BOAT TEST: STACER 480 EASYRIDER

By: Bernard Clancy, Photography by: STUART GRANT


Despite its modest waterline length, the Stacer 480 Easyrider is an incredibly capable little all-round family cruiser. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to own, writes Bernard Clancy

BOAT TEST: STACER 480 EASYRIDER
STACER 480 EASYRIDER

 

OVER EASY


Midsized family tinnies are not generally known for their comfort, so it was with a few reservations that I ventured out in a Stacer 480 Easyrider recently. I expected a "wham bam thank you ma'am" type of ride - and got nothing of the sort.
There's no doubt that Stacer's EVO hull shape is one of the best in the tinnie business. The bottom features four strake-pressings either side of an upside-down T-shaped keel about 50mm deep, which is welded on from forepeak to stern.
A deadrise of 18° is quite sharp for a tinnie, especially one of this size. Most small tinnies usually need a flatter bottom to maintain a reasonable amount of stability at rest. Not so the Stacer. I was quite surprised at how stable this boat is at rest.
I suspect this is helped by fairly solid welded-on reverse chines, which also act as very efficient spray deflectors at speed.

 

 

NEAT AS A PIN


The 480 is a very neat little boat, ideal for the young family. The bowrider section will accommodate three adults but probably a whole bunch of wriggling, squirming littlies.
The vinyl seats and backrests up forward are comfortable enough, and there's storage under the seats. The anchor is easy to get to in the open bin behind the bowroller.
The three-piece wraparound screen has a centre opening panel to walk through into the bow section, and beneath that is a small, carpeted door across the walkway which, when closed, prevents spray and cold winds coming aboard. The screen is supported by two stainless pillars and also by an alloy grabrail, which also braces the bimini and clears. Nice touch.
The floor is carpeted throughout in a deep blue.
There are two seats in the boat (as well as a full-length fold-down lounge across the transom) and these are a simple seat and backrest arrangement. These are a little dated now and give very little lateral support, but the skipper's seat is adjustable forward and back. The seats also have reversible backs that give a slightly different angle ideal for a skiing observer.
The skipper's seat is quite high in comparison with the helm, and you're looking over the windscreen when seated. With the helm at or below knee level, the 480 is not the most comfortable boat to drive, but at least all your instruments are in full view in a specially moulded panel, including a Humminbird Matrix 15 fishfinder.
The throttle was in a good position, though, and a small switch panel was easy to get to behind the soft-touch helm.

 

 

CREATURE COMFORTS


The observer's seat has a moulded plastic dash panel that incorporates a drinkholder, top-mounted glovebox with a smoked acrylic lid, and a marine radio and CD player under that. It's a good arrangement.
Sidepockets are lengthy and covered by canvas screens with the centre cut out. I couldn't quite see the point of these. The fire extinguisher is mounted on the port sidepocket within easy reach. Paddles also clip on to the outside of the pockets and are handy without being a nuisance, as they usually are if stored in a sidepocket.
The rear lounge, which folds down for fishing room, has a canvas screen behind it to hide the bits under the transom, which include the battery in a box on the port side, and there's plenty of room on the other for either an oil bottle or boxed storage.
The test boat was fitted with a waist-high baitboard mounted centrally over the transom. The wide gunwales featured two plastic rodholders, and the fuel filler was in the top of the port gunwale.
Ski clips on the transom would be used quite a bit, one would imagine, as would the ladder and grabrails either side of the motors, which continue up over the stern on to the transom and gunwales. Good idea.
In my test runs I tried very hard to unbalance or trip up the Stacer, but it wasn't having any of it. We ripped along at 70kmh at WOT (5800rpm) and cruised easily and comfortably at 48kmh at 4200rpm. It's certainly one of the better tinnies from a performance viewpoint I've had the pleasure to test.
Some families will have a lot of fun in these. Top marks for performance and ride.

 

 

HIGHS


* Performance and ride
* Grabrail on windscreen
* Great "all-round" family boat

 

 

LOWS


* Curtains over sidepockets probably not necessary
* Seats could be more comfortable and supportive
* Driving position a little too high

 

 

 


Specifications: Stacer 480 Easyrider

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $25,500
Options fitted: Mercury 75hp two-stroke
Priced from: $24,575 w/ 60hp motor

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Aluminium (3mm bottom, 1.6mm topsides)
Length (overall): 4.695m
Beam: 2.2m
Deadrise: 18°
Weight (bare boat): 430kg

 

 

CAPACITIES


Rec/max hp: 75
Fuel: 75lt underfloor
Passengers: Five

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Mercury 75
Type: Oil-injected two-stroke
Rated hp: 75
Displacement: 1386cc
Weight: 138kg
Prop: Three-blade 18in s/s Vengeance

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Regal Marine, Vermont, Victoria, tel (03) 9874 4624 or visit www.stacer.com.au

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #190

Find Stacer boats for sale.

 


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