By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Rick Huckstepp

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Running a bowrider ashore for a picnic can be a scratchy affair for fibreglass boats, but not so for Stacer’s aluminium 539 Sportster, notes Rick Huckstepp


Stacer have just rolled out a revamped and compact aluminium 539 Sportster that competes well with imported fibreglass bowriders.
While the traditional colours for Stacer have been those in the range of blue, they have opted to go to more neutral colours such as creams and greys, and have made some modifications along the way.
The bowriding section on the Stacer 539 Sportster has a makeover with more scalloped seating and stowage boxes underneath the cushions. An optional infill may fit here to create a casting platform, turning this rig into a smart fishing machine while in the cockpit Stacer have taken to the sidepocket modules of old and modified them, opening them up for more stowage space also.
This has been undertaken to maximise space without having to delve into the deck to create underfloor space, hence, keeping the overall price of the package to the minimum.
Subsequently, this boat does not come fitted with electronics such as depthsounders, but did have an optional boarding ladder on the port forequarter. The pins on the hinge of the ladder were unusually long and could do with a trim to reduce the risk of catching on clothing and skin.
As with all Stacer models, there is extensive use of rotomolded inserts which are tough and sturdy, and on the Sportster one was fitted into the anchor well as a liner.
At various positions on the inside edge of the gunwales, slots will take a removable drinkholder frame.

Rather than the standard-finish handrails, those fitted to the Stacer are now anodized making for a smart, long lasting look and finish.
The helm and passenger seats were fronted with rotomolded modules, and that for the passenger has the recesses for the placement of a radio/CD player with a couple of stowage trays and a lidded compartment.
The helm module was filled with instrumentation save for a small tray which could have a small-screen sounder or GPS gimbal mounted. If you were looking for more than one electronic cabinet, the tray top of the passenger module is within easy reach and one unit might be installed there.
Earlier models of this type of boat from Stacer have had elastic net retainers under the consoles behind which lifejackets may be secured. This concept has been done away with in favour of stowage of safety gear under the bowrider seats.
The wraparound Perspex screen is strengthened with a handrail that terminates along with the edge of the screen at the companionway leading to the bowriding section.
The windscreen opens and folds back to one side, and is retained with an elastic cord while a small carpeted door also closes to prevent a lot of draught coming into the cockpit when underway.

While this boat is not fitted with a skipole it does have a standard fit tow ring centrally located on the stern. Both swivel seats have rocking backrests for lounging around or observing the skiers.
Over the stern, a stylish swim-out platform overhangs the Alpha leg. Non-slip surfaces are adhered to the top of the platform and grabrails run over each aft corner.
The rear lounge section has a seat rebated into each corner, with the central section being the fore end of the engine box.
The topside full gunwale-to-gunwale width cushioning makes a nice sun lounge. This topside is gas strut assisted and when opened reveals the engine box which has had some heavy soundproofing.

The lid removes completely to access the MerCruiser 3lt TKS engine. This is a 135hp petrol carburetted engine and is way above the horsepower rating that would be allowed for this model boat fitted with an outboard engine.
All fluid bottles are located within easy reach at the front of the block, and belts and pulleys are also easily accessible.
Outside of the engine box in the port aft corner is located the crank battery and in the opposite side is the power steering pump for the Alpha leg installed in another battery box. There is ample stowage space in these corner compartments as well as in seat base boxes under the lower lounge seat.
Flexible blower tubes pump fumes out of a vent in the outside edge of the transom bulkhead.
Stacer have done a good job of soundproofing the engine compartment. The four-cylinder engine hummed away nicely and provided plenty of holeshot although we were only lifting one person onto the plane.
The engine provided plenty of torque throughout its rev range and with WOT of 5000rpm we registered a speed of 74kmh on the water-pressure activated speedometer.
The power steering on the Alpha leg worked a treat and the only issue we could find with it was in the manual side of the system. For those not in the know, the helm is manual and that drives the pump which is hydraulic. An amount of slack in the helm made for a small gap where no instant control was experienced when moving the helm from left to right. Though not a safety issue it feels a little strange, but is easily remedied.
All up, the 539 Sportster is a nice rig from Stacer with plenty of room for window dressing. You can be assured of more peace of mind with this rig parked on a gravel beach in everyone else’s boat wash while the picnicking is underway, than having the gelcoat ground off the bottom of a fibreglass hull in the same situation.

More scalloped seating in bow section
Good stowage throughout
Infill creates a forward casting deck
More storage in modified sidepockets
Plenty of practical storage liners
Anodised handrails
Accommodating dash for extra electronics
Soundproofed engine box

Boarding ladder hinge pins too long
Steering response delay


Specifications: Stacer 539 Sportster

Price as tested:                                     $34,795
Options fitted:                                       Two-tone paint, bow ladder, and anchor well hatch
Priced from:                                          $34,339

Material:                                               Aluminium
Type:                                                    Bowrider
Length overall:                          5.53m
Beam:                                                   2.5m
Rec. max. HP:                                        135
Weight:                                     n/a

Fuel:                                                     118lt
People:                                                 7
Max. load:                                             918kg

Make/model:                                        Mercury MerCruiser 3.0TKS
Type:                                                    Four-cylinder carburetted petrol
Rated HP:                                              135
Displacement:                                       3.0lt
Weight:                                      288kg
Leg:                                                      Alpha
Propeller:                                              19in three-blade alloy

53 Waterways Drive,
Coomera, Qld, 4209

Originally published in TrailerBoat #240


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