterski in reverse with the Game Chaser transom. In fact, the whole transom is ideal and the livebait tank under the cutting board saves space. It’s extremely well designed and hard to believe it’s only 5.6m — it feels bigger. There’s no transition when coming onto the plane and a very flat attitude from the volume in the back."

Kevin Smith: "It’s quite a change to have the smaller Stabicraft at AGB instead of the big mothers we’re used to. The company has done a great job of maximising space in a nice simple layout — it works for me. A little more depth transforms to a better ride in the chop and the sponsons still curl off the spray. The ergonomics can’t be beaten for a fishing transom — Stabicraft has it down pat. The backing up ability is great. You don’t feel like you’re in a 5.5m boat — it feels much bigger."

Matt Jones: "Yet another ripper from the home of the Kiwi! Safe, exceptional, foolproof ride. With the Game Chaser transom you can back up hard and it’s got an awesome bait station. We shot out of the hole and off we went. The single screen is great — it gives it a completely different attitude. It’s a very confident contender all round. I love checkerplate floors. This is pretty much the fisherman’s dream boat!"

John Willis chats with Tim Van Duyl from Stabicraft: "There’s lots of competition in this size class but we hold our own well, particularly with our new design innovations like the Game Chaser transom and the Arrow Sponsons. It’s good to see the quality from every competitor at AGB — it drives us all harder to raise our standards. Our 5.6m boat with a hardtop fishes four people and tows very easily at only around 1250kg on the road— equal to a small caravan. You get an immense view from the big single-faced windscreen — good ergonomics are part of Stabicraft’s DNA."

STABICRAFT 1850 AT BOAT RAMP

 

STABICRAFT 1850 SUPERCAB SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 5.6m

BEAM: 2.4m

WEIGHT: 1300kg (BMT)

MAX. HORSEPOWER: 135

BASE PRICE: $58,000

PRICE AS TESTED: $66,790

 

MORE ON AUSTRALIA'S GREATEST BOATS 2014

Fibreglass fishing boats

Fibreglass
fishing boats 

 

Aluminium fishing boats

Aluminium
fishing boats 

 

Family boats

Family boats

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.