BOAT TEST: STACER 459 SF BARRA PRO

By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp


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The Stacer 459 SF with the moniker Barra Pro targets the tournament angler, but this vessel is flexible enough to take recreational fishers to all sheltered waterways anywhere in Australia and not just Top End trophy hunting, notes Rick Huckstepp

BOAT TEST: STACER 459 SF BARRA PRO
STACER 459 SF BARRA PRO

 

FISH LIKE A PRO
While the catchword title on many of the small trailerboat models around the marketplace is 'Barra', in reality, it could be any species. Some of these boats are that flexible that they have no geographic borders and would be just as practical floating around Lake Arthur in Tasmania, looking for brown trout than in the tropics chasing barramundi.
One from Stacer slips into that category, in the form of the 459 SF Barra Pro.
Built on Stacer's Evo hull style, it has a sharp leading forefoot on the front of the keel line which is swaged back to give it broad contact with the water surface when off the plane. This offers the best case scenario of maximum stability at rest when drift fishing or on anchor and underway in chop.
The bulbous aft end of the side sheets adds to buoyancy when the vessel is dead in the water and a couple of people are occupying the stern end of the cockpit or aft casting platform ? the added weight pushing the wider section of the hull deeper into the water.
The transom engine mount, as built, extends past the ends of the hull on the port and starboard side, and this gives it a greater centreline length hence a more comfortable ride in close chop as well as a stylish shape.

 

CAST SAFELY
There are two casting platforms on the 459 and both sit about 75mm below the top of the gunwale.
While there are handrails each side of the boat, it is the rebate that provides a greater safety barrier to those moving around on deck should they lose concentration when fishing. The feet contact the inside of the gunwale rather than stepping too far and getting caught under a handrail at which time overbalancing could cause some grave injuries to limbs, in particular feet if they do not come free.
The forward casting deck is designed with five hatches, two of which open to the inside of the hull while the other three have rotomoulded inserts which prevent goods from getting lost in the bilge and, to a certain extent, keeps those things dry. Two of those three inserts hold ground tackle at the bow and there is a mount plate formed as part of the hull, on which to mount an electric motor, the battery cabling for which is installed and secreted under the aft deck hatch on the port side of the forward casting deck. A seat-post base is centrally located on this casting deck and will accept one of the general seats from the cockpit.
The platform aft has three hatches with the central one capable of being used as a live fishwell and the other two for stowage. The rotormoulded inserts in the remaining pair have trays for two batteries each side and another for general stowage.
While the cranking battery was housed under the aft port hatch, the isolator switch for it was installed in the opposite side of the boat under the starboard hatch. A little odd, we thought, especially considering the high cost of heavy-duty copper core cabling. Honda's genuine fuel filter with water separator viewing bowl was installed in the starboard side also.
Due to the rebate in the aft casting deck to allow different shaped power heads to fully tilt without clashing with their cowls, Stacer have installed a hinged section in the deck that may be lowered when the engine leg is in the water. This alleviates some of the chance of one accidentally putting a leg into the engine well and overbalancing.
In the base of the well are a pair of screw-off inspection ports and an adhered sheet of rubber compound that prevents the loom from the outboard motor rubbing the paint.
Atop the gunwales, in the aft corners, are handrails and for added protection a rubberised buffer strip runs around the outside of the gunwales.

 

AT THE HELM
While there are two gunwale rodholders, another four feature on the front ledge that forms part of a practical helm console. There is also a grabrail that comes up from low on its base and, if necessary, rods could be tied back to this to stop them bouncing around.
The flat top of the console offers an ideal area for gimbal-mounted electronics while the sloping fascia facing the skipper hosts Honda's instrumentation and a pigeonhole through which one may place items out of the weather into the stowage inside.
A shallow ledge behind the helm will house odds and ends, and there is a small sidepocket running from next to the console to the forward bulkhead of the rear casting platform, albeit small.
There is no sidepocket on the port side of the boat which is disappointing as, other than a shelf well back under the console, the other stowage is under hatches and takes time to access. Sidepockets rule when it comes to stowing short gaffs, tackle trays, sinkers, hand lines and the like.
Underway on Nudgee Creek, near Brisbane Airport, the water conditions were tidal and flat. The 459 went to 52kmh (GPS) at WOT and the 50hp provided plenty of holeshot with one person aboard.
This style of hull can carry plenty of payload and still plane easily with relatively low horsepower on the back so it would be debatable whether you need 60hp.
We have had experience with similar shaped hulls where another 15hp on exactly the same hull produced zero-increased speed.
On medium to hard turns, port to starboard, we observed aeration at the propeller and at all positions of trim including trimmed right in. This will need addressing, perhaps with the engine being dropped another bolt hole which equates to 25mm. Handling over boat wash was fine and the mechanical steering was easy on the arms.
Nice rig from Stacer this one, and with a few additions it will be a good fishing platform for a variety of waters around this country.

 

WHAT WE LIKED
Lots of underdeck stowage
Practical console
Low HP requirements equal low fuel usage

NOT SO MUCH
Would like to see a sidepocket on the port side
Aeration at propeller requires attention

 

 

Specifications: Stacer 459 SF Barra Pro

 

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:                          $27,998
Options fitted:                           Bow mount plate, Navman 4380 fishfinder, transom step and rail, and two-tone paint
Priced from:                             $26,386

GENERAL
Material:                                   Aluminium, 3.0mm bottom; 2.5mm topsides
Length overall:                          4.59m
Beam:                              1.96m
Weight:                                     440kg (boat only)

CAPACITIES
People:                                     4 to 300kg
Max. engine weight:                              162kg
Max. load        522kg (including engine)
Flotation:                                  Basic
Fuel:                                         65lt
Rec. max. HP:                            60

ENGINE
Make/model:                             Honda BF50
Type:                                       Fuel injected three-cylinder four-stroke
Weight:                                     98kg
Displacement:                            808cc
Gearbox ratio:                           2.08:1
Propeller:                                  13in Solas
VELS rating:                             3-star

 


SUPPLIED BY
Northside Marine,
2294 Sandgate Rd,
Boondall, Qld, 4034
Phone: (07)3265 8000
Email: info@northsidemarine.com.au
Websites: www.northsidemarine.com.au; stacer.com.au

Originaly published in TrailerBoat #240

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