BOAT TEST: STACER 549 WAVE RUNNER

By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp


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The good looking Stacer 549 Wave Runner family-fisher features some nifty design-work in several areas, particularly the cabin’s walkthrough fore section, notes Rick Huckstepp

BOAT TEST: STACER 549 WAVE RUNNER
STACER 549 WAVE RUNNER

 

FORWARD HO!
Stacer's 549 Wave Runner will turn a few heads on and off the water. Its considerate and well designed walkthrough fore section will be a winner for the infirmed who have difficulty bending to crawl through cabins or for others that just lack the sea legs to walk around cabins to get to the anchorwells.
For accessing the anchorwell Stacer have created one of the easiest routes possible. This is achieved by utilising an opening centre pane in the windscreen and a long alloy hatch that extends from the base of the windscreen all the way forward to the bulkhead at the aft end of the anchorwell.
The leg well extends the same length and the whole design is as good as it gets in relation to the balance and leverage you get standing and working the ground tackle from the open anchorwell which is fitted with a Rotaform insert.
This through-cabin access setup also alleviates the need to walk outside the cabin to get to the bow and does away with the gunwale lip with the cabin walls extending almost to the edge of the hull's sides. The benefits are evident when sitting inside the spacious cabin.
The 549 Wave Runner cabin's long, front hatch has been manufactured with strength in mind, featuring a pressed shape/ridge running its length to prevent warping under stress. The edges of the hatch are curved downwards and fit snugly over a raised rubber seal running around the three edges of the aperture in the cabin roof.

 

CABIN HIGHS
The V-berth will handle two mediuam-sized adults at a squeeze, which is okay, after all, we are talking here of a cabin boat under 5.5m.
Under the cushions you will find open stowage space and Stacer have done away with the Rotaform inserts here as they tended to hog valuable space bridging the ribs and struts. The cushions at the aft end of the berths are retained by the foot rail for the helm chair occupants.
The bulkhead, on each side of the cabin entrance, is heavily rebated at the inside bottom edge to provide further ventilation and unimpeded access to the cabin.

 

BEHIND THE WHEEL
Both helm seats on the Stacer 549 Wave Runner are a neat package with the skipper's having a forward and rearward sliding lock. The seats feature a lift-up bum cushion on which one can comfortably lean when standing underway. It folds flat for comfortable, normal seating.
The helm station is fitted with a manual, cable steering system and instrumentation, and switching is installed in black and grey Rotaform modules installed on the top of the bulkhead.
The cockpit walls are lined with various materials. Carpeted panels are located at the skipper and passenger sides, and have an aperture to access stowage shelves behind.
Under the gunwales you have sidepocket stowage as well and the fascias of these pockets are upholstered timber. The fascias are quite flexible but at the same time not very straight and bowed in where they were anchored to the substructure behind.
Under the sidepocket the finish was neater with a swaged aluminium liner with rounded contours and foam floatation behind. There is good height beneath the sidepocket for the feet to tuck into while fishing over the gunwales. A nice finishing touch here is the full-length alloy foot treads fixed to the deck to prevent feet slipping out.

 

STACER LISTENS
With some of the earlier models from Stacer, we have been critical of the way the rear lounge folds down, contacting the deck and making it awkward to get to the transom and fish without overbalancing.
The manufacturers have taken this on board, it would seem, and now the rear lounge is capable of two heights. At the highest setting, the base to folds down and allows bare feet to fit under. To some this may seem trivial, to the serious angler the previous style dictated that the rear lounge had to be removed from the boat to utilise that space for what it was designed for. Behind this lounge you will find the cranking battery, isolator switch and the fuel filter.
Down the centre line of the cockpit on the 549 Wave Runner are two large hatches covering removable Rotaform boxes fitted with drain plugs that empty to the bilge. The aft end box has a hatch that opens to the stern while the one in front has a removable hatch.
By the way, these boxes are supposed to be removable but we couldn't budge them. Apparently, when they are removed one will find the foam floatation under the deck and this could have moved about and jammed them in position.
The deck of the Wave Runner is self-draining and Rotaform scuppers in the transom bulkhead have tubes leading to a ball-type shutoff system mounted in the transom.
Stacer's Mod Pod transom is easy on the eye too. It is heavily curved at the aft corners and there is plenty of room to jump aboard using the swim platform which is fitted with a telescopic fold-up swim ladder.

 

NOW LISTEN HERE
This ladder when in place sits vertically. Stacer tells us they have done away with the type that folded out at an angle on the request of their dealers. Obviously those dealers do not have customers who are overweight, weak in the arms or shoulders, infirmed or have some other physical disability. An angled boarding ladder works every time, no ifs or buts!
The aft top edge of the transom bulkhead has also come in for an angular trim which makes it more user friendly for climbing in or out of this boat.
Fitted with a 90hp Mariner two-stroke motor the 549 Wave Runner exhibited good holeshot with three adults aboard. At a cruise speed of about 45kmh the engine's ambient noise level at the helm was acceptable but at full throttle it was quite shrill. That's typical for a two-stroke and if you were using this boat for skiing and had passengers on the rear lounge, the noise level at WOT would be an issue over time.
For a manual steering system we thought this rig performed well with torque only a slight issue when fully trimmed in during hard turns. At 6000rpm the speedometer read 45mph which is about 73kmh so it is pretty impressive in the power department.

 

WHAT WE LIKED
The cabin walkthrough system is a very user-friendly concept
Good holeshot and power
Roomy cabin
Height-adjustable transom lounge

NOT SO MUCH
Boarding ladder should be set at an angle

 

 

Specifications: Stacer 549 Wave Runner

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:   $42,125  
Options fitted:   Upgrade from 75hp, two-tone paint, and alloy trailer
Priced from:    $37,576

GENERAL
Material:    Aluminium; 4mm bottom, 2.5mm sides
Length overall:   5.71m
Beam:    2.33m 
Deadrise:    15°
Weight:    649kg (hull)   

CAPACITIES
Fuel:     118lt   
People day:   7
People berthed:   2
Rec. max. HP:   125
Rec. min. HP:   75
Rec. max. engine weight: 242kg

ENGINE
Make/model:   Mariner 90
Type:     Three-cylinder carburetted two-stroke outboard
Weight:    138kg
Rated HP:    90
Displacement:   1386cc
Gearbox ratio:   2.30:1
Propeller:    18in

SUPPLIED BY
Telwater Pty Ltd
Email: jennifer@stacer.com.au
Website: www.stacer.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #241

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