BOAT TEST: STACER 640 ALL ROUNDER

By: Bernard Clancy, Photography by: Suart Gant


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Several attributes conspire to make Stacer’s 640 All Rounder a very fishy character, but it’s the stable, soft-riding hull that really shines. Evo lets your hair hang down, writes Bernard Clancy.

BOAT TEST: STACER 640 ALL ROUNDER
STACER 640 ALL ROUNDER

 

 

AXIS OF EVO


Stacer has really got something going with its Evo hulls. Without a doubt, the 640 All Rounder centre console is one of the best-performing tinnies I've ever tested. No banging, no annoying "tinnie slap", no flightiness.
It would have been easy to close my eyes and imagine I was in a 'glass boat, so well did the boat ride. So where's the catch? Okay, Port Phillip Bay was fairly smooth, with about a foot of chop - but that's the sort of water that promotes hull slap.
There was none. I tried very hard to get the 640 to do nasty things and it simply wouldn't. But we'll come back to that later.
The Evo hull on this model is 5mm pressed-plate bottom and 3mm clinker-style sides. 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.
The deadrise of 18° is quite sharp, and  because they're so light, stability is a real concern for many tinnies. Not so the Stacer. I was surprised at this boat's stability at rest. I suspect this is helped by solid welded-on reverse chines, which also act as efficient spray deflectors at speed.

 

 

CENTRAL DIFFERENCE


Stacer calls the 640 a centre console but it's probably more like what the Yanks call a "centre cabin", in that while it has a "console" helm position, it also has a cuddy of sorts forward of that.
In fact, the console is really in the forward half of the boat, with most of the fishing room in the rear cockpit. It's a clever design in many respects and would probably suit both warm and cold-climate fishos who are happy to cop a bit of compromise.
If you're into yellowfin tuna fishing from a dead boat, a couple of things could be annoying. Firstly, as you walk around the boat following your yellowfin, you'll be blocked by the outrigger poles, which are mounted on the gunwales amidships. Secondly, you'll be blocked by the chest-high baitboard in the centre of the transom.
But if you're snapper fishing from the one spot on the boat, then you're cool, dude. I'd still prefer the poles to be mounted on the rocket launcher, though - up high and out of the way when that fish of a lifetime hits.
The forward part of the boat would be good to fish from because the split bowrail, while being as solid as a rock, is only medium height and low enough for comfortable rod use over it. But beware of the prongs of the anchors sticking up from the anchor tubes welded onto the rails.

 

 

BOW TO CONVENTION


The bow features a standard bowroller arrangement leading, on the test boat, to a Breeze 700H windlass mounted beside a fair-sized open chain locker with a narrow opening - hence the tubes on the bowrail.
Yes, you may get a small anchor into the locker, but it could be tough getting it out. I'd prefer a better anchor-carrying arrangement on the short bowsprit.
With the walkaround configuration, bow access is brilliant. The walkway is carpeted and around knee depth, but I'd be fitting some form of coaming padding for when you're on a good fish in a rough sea and can't hang on to both the rod and the boat.
There's plenty of room in the gunwales up forward to fit additional rodholders. The boat comes with just four rubber-insert stainless jobs, all in the cockpit. And while I'm on that point, why are they mounted at such a severe angle? A few knees are gonna get barked on them in a big sea.
Paint overspray on the inside of the locker is a tad agricultural, even for a fishing boat. The bow post looks as strong as an ox, but it is awkwardly placed once the windlass is bolted on. A couple of cleats just forward of amidships wouldn't go astray either.
From the walkway you take a small step down into the very large cockpit, which is also carpeted. The action station is functional, with a plastic moulded dash insert to accommodate gauges and a compass. The soft-grip helm was good,
and control position was excellent.
Behind the controls is a very slim, open pocket. But don't put any pens or coins in there, because they slip through a big slit in the bottom and disappear behind screwed-on, carpeted side cladding. Whoever buys the test boat will get a pen of mine thrown in with the deal - if they ever find it.
The seats are well padded, but as a simple flat seat and flat back arrangement they lack lateral support, which means that in a big sea you'd be fighting to stay put. The chequerplate footrest for the skipper is attached to the cuddy bulkhead and is a good size, but the footrest for the navigator is attached to the chair - it's too high and will only accommodate your heels in a strange knees-up-Mother-Brown position.
Both seats are fixed to open-sided alloy boxes, with the skipper's fully adjustable.

 

 

CUDDY THE MUSTARD


The fully carpeted cuddy is very cosy, and a huge glass hatch overhead lets in light.
There's storage under a big floor hatch, but no sidepockets. Headroom is fine if you're on your knees, which is okay because that's how you get in - through a doorway in front of the passenger seat.
The cuddy is designed for gear, not people; but two could squeeze in there in really foul weather. While the door opening is a good size, I'd be sticking some rubber tube padding around its circumference to protect head and shoulders in rough seas.
The glass two-piece wraparound windscreen, which interlocks in the middle, is centrally supported by a short stainless-steel pole but no grabrail. The passenger, however, has a grabrail on the bulkhead in front.
The action station is enclosed in a bimini top and clears attached to the solid rod rack, which has mounting brackets for aerials and GPS. The rod rack can be unbolted and swung down for low carports. I noticed, however, that the clears didn't clip on to the screen properly in the middle and would have to be taped to stop water ingress.
The cockpit is where the Stacer 640 really shines. It's very large for this style of boat, with wide (250mm) gunwales. Each gunwale has a high grabrail on its outside edge.
Sidepockets are long and would accommodate a lot of gear. The fire extinguisher is attached to the end of the starboard pocket and is easy to reach. Although not fitted to this boat, an EPIRB would fit on the opposite corner.
The self-draining sole is fully carpeted, and there is no access to the bilge and bilge pump without unscrewing the back floor panel. The self-draining holes are on the small side, too, and with the gunk that fishing boats collect, they could block a little too easily.

 

 

KING'S TRANSOM


The transom is a working man's dream. A large, chest-high baitboard is positioned directly over a huge, deep, central livebait tank. This has a couple of light rodholders built in.
Either side of the tank on a shelf are batteries and oil bottle, all of which are easily accessible.
Stern posts are big enough to hold a white pointer. A swing-in stern door on the starboard side gives access to the "Mod Pod" on which the Merc 150 is mounted. The grabrails are solid, but the fold-down stainless telescopic boarding ladder was a little wobbly and didn't fill this writer with confidence.
Stacer paints everything except the underwater bits and grabrails with a two-pack polyurethane marine paint, which looks really good. The boat comes on a dual-axle braked Stacer trailer, which features centre rollers and Teflon guides and slides at the back.
As I said earlier, the 640 performs really well, although we did experience some prop cavitation under severe turning. I would have loved to have had a metre chop to push the boat through - it gave no indication that it couldn't handle such conditions really well.
It slid through tight turns beautifully; tracked fast and true on speed runs, with just a little leaning to port; refused to bang over wake waves; and try as I might, I couldn't get the 640 to "fly" - it stuck to the water and wouldn't let go.
As mentioned, stability at rest was excellent. And for a metal hull, it was extremely quiet.
Stacer tends to sell factory packages through its dealer network, and a base package price of under $52,000 (with a 140hp Merc) is fairly good value. The boat we tested was fitted with a 150 and achieved a WOT speed of 75kmh at around 5800rpm. We had to have a stab at the rpm because the gauge wasn't working properly.
Hull weight is 855kg and onroad weight is 2000kg, which means it can be towed behind some large family cars and most medium 4WDs.
In summary, this is a very impressive hull and
a very fishable boat. It's just a pity that there's
a bunch of annoying little things that take the gloss off an otherwise terrific package.

 

 


HIGHS


• Evo hull, one of the best-riding tinnies around
• Spacious walkaround
• Fishability
• Transom fishing station

 

 

LOWS


• Seats could be improved
• Position of radios
• Positioning of rodholders and outrigger poles
• Attention to detail and finish could be better

 

 

 

 

Specifications: Stacer 640 All Rounder CC

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $53,275
Options fitted: Mercury 150 EFI motor, sounder, outriggers
Priced from: $51,295 w/ 140hp motor

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Plate marine aluminium
Length (overall): 6.43m
Beam: 2.42m
Deadrise: 18°
Rec/max hp: 150/200
Weight bare boat: 855kg
Weight on trailer: 2000kg approx

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel: 160lt
Passengers: Six adults

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Mercury
Type: V6 two-stroke EFI
Rated hp: 150
Displacement: 2500cc
Weight: 196kg
Prop: Three-blade 19 in s/s Vengeance

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Regal Marine, 514 Canterbury Rd, Vermont, Vic, tel (03) 9874 4624 or visit www.stacer.com.au

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #188

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