|Stacer 469TS Nomad Elite and 449 Seahawk|
By Kevan Wolfe
Keeping up with the Stacer aluminium boat range is almost a full time job; the Coomera factory is constantly upgrading or introducing new models.
Two new entry-level models to roll out of the factory recently are the 469 TS Nomad Elite and the 449 Seahawk. The Seahawk came in its simplest form with an optional Mercury 50hp two-stroke on the back. The Nomad can be tiller-steered, however, it was optioned up with a small sports console, an accessory kit, two-tone paint and a 60hp Mercury Big Foot two-stroke, which added just over $12,000 to the base price.
Stacer is known for building beamy boats, and with a 2.2m beam the Nomad is wide when compared with its overall 4.7m length. This makes it stable, and a very roomy, platform for bay or estuary fishing. The Nomad range uses Stacer’s 3.0mm thick deep ‘V’ Evo Series II hull, which is designed to handle rough water. The 469 is also the first Nomad to come with an optional side or centre console with mechanical steering.
The extra beam allows for more storage area and a big casting platform up front. The side console is set well aft and includes rod storage at the front and a handy tray for keys and mobile phones. The bimini is standard and folds out of the way in a sock when fishing. The package included two skipper seats and if you don’t like sitting in a particular spot, there are five spigots in the floor to set them up in.
The boat comes with a live bait tank in the aft casting platform and the 70 litre fuel tank and the battery is mounted in the floor with the battery isolator switch in a handy spot right next to the driver. That’s something many small boat builders don’t pay enough attention to; they tend to mount them in out of the way and hard to get to places.
At rest the wide beam made the boat very stable and two to three people could walk around safely without the boat getting tippy.
The Mercury Big Foot swinging a 15in alloy propeller suited the boat, although it’s very trim sensitive. The boat performed well out of the hole with three people onboard and was on the plane in six seconds. Once on the plane just two quick dabs on the trim button brought the bow down and we were running at 4000rpm and a speed over the ground of 19.8kts. Flat out the little boat was happy running at 5700rpm and 29.4kts.
The Big Foot was at the top of the power range for the boat, and was probably overkill as it felt as if it would be more than happy with a smaller 50hp four-stroke. The trim is critical; if the boat is not trimmed correctly the mechanical steering becomes heavy. Once trimmed though it was easy to drive and felt safe.
The Stacer 449 Seahawk is a compact, no frills, entry-level runabout. It’s a family friendly package designed for bays and rivers. The 449, with the driving position up front, is a step up from a tiller-steered boat. It comes with a canopy and a zip out for access to the anchor well through the opening, tinted, windscreen.
Although Stacer recommends a 40hp outboard on the base boat they had bolted a 50hp Mercury two-stroke with a 13in prop on the back of the test boat. This had it running, again with three people onboard, at a cruising speed over the ground of 18.6kts and 4000rpm showing on the tacho, and wide open at 5700rpm the boat ran at a respectable 27.2kts. On a typical weekend afternoon on the Broadwater though, the boat would need to be slowed down somewhat to cope with the wash from the bigger boats.
The mechanical steering was also little heavy when turning against the torque of the bigger outboard. Keeping in mind that the 449 is a very basic boat, it’s surprisingly comfortable and gives a family of four the opportunity to get out on the water and have fun at a reasonable price.
The 469 TS Nomad Elite starts at $18,026 and as tested with options the price was $30,985. The 449 Seahawk starts at $16,547 and with the bigger outboard the price is $18,741. Prices also include a Stacer-built trailer.
Both boats were supplied by Stacer.
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