BOAT TEST: STABICRAFT 2570 SUPERCAB


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The Stabicraft 2570 Supercab was built with one thing in mind: go fishing and get back safely in conditions that would see other boats reach for a fresh pair of undies.

BOAT TEST: STABICRAFT 2570 SUPERCAB
STABICRAFT 2570 SUPERCAB

Not only were New Zealand-made Stabicraft boats considered a niche concept when they hit the Australian market, they were also considered butt ugly. Serious seafarers, however, couldn't give two hoots for looks - for them it's all about function, ride, strength and, ultimately, safety. Indeed, commercial operators like the Coast Guard, Police, Marine Safety Services, SES and even fire authorities have taken to these serious Stabicraft like an ugly duckling to water.

As a result, the adventurous Australian recreational boating public has slowly but surely seen the light, acknowledging that the extremely high level of safety and practicality in Stabicraft boats are a force to be reckoned with.

 

 

OFFSHORE WEAPON



Stabicraft's new 2570 Supercab supersedes the 759, thereby making an appealing boat even better. We recently tested one out of Rye, on Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, courtesy of Australia's largest Stabicraft dealer, M.Y Marine. Our test boat had been transformed into a veritable offshore weapon by merging the dynamic power of twin 150hp Hondas with enormous range from two 250lt fuel tanks.

The new 2570 has a huge bow platform with a bowrail that wouldn't look out of place on an Iroquois-class destroyer - it's huge! I like it but Mick from M.Y. Marine doesn't, so I guess that's another forum debate waiting to happen.

I like it because I tend to be a bit of a loner on a long fishing trip. When you're up on a big, secure bow you're in a world all of your own, while the crew battles it out in the cockpit. The big bowrail encapsulates the large for'ard platform, making it a very useable area, rather than just the useless pointy bit. Its construction is strong, but I noticed that it appears to suffer from some flexibility, making me wonder if it will fall victim to that dreaded aluminium disease, fatigue. Time will tell, but for now, as I said, I like it.

The new extended Supercab looks great, and works even better. Its roof actually extends almost a metre from the rear cabin bulkhead to protect those in the cockpit from harsh elements. There is a rocket launcher on top and plenty of room to store a lifeboat, buoys or watersports toys, and I believe a few tuna towers have been built for gamefishos. The walkway around the cabin structure is a little narrow, but there are grabrails everywhere you look, so venturing forward is quite safe. There is also non-slip, rubberised matting on all of the walkways, including the coaming edges.

 

 

MESSING WITH THE BEST



The test boat featured an optional and fully-enclosed wheelhouse complete with strong sliding rear doors. It's amazing how secure you feel in a strong wheelhouse, and its protection was especially welcome in the cold environment we encountered on our test day. South-westerly winds up to 40kts (74kmh) had battered the bay and its surrounds in the previous 48 hours, dumping a season's worth of frosty rain in sudden downpours. Thankfully, our prayers to "Ol Sol" were answered with the wind easing and the sun coming out, albeit in spurts. Of course, commercial operators often don't have the benefit of refusing to go to work just because the weather is foul, so the security of the enclosed cabin is paramount.

Stabicraft offers a number of optional layouts for the 2570 - the one we tested is aimed at sportfishermen heading out on big day trips. There is also a Supercab version featuring an extended cabin, as well as a Matt Watson Signature version.

The Stabicraft designers must have done plenty of overtime on the ergonomics on all their models. For example, the visibility through the big safety glass windows is terrific, although Mick, being a bit of a short arse, prefers to leave the optional dashboard extension off. However, it isn't really needed, what with the big dashboard space provided, particularly with modern, integrated instruments. Our demo boat had a Garmin 5012 12in colour-sounder, GPS, plotter and full NMEA link to all engine displays. I can't speak highly enough of these terrific electronics - while there are many great options on today's market, in my mind Garmin has the simplest menu systems for us technically-challenged old seadogs who would rather be driving the boat than arguing with the sonar and navigation.

Back in the cabin, I opened the big sliding side-windows for ventilation and hit the wiper washers to remove the salt spray from the screen. The twin binnacle controls were affixed to a large mounting box with storage underneath, and its flat surface was just the place for sunglasses, mobile phones, and all the other gadgets we carry around with us these days. Even so, the helm is quite simplistic, although it's also practical, comfortable and ergonomically friendly with a smooth, carpeted finish.

Then there's the bolster-style helm and passenger shell seats, which are large and thickly upholstered. They are mounted on soft rider pedestals with swivel and slide adjustment. TrailerBoat crew member Emma Ryan, who is 5ft-something tall, was impressed with the clear vision and comfortable passenger seat. Here, the footsteps on the rear of the vee-berth allow you to brace yourself against the inevitable bang that any boat will experience in difficult chop.

For added privacy, M.Y. Marine has fitted a canvas cabin divider to the big, comfortable vee-berth. The entire berth is lined to match the rest of the cabin interior and there is sidepocket storage on either side. There's also a tonne of storage under the berths, as well as a recess under the cabin floor that's big enough to store diving gear, a raft or even a separate water bladder.

While Stabicraft supplies a Porta-Potti as standard, our test boat was destined for an aftermarket toilet and holding tank. There is also service access to the standard "Stressfree Mini" winch from a "So Pac" style hatch in the for'ard bulkhead.

 

 

FISHABILITY



The roof has three grabrails suited for the tall passengers. Standing in the centre position I found the overhead handles were fantastic in the rough. There's also an overhead console for communication equipment.

The huge cockpit is a hardcore workstation with enormous deck room. Ok, so there aren't any toeholds because of the flotation chambers - get over it - but it's got everything else including high freeboard, big, wide coamings and a selfdraining floor. Use the boat once and you'll never consider the lack of toeholds a problem again. Or, better still, ask your dealer to get a couple of toerails welded in from the factory. Yes, it's that simple.

Our test boat had a tubular flooring mat which I thought was a nice touch for added comfort, especially when that summer sun heats the big, flat checkerplate aluminium floor like a barbeque plate. Huge, full-length sidepockets will keep all your nick-knacks secured, and there are full-length siderails and stainless rodholders (although why these guys don't use aluminium rod holders is beyond me).

Under the floor is a big wetbox. Fuel is either the standard 360lt tank or optional 500lt. If it were my boat, I'd opt for a pair of rear quarter-seats behind the cabin bulkhead so I could sit down while watching my rods.

Stabicraft's "Superfish Transom" is a statement in fishable design. It can only be called a large "workstation" that combines a big baitboard with a huge livebait tank and enclosed storage for plenty of batteries, pumps, oil bottles and switch gear. The battery isolators are conveniently mounted on the front face of the Superfish workstation, and there's a big, clear insert to keep a good eye on your livies. Again, if it were my boat, I'd like to see the fuel filters moved from under the workstation, as I could imagine them getting kicked or tail-swiped by a gummy or similar. There is a small doorway to the transom on both sides of the boat making boarding access very easy.

 



COMMERCIAL PEDIGREE



Even though the twin 150hp Hondas are fitted to a full-length pod they are still quite easy to fish around. Emma, TrailerBoat's resident diver, loved the transom platform access, especially with a fin-friendly ladder thrown in for boarding. She also commented that some extra fold-down seating in the cockpit would be favourable for diving preparation. "Easy done," says Mr Stabicraft.

The Stabicraft definitely retains many of its commercial features: strong bollards; big bowrail; 6mm hull with 4mm sides; compartmentalised and pressure-tested flotation pontoons; and a no-nonsense approach. Even so, the whole family can enjoy this boat. There are no rough edges, the exposed welds show masterful craftsmanship, and the interior is fully lined and quite attractive. As mentioned previously, Stabicraft has worked hard on getting the ergonomics right for all applications, be they commercial or recreational. Even the paint finish is good and the Kiwis seem to have spent quite some time with their design gurus coming up with some effects and decals.

On the move in the washing machine that was the chop left behind by the previous evening's maelstrom, the Stabicraft showed its surefootedness in difficult conditions. The ride is generally very good, but you do get a few unhappy endings in the slop. That said, a quick look at the speed shows just how fast you can travel in this battlewagon, even in quite difficult conditions. It travels surprisingly quickly and you can cover plenty of water at a fuel efficient and comfortable travelling speed of 26kts (48kmh) at 4200rpm. The 22° deadrise hull pops out of the hole quite nicely with little bow rise, and it will travel through the really nasty offshore stuff at around 16kts (about 30kmh) at 3200rpm. Its boxy shoulders will cause some bangs and crashes but that's a fair compromise for its safety and buoyancy.

The favoured Solas 18in stainless propellers hadn't arrived in time for our test. Instead, a pair of 17in Enertias on the day were red-lining the engines at a very quick 40kts (74kmh) at 6100 rpm. This big machine really can fly, especially with the added acceleration and thrust that is most noticeable with the "BLAST" feature of the Hondas. I estimate that the package could break the old 50mph (80kmh) barrier at approximately 6000rpm with the bigger diameter props.

 

 

THE WRAP



An old mate of mine once explained how to tell your true friends from your acquaintances. Basically, he said, your friends are the ones you can depend on in a life-threatening crisis. The Stabicraft 2570 Supercab Sport may not ride like a Jaguar, but I'd choose it as a big, strong, trusted friend in any sea.

 

 

On the plane...


Big working layout
Five star safety
Comfy ergonomics
Huge deck area
Lots of storage
Windscreen washers!



Dragging the chain...


Rides harder than other Stabicraft models
No cockpit seating (optional)
Fuel filters / lines exposed at deck level



PERFORMANCE


11kts (20.3kmh) at 3000rpm
16kts (29.6kmh) at 3200rpm
20kts (37.0kmh) at 3500rpm 
23kts (42.5kmh) at 4000rpm
25kts (46.3kmh) at 4200rpm
28kts (51.8kmh) at 4500rpm
30kts (55.5kmh) at 5000rpm
35kts (64.8kmh) at 5500rpm 
40kts (74.0kmh) at 6100rpm (red-lining at wide open throttle)
Note: The package would probably attain around 43kts (79.6kmh) at 6000 rpm with 18in or 19in Solas props.

 



STABICRAFT 2570 SUPERCAB

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $175,000
Options fitted: Twin 150 Hondas, Dunbier aluminium trailer, dual sliding rear-lockable wall, twin fuel tanks, two-tone metallic paint, Super Fish transom, LED lighting, remote Golight, Fusion stereo, cabin infill cushions, tubular matting on deck and gunwales, three-piece collapsible outrigger set, Garmin 5012 touch-screen unit, 1kW transducer, and much more
Priced from: $145,000 (with single Honda 250)

 

 

GENERAL


Type: Deep-vee enclosed hardtop
Material: Aluminium (6mm hull; 4mm sides)
Length: 7.86m
Beam: 2.49m
Weight (BMT): 2900kg
Deadrise: 22°

 

 

CAPACITIES


People: 9
Rec. HP: 225
Max. HP: 300
Fuel: 360lt (500lt optional)

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: 2 x Honda BF150
Type: DOHC, in-line, four-cylinder four-stroke
Weight: 220kg
Displacement: 2354cc
Gear ratio: 2.14:1
Propeller: 17in Enertia

 

 

MANUFACTURED BY


Stabicraft
345 Bluff Road
Invercargill, Southland
New Zealand
Web: www.stabicraft.com

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


M.Y. Marine
Cnr Nepean Hwy and Ponderosa Place
Dromana, Vic, 3936
Tel: (03) 5987 0900
Web: www.mymarine.com.au

First published in TrailerBoat # 277

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