BOAT TEST: STACER 470 PRO TOURNAMENT ELITE


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Whether you're interested in competing in the new generation of bass, bream and barra fishing competitions or just want a shallow-draught punt for sneaking around the local estuary, Stacer's 470 Pro Tournament lets you do it without stressing the budget.

BOAT TEST: STACER 470 PRO TOURNAMENT ELITE
Stacer 470 Pro Tournament Elite

Ready to go" seems to be the catchphrase in retail boating circles these days, with the Telwater group leading a charge that will change the way many new-boat buyers purchase from marine dealers.

While Quintrex and Stacer (both Telwater companies) align themselves with outboard motor manufacturers, other boatbuilders have taken on distribution of a particular brand - such as we have seen with Haines Signature and its association with Suzuki outboards.

This is not necessarily everyone's cup of tea, simply because there are staunch followers of particular brands of boats, motors and trailers who will never change.

There are, however, a lot of potential buyers that do not need the confusion of having to go to a boat dealer that has multiple brands of boats, motors, trailers and electronics to try and get a suitable package together. It really is quite bewildering for some first-timers.

We are seeing more "ready to go"-style packages arrive on the shop floor, factory-rigged with everything bar the fuel and the fishing tackle. Pay the bucks (or pay them by the week), hook it up, and go home and get your rods!

 

 

RIGHT FROM THE START



The big plus of this system is a sensible balance of checks in place to ensure that each particular component complements the other, rather than one particular component being the only one the marine dealer stocks at the time.

The absolutely booming recreational bream-fishing industry around Australia's rivers and estuaries has seen an upsurge of interest from many would-be boat anglers who simply did not know that these fish were available in such big numbers, in waters that do not require offshore seamanship skills to navigate safely.

Targeting this burgeoning market, Stacer has introduced the 470 Pro Tournament Elite in a Ready2Go package that will have the new-boat buyer enjoying all the trimmings of a fully optioned bass and bream boat at an affordable price.
Built on a beamy 2.18m-wide hull, the rig sits very stable in the water, even with two large adults moving around on the decks.

 

 

INTERIOR DESIGN



The carpeted foredeck occupies approximately 40 per cent of the space inside the coamings and is fly-fishing friendly, with latches recessed to alleviate line tangles.

A long, central hatch opens to one side allowing for rod stowage. A ribbed holder fixed to its floor keeps the blanks from knocking together during transit.

My 6ft 6in rod fitted easily, but the 7ft spinnerbait rig had to be curled slightly. This was no problem, however, as there was plenty of room inside.

A baseplate for a lean-chair is mounted in the hatch, and running the electric motor can be a relaxed affair from here. Forward of this hatch is a full-length removable hatch giving access to a pair of batteries that drive the 55lb-thrust Minn Kota electric motor mounted on the port side of the bow stem.

On the port side of the rod locker was a huge livewell made of roto-moulded plastic. It was plumbed with two overfill drains and would have to be in the vicinity of 100lt in volume - and would probably hold a 1m-long barra.

We tested this boat with a 75hp four-stroke Mariner engine, which could handle carrying this extra load - but the standard Ready2Go package is fitted with a 50hp two-stroke, which I reckon would struggle a bit with a full fish tank, an average load of gear and a couple of large anglers. Shortening of the drain tube to reduce the volume in the tank would be helpful to resolve this situation.

On the starboard side of the rod locker, an equally large drainable plastic stowage compartment holds tackle and other luggage.

Step down into the cockpit between two moulded screen modules to find the passengers' lockable personal item compartment and drinkholder. The helm holds an integrated Eagle FishMark 320 fishfinder, which sits snug between the instrument brows. This unit displays a high resolution of 320 vertical pixels, which is a good-quality screen for searching out thermoclines in bass country.

There is a 480 vertical-pixel model called the Eagle FishMark 480 that will fit in this position and use the same plugs. This latter unit offers better fishfinding ability for those who need more performance, and it can be added when finances allow.

 



SIT DOWN, STAND UP



Seating is low-level and your legs find plenty of room under the modules. The armrests are tubing and they support the backrest when it swings forward and down to make up the rear casting deck, which is solidly constructed.

The aft starboard corner of the deck has a hatch accessing the engine starter battery, isolation switch and electronics for the bilge and live fish-tank pumps. The portside corner of the rear deck has a hatch accessing further stowage. Between the two, behind the backrest, is another massive live-fish tank in which a divider may be placed to separate the catch when competition angling.

A three-drawer tackle locker is fitted into both aft-corner coamings for ease of access.

While the ability to upgrade the fishfinder to a larger size is restricted due to space behind the windscreen, in modern impoundment and estuary fishing it is common to find more than one fishfinder on a boat. There's usually one in such a position where the operator of the electric motor can view it while standing on the foredeck, and this extra sounder could be fitted to the front of one of the windscreen modules.

 

 

HANDLING & PERFORMANCE



The performance of this rig was very good, and running over boat wash produced very little spray over the coamings. Stacer's EVO hull is proven in choppy water, and even though this boat has a low profile, it can handle windswept lake conditions comfortably - within reason.

At full throttle it pulled 6000rpm and just over 65kmh, so getting to the favourite snag or creek won't take long at all!
This rig performed effortlessly at speed in tight situations and was a breeze to operate when using the Minn Kota around the snags, as the low profile resisted the effects of windage.

As tested, the Stacer Pro Tournament Elite was very well appointed for anglers right up to tournament level, and nothing was left wanting in its fitout.

 

 

HIGHS


Seating behind screens keeps you out of the wind
Alicore decking: no rot or warping timber to worry about
Full-length stainless-steel piano hinges on hatches for strength
Plenty of fish tanks and stowage room

 

 

LOWS


Limited space to upgrade helm depthsounder
Dry stowage below deck will be affected by water seeping in on the deck

 

 

 


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Price as tested: $30,250
Options fitted: Two tackle trays, engine upgrade
Priced from (BMT): $29,680 w/ 50hp two-stroke Mariner

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Bottom 3mm, topsides 1.6mm, Alicore decks
Length (overall): 4.69m
Beam: 2.18
Deadrise: 14°
Weight (BMT): 1180kg with 50hp two-stroke Mariner

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel: 75lt
Passengers: Four
Rec/max hp: 50/80

 

 

ENGINE


Make/Model: Mariner F75
Type: Carburetted four-stroke
Rated hp: 75
Displacement: 1596cc
Weight: 175kg
Gearbox ratio: 2.33:1
Propeller: 18in Vengeance

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Stacer, Gold Coast, tel (07) 5585 9898 or visit www.stacer.com.au
to find your nearest dealer

 

First published in TrailerBoat #184

Find Stacer boats for sale.

 


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