REVIEW: STACER 519 ASSAULT PRO

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH


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The Stacer 519 Assault Pro is the latest entry into the tournament fishing boat segment. It ought to give its fibreglass competitors a run for their money — if they can catch it, that is.

Stacer has kept things simple with the Stacer 519 Assault Pro. This tournament fishing boat still manages to provide essential storage space, while using an innovative rod-rack system paired with big, open decks. The Stacer 519 Assault Pro is a worthy competitor for the fibreglass tournament boats.

 

STACER ASSAULT PRO

STACER 519 ASSAULT PRO

Beginning from the bow, the Stacer 519 Assault Pro has generous casting deck. It has plenty of storage for tackle, and a dedicated anchor well, plus room for batteries and clever ‘hookless’ carpeting that’s soft on the feet and gear. The only thing missing up front was an electric motor, but these can be easily added.

You then step down into a recessed centre-deck area which has the aerodynamic-looking console, along with a very interesting rodlocker setup. While the locker easily swallows up four 7ft rods, it’s also electronic and remotely controlled. One tap of the button and the lid opens, with a rack of rods gently sliding up for your selection. It’s a very cool idea – the only problem might be that I’d probably sit there all day opening and closing it just for fun. There’s also a manual override in case the remote doesn’t work.

Back at the console, you’ll find a sleek design with plenty of legroom below, gauges, switchpanel, drinkholders and a small wraparound screen for protection, plus enough space to flush-mount a decent-sized sounder. The control box mounts to the side of the coaming, where it’s a pleasure to drive. Passengers also get a comfortable seat and with two mounting positions, you can arrange the passenger seat to suit the ride or fishing style for the day.

 

ENGINE

STACER 519 ASSAULT PRO ENGINE

Sporting the latest Evinrude E-TEC 135hp High Output V6 outboard motor, the Stacer Assault Pro was surely ready to throw down one helluva performance.

The new 135 E-TEC is a re-mapped 150hp and slapping this onto a 5.2m bass boat was pretty brave. Let’s face it; the boat’s going to have to have some pretty deft handling characteristics to stand up to this volume of horsepower.

These tests involve 90-degree turns at Wide Open Throttle – but please don’t rush out to see if your boat can do this – you need to be pretty handy on the wheel, and it’s best left to the professional testers.

Slipping behind the wheel, you lock nicely into the seat and, with the control box on the right, you can rest your forearm on the gunwale and use wrist control to slap the hammer down. Fitted with a 17in stainless steel Viper prop, the Assault Pro launches itself onto the plane instantaneously and reacts nicely to trim to get you up to top revs of 5900 with a WOT speed of 46kts which – in hindsight – is bloody moving along on a boat of this size.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

STACER ASSAULT PRO HANDLIND AND RIDE

What’s even more impressive is just how well this hull handles the speed, in terms of comfort of ride and, most importantly, the safe feel in the turns. Considering these new generation Stacer hulls run ‘blade technology’ on the keel (primarily designed to slice up chop), I would have predicted more bite in tight turns, but surprisingly, at high speed the Stacer Assault Pro performs more of a ‘stern slide’ – where the hull runs level to push the stern out, rather than digging in the bow – and it feels really comfortable.

The combination of Stacer’s solidly built hull and design features blended with E-TEC power is most impressive and a very good match indeed. Recommended horsepower of just 90? Definitely not, after playing with the 135. The only downside to the ride for me was the lack of a hot-foot accelerator – two hands on the wheel would definitely be more comfortable and safer when driving high performance motors such as this.

STACER 519 ASSAULT PRO UNDERWAY

Of course when running big boys on the back, you do cop extra weight on the transom to contend with – 190kg in this case. Often on tournament fishing boats, this requires you to re-accelerate before coming to a complete stop, to prevent the transom flooding. On the Assault Pro you may do that anyway out of habit, but what I did notice was that the transom remained quite buoyant when tapping off.

Stability on this style of boat should always be top-notch as you can’t afford to be wobbling all over the shop when throwing lures in a stealthy manner. The 1.96m beam is combined with a fairly low-profile hull and it’s bang on the money. Even with two up on the front casting deck, the stability is as good as it gets.

 

THE VERDICT

STACER 519 ASSAULT PRO CASTING DECK

It’s really refreshing to see more tournament-style aluminium fishing boats hitting the market – and decent all-rounders at that. Upon first glance, the Stacer 519 Assault Pro looks like a professional tournament fishing boat and straight away, it made me want to give it a good workout on the water – I mean, it’s red and they go fast, right?

 Stacer has kept it simple in layout, but still manage to provide the essential storage space needed for tackle, as well as that innovative rod-rack system, and big, open decks to please any lure angler – and like all its boats, there’s more for less when it comes to pricing. Conclusively, it’s a worthy competitor for the fibreglass tournament boats.

 

STACER 519 ASSAULT PRO SEA TRIALS

Evinrude E-TEC E135HSL High Output outboard motor with 17in Viper propeller

RPM

SPEED (kts)

FUEL BURN (lt/h)

1500

6.5

5.1

2300

13.7

9.8

2500

17.6

11.5

3500

26.2

22.3

4500

31.9

32.5

5900

46.0

52

*Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

HIGHS

• Hot performance

• Good storage options

• Reasonable pricing

 

LOWS

• More rod storage required for tournament anglers

• Hot-foot accelerator would be handy for max HP

 

STACER 519 ASSAULT PRO SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$45,503

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Electronic rodlocker, Evinrude E-TEC 135 HO, vinyl wrap, paint, bimini and envelope.

 

PRICED FROM

$40,806

 

GENERAL

TYPE Monohull

MATERIAL Aluminium

LENGTH 5.2m

BEAM 1.96m

WEIGHT 480kg

DEADRISE 17° variable

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 5

REC. HP 90

REC MAX HP 135

FUEL 75lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Evinrude E-TEC E135HSL High Output outboard

TYPE Low-emission two-stroke V6 outboard motor

WEIGHT 190kg  

DISPLACEMENT 2592cc

GEAR RATIO 1.86:1 (20in models)

PROPELLER 17in Viper

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Stacer Boats

WEB stacer.com.au

 

SUPPLIED BY

Whitewater Marine

10 Hinde Street,

Southport, QLD, 4214

PHONE (07) 5532 4402

WEB whitewatermarine.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #454, July 2014. Why not subscribe today?

Find Stacer boats for sale.

 

 


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