Review: Stacer 509 Searunner

By: John Willis, Photography by: Jack Murphy


Stacer 509 Searunner underway Stacer 509 Searunner underway
Stacer 509 Searunner cabin Stacer 509 Searunner cabin
Stacer 509 Searunner deck gunwales Stacer 509 Searunner deck gunwales

The Stacer 509 Searunner is a boat that is as Australian as football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holdens.

There’s nothing wrong with loving the simple things in life. From sharing a laugh with mates, barbeques under the stars, camping out in a swag, chicken parmas, meat pies to Holden cars – who needs luxury, right?

It’s that sort of simplicity that is the backbone of the Stacer 509 Searunner. This aluminium boat package is strong, honest, reliable, and just like a good mate, it won’t let you down when the proverbial hits the fan. This is a rig that will undoubtedly have great appeal to a wide range of Australian boaties, and for just those reasons.

 


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STACER 509 SEARUNNER

Stacer 509 Searunner

The Stacer 509 Searunner has a pretty basic fitout, but with straightforward factory options. Not since the old Savage Lancer of the early ‘80s do I remember a pressed aluminium hull of this size with bunks you can actually sleep in. So, technically this is a cuddy, but she has the bunks of a half-cabin. Call it what you want, but there’s cabin space without deck room sacrifice.

The layout of this boat is outstanding. It certainly doesn’t feel like a small boat inside and would handily accommodate four adult passengers or a family of five quite comfortably for a watery sojourn. Furthermore, the Stacer 509 Searunner has the power for watersports, a removable rear lounge for when dad goes fishing, room inside if the kids get bored, and a very well laid-out transom, with dual platforms, a walkthrough rear doorway and a fold-down ladder for easy water access.

At the bow you find a nice little bowsprit with a bollard and a reasonably deep anchor well. This is also where I would start customising. Order the boat with a decent bow fitting and a locking chain bollard and you’ll be able to use the bowsprit properly with the anchor mounted out front between moves.

The bow is enclosed by a low split rail and it’s accessed via a decent cabin hatch, or at a pinch by climbing around the small side decks. Back inside the cabin is a fairly standard vee-berth setup with storage underneath, but the bunk cushions are an optional extra. Dedicated day fishos may well do without them, but families will expect them. There’s a footrail at the end of both bunks for the driver and passenger, but no side pockets to be seen for storing all those essential fast-grab items.

 

OPTIONS AND CUSTOMISATION

Stacer 509 Searunner cockpit

I was pleased with the flat dash section where there is plenty of room for mounting electrics. If the boat were mine, I’d also add a retaining strip across the front so loose items don’t slide off. The dash is well enclosed by a solid three-piece curved screen with light tinting, which forms a good grabrail, supported by two extra struts across the centre. The almost vertical face of the driver’s dash is probably large enough to recess an eight-inch sounder-GPS combination, but I’d be mounting my electronics on top, making them removable when camping and mooring.

The twin swivel pedestal seats are comfortable enough and at the right height for me to have a clear view through the windscreen. The standard dash is completed with a stock plastic sports steering wheel and three gang switch panel.

The deck is surprisingly large considering the length of the bunks, with plenty of room to move or fish. The floor is covered in basic grey marine carpet and there is a smallish killbox under the floor towards the rear. The wide extruded side decks only have two rodholders as standard and again serve as a blank canvas for customisation.

I really liked the transom layout with its twin boarding platforms, telescopic ladder and full width half-pod construction plus a handy accessway. Here, the provision of a rear lounge is admirable but a little more thought would have it folding down rather than needing to remove it for fishing. Where are you supposed to leave it? In the cabin? That said, I guess it works reasonably well and does provide protection and a cavity for the fuel filter, battery, switch gear and still more room for ropes, small fenders and quick access items.

I was intrigued to see a removable plug suitable for mounting an optional skipole. It’s not usually a standard item, but considering the crossover nature of the package, I guess a skipole is a common request.

Those that aren’t that keen can still hook a ski bridle to the strong welded rear cleats. There’s also a nav-light pole on the starboard rear quarter, but this fails to provide all-round light to the cabin obstruction and hence, is short of the legal requirement.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Stacer 509 Searunner

Jump behind the wheel, make sure your crew are safe, plant the throttles and you’re off with surprising thrust from the brilliant new 90hp Mercury FourStroke outboard motor. She rides really well in the smooth and the rough stuff, with a friendly nose-up attitude that instils confidence.

I’ve owned boats of this nature and size before and have taken them the continental shelf chasing marlin, to launching in puddles while chasing spotted river foxes. This really is a terrific all-round hull that manoeuvres very well for some skiing fun on the river, but also won’t bounce your fillings out in the chop.

Our engine man Andrew Norton tested the Stacer 509 with me and he instantly fell in love. Andrew believes the 90hp Mercury outboard motor is the pick of the new bunch, offering low noise levels teamed with excellent economy and performance, returning a thrifty 36.2kts at 6000rpm and only consuming 32.6lt/h at wide open throttle. Back her off to a more reasonable fast travelling speed of 24.4kts and you more than halve your consumption. Now that’s great economy.

 

THE VERDICT

Stacer 509 outboard motor

The Stacer 509 Searunner should be seen as a great base for personalisation. If it were mine, I would pay the extra for hydraulic steering, and while the all new 2.071 Mercury hydrodynamic gearcase did a wonderful job, I can’t help wondering how much better it could be with the Command Thrust option? If it is anything like the Quintrex 530 bowrider we tested at the same time, the larger 2.381 Command Thrust option would be sensational.

 

HIGHS

• Great base for customising

• Transom layout

• Seating and visibility

• Ride

• Power selection

 

LOWS

• Lift out rear lounge

• Bow fittings

• Anchor light placement

• No cabin side pockets

• Needs lip on dashboard

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #457, September / October 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

STACER 509 SEARUNNER SEA TRIALS

Single 90hp Mercury FourStroke outboard motor with 16in Vengeance stainless steel propeller

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

FUEL BURN(LT/H)

700

2.4

1.4

1000

3.3

2.1

1500

4.6

4

2000

5.8

5.9

2500

8

7.8

3000

14

9.3

3500

19.8

12.6

4000

24.4

15.1

4500

27.4

18.9

5000

31

26.3

5500

35

31.3

6000(WOT)

36.2

32.6

* Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

STACER 509 SEARUNNER SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

Stacer 509 Searunner price: $37,900 approx.

 

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

Three year warranty, cleats, drinkholder, maxi bracket, striping, skipole mount, rear ladder, two rodholders, folding rear lounge, side pockets, steering non return mechanical, twin transducer brackets, underfloor fuel tank.

 

OPTIONS FITTED

90hp Mercury four-stroke outboard motor, fuel filter, battery switch, battery and box, transom door, Smartcraft gauges, filter, safety gear pack and rego.

 

GENERAL

TYPE Aluminium cuddy

MATERIAL Pressed aluminium

LENGTH 5.14m

BEAM 2.22m

WEIGHT 1000kg dry (BMT)

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 7

MAX. HP 115

FUEL 77lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury 90 FourStroke outboard motor

TYPE Inline four-cylinder, eight-valve SOHC four-stroke

WEIGHT 172 kg 

DISPLACEMENT 2.1lt

RATED HP 90

GEAR RATIO 2.071

PROPELLER 16in Vengeance stainless steel

 

SUPPLIED BY

STACER

Phone (07) 5585 9898

Web stacer.com.au

 


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