By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Lou Martin

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If the boat-per-metre factory is foremost on your mind when shopping for a versatile family weekend fisher, then Ally Craft has the rig for you, writes Rick Huckstepp



Ally Craft is a long-established and well-respected boat brand in Australia, competing strongly in the crowded aluminium boat market. Its new 610 Coastal will only cement its reputation for designing and building a great boat as we discovered recently on Deception Bay, Queensland.
The large cuddy cabin offers a spacious V-bunk area for two and an infill in the footwell increases creature comforts. Three could sit upright without a problem. The cushions are separate from the lids which sit over stowage areas in the bunks, and entry to and from the cabin was easy enough for a big person. The cabin hatch opens aft and rests on the screen. From this position one felt safe working the ground tackle, which was within easy reach.
The helm features a neat fibreglass fascia inserted into a half aluminium bulkhead extending down from the dash. It consists of gauges for the big 140hp Saltwater Mercury and Eagle depth sounder. Available space for other instruments in the fibreglass fascia will be a little tight, but large cabinet-type electronics have plenty of room on the top of the dash. The helm consisted of an Admiral HyDrive Hydraulic unit and this was comfortable to operate right through the boats speed and turning range.




This rig is big on beam and offered very good stability when moving around the cockpit with a couple of people aboard. Stability will increase once you put a bit of gear, a load of fuel and a couple of fishing buddies aboard, and the rig sits a little lower in the water.
Standing at the transom, the battery and oil bottle shelf was low to the floor and it would be impossible to get the arches of the feet under it when fishing if the collapsible rear lounge was removed. Rubbish getting under here would be difficult to remove as well.
A polycarbonate door allows access through the transom bulkhead onto the full floating pod that features a drop-down ladder.
Spacious carpeted deck in the cockpit allowed for plenty of fishing room and four anglers could bottom fish from this boat with ease. The big sidepockets would hold plenty of gear, for example spare bottom rods, handlines, landing nets, gaffs and bottles of water.




The Mercury blew this boat out of the hole effortlessly and it quickly attained its top rev-range of 5800rpm, at which time the handheld GPS reported speed over ground as 72kmh - and handy top-end speed for such a big boat. Trimmed out a bit, it offered a soft ride over an annoying short, sharp chop generated by 20kmh south easterlies.
Trimmed in for hard turning at speed there was no evidence of cavitation and steering was very direct. It felt very light and danced a little when trimmed up, but then we were running on a near empty fuel tank with nothing but safety gear aboard. Point and shoot with this rig.
Seated in the passenger seat, the grabrail on the dash was a long way forward - too far in fact for Amy at the time - and the only other options were to hang onto the canopy struts, which would suffer the bends with time. A few more grabrails and sliding seats in this rig might alleviate some of these issues.
The canvas work for the canopy was good quality though I would have liked to see a grab rail on the top of the screen to which the top could be attached. It felt a little flimsy when you need to grab something for support.
As an all-round family boat offering a good mix of cockpit space, shelter, ease of operation in an affordable package, the Stacer 610 is worthy of consideration.




* Plenty of power and an easy drive
* Exceptional stability and good ride
* Plenty of dry storage
* Sizable cockpit




* Lack of grabrails for passengers
* Rear oil and battery shelf too close to deck
* High profile increases windage when under way



Specifications: Ally Craft 610 Coastal




Price as tested: $38,600 w/ 150hp Mercury and dual-axle trailer
Options fitted: Canopy, clears, sounder, radio, hydraulic steering, EPIRB, baitboard, lounge and boarding ladder
Priced from: About $35,000 with Mercury 150hp two-stroke and trailer



Hull type: Monohull cuddy cabin
Material: Pressed aluminium
Length (overall): 6.4m
Beam: 2.4m
Deadrise: 18°
Weight: 640kg hull only



Rec/max HP: 130/150
Fuel: 140lt
Accommodation: Sleeps two
Passengers: Up to six adults



Make and model: Mercury 140 Saltwater
Type: Carburetted V6 two-stroke
Rated hp: 140
Displacement: 2507cc
Weight: 184kg
Gearbox ratio: 1.87:1
Propeller: 17in Mirage stainless steel



Cunningham's Marine,
279-287 Oxley Avenue,
Redcliffe, Qld.
Phone: (07) 3284 2342



Originally published in TrailerBoat #197

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