Stacer has been in the news recently for its innovative new Revolution hull bottom shape. What you may have missed is that this Aussie trailerboat manufacturer’s expansion of its production-plate alloy range.
Half a dozen or more new entry sized plate boats, and the introduction of a full range of centre cabin boats, has boosted the heavy-duty plate alloy line-up to a massive 24 models. Family boaters and fishermen can now choose from a variety of configurations and layout, including side and centre console open deck fishing boats, as well as cuddy cabins, centre cabin and semi-enclosed hardtop offshore fishing boats.
The flagship of the Stacer plate alloy range is the impressive 759 Ocean Ranger Expedition hardtop family cruiser/fishing boat. At the other end of the range, the entry model is anew side console boat, the Stacer 499 Sea Ranger SC.
The 499 Sea Ranger SC is a tough, no-nonsense bay and coastal fishing rig with a heavy duty 4mm plate alloy hull, welded tread-plate alloy internal floors, and a host of fishing features and accessories are avaiable.
This boat is excellent value for a 5.0m heavy duty plate alloy boat – particularly as it includes lots of good gear and equipment.
Among the standard inclusions is a big poly plastic anchor well on the foredeck, fully welded tread-plate alloy casting deck and self-draining rear cockpit and welded side deck extrusions. The 499 Sea Ranger SC gets a moulded plastic side console helm station, bow and stern rails and tie-off cleats, dual pedestal chairs with four in-floor seat sockets, side pockets, kill tank, VHF radio, transom live bait tank, four welded alloy rod holders, and more.
Like most side console boats, the Stacer 499 Sea Ranger SC has a roomy interior with large, uncluttered fishing decks to allow three or four anglers to move about freely and to fish in comfort. The helm console is smaller than most too – which provides for more width and fishing space in the rear cockpit. The downside to the smaller console is that there is less dash and fascia space to install stuff. That said, the console is big enough to accept a decent sized flush-fitted electronics display, along with the required engine instrumentation, switch panel and the like.
The helm console has a very useful overhead grab rail along and a couple of flip-out cup-holders.
The sporty looking steering wheel and side-mounted throttle are well positioned to drive the boat while seated, and the skipper has an unrestricted view of the surroundings. The helm controls are easy to use and there is ample foot/leg room beneath the console. The console has an elevated side storage pocket alongside the helm chair which stretches aft to the transom.
There is an additional storage area under the elevated casting deck up forward. Beneath a large heavy duty tread-plate 3mm alloy hatch there is a broad locker/bin for stowing safety gear, fenders and such.
Notably, there is enough space in this big forward locker to fit an optional lift-out 100l ice box, just the thing for family outings.
Alternatively, fishermen interested in competition fishing can convert the casting deck locker into a large live fish well with a divider to separate fish caught by two anglers.
Moving aft again, there is a kill tank/fish box (which can double as an extra storage location) situated under the cockpit floor just aft of the forward deck. It has an overboard drain for convenience.
The included live bait tank is situated aft, built into the port side transom coaming. It is moderate in size with a clear front glass window for viewing and monitoring the health of your baits.
Beneath the bait tank there is an elevated, carpeted storage shelf stretching across the transom. A hatch in the centre of this shelf opens to reveal a battery locker and access to the bilge for servicing, etc.
Notable, options fitted to our test boat included the rear boarding ladder and Stacer’s Mega chopping board. The latter slots into a transom socket which can also take a ski-pole.
The chopping board itself is a functional unit with a nylon cutting surface, storage trays, cup-holders and four aft facing plastic rod holders.
The Stacer 499 Sea Ranger uses Stacer’s Evo Advance hull which has a fine forward entry shape and a moderate vee angle back at the transom. The hull also has pronounced lifting/planing strakes to each side of the keel, and wide, flattened outer chines. This combination allows the hull to lift quickly onto the plane and provides excellent stability at rest and underway.
At sea, the Stacer 499 Sea Ranger SC proves to be an easy handling, dry and well mannered craft. It rides nicely in chop, surfs safely out of wave troughs in a following sea, and takes sharp turns easily and with a nice bite or grip on the water through the middle of the turn.
If you go for test drive you will discover that the hull is well balanced, safe and capable. In light of this you may feel happy to run the 499 Sea Ranger SC a dozen or more miles offshore to fish the coastal reefs, or chase small marlin, mackerel, tuna, etc.
The Stacer 499 Sea Ranger SC is the smallest of Stacer’s plate alloy boats, but it is also one of the most capable, practical and versatile.
As noted, if confident to do so you can happily fish offshore waters in this tough, durable craft, yet it is still small enough to troll the estuaries and inshore sand flats for flathead – or to chase trout and bass in the inland freshwater impoundments.
Fit a bow-mount electric trolling motor, and your choice of fish finder/GPS to this terrific new Stacer model, and you’ll be set for a wide range of fishing activities.