It’s interesting to test this boat in the same issue as Quintrex’s 470 Top Ender. Although as everyone knows, Quintrex and Stacer are owned by the same people, these are two quite different boats. In concept they’re similar — there’s no denying that. But in execution they differ in ways which give someone looking for a boat this size a great choice.
It’s all about preferences related to individual fishing style, and differences in the places you fish.To begin with there’s no way you’re going to go wrong either way and it must be said this Stacer is quite the equal of the Quintrex tested elsewhere. Forget any perception Stacer is a lesser brand out of the same factory, it’s definitely not the case here. On paper the Nomad seems smaller, at a specified length of 4.7 metres against the Top Ender’s 5.08. However in actual available space, both boats offer much the same amount. This is mainly because while the Top Ender has a sophisticated transom, the Stacer has the outboard simply bolted on the back.
Right away we’ve come to a critical difference between these two. In rough water, the Quintrex’s full height bulkhead is an obvious choice, but if your fishing intentions lean towards calmer stuff, to my mind the Stacer’s transom set up is better.
Why? Because the Stacer’s bolted on arrangement doesn’t gobble up interior space the way the Quinnie’s M3 transom does. Which is exactly how it manages to have a similarly workable interior in a theoretically smaller hull. Inside, the Stacer has both an aft and a bow casting deck whereas the Top Ender has a raised section in the bows only.
For open water trolling and bait fishing, a choice probably falls the Top Ender’s way. But if you spend much time at all with two people casting, I’d go for the Stacer. Both the Nomad’s decks are roomy, and the set up is as good as it gets for a one person in the bows and one in the stern casting scenario. In addition to which, having that raised aft deck means that in the TS Elite version of the Nomad tested, there’s a central live bait tank in front of a shallow splash well. Its battery is stowed away below the main deck beneath a small hatch.
The Quinnie’s M3 transom hides all this stuff inside a full height bulkhead. I’d say the Stacer is merely a different way to achieve much the same. In both, the seats can be moved about to various sockets to change trim. The central cockpit in the Stacer is, due to that raised section of deck aft, smaller. Some space is lost to an enclosed console and the Nomad’s console doesn’t have a windscreen, although it does have a sturdy grab bar. Here again I’d personally have to adjustment the helm ergonomics to be at all comfortable if running this boat any distance, and that brings us to rod storage. Across the front of the Nomad’s console 4 rod holders comprise a rod rack of sorts. It’s far from perfect in how your thousand dollar rigs are left sticking up in harm’s way (where an errant cast can pluck one overboard, and maybe snap off a tip or two.)
But then at least the Nomad has some rod storage so I won’t complain any more about that. And, um there are two rod holders in the side decks for trolling.
The Stacer doesn’t have as much belowdecks stowage as the Top Ender though. It does have two similar compartments under the bow casting deck, and an anchor well with a rotomoulded plastic liner in the short foredeck. The side console doesn’t allow a tackle or ice box to be stashed half underneath; and yet, having the helm seat socket set into the aft casting deck leaves more deck space in front of the console where they could sit. Both boats have 70 litre underfloor fuel tanks. But the Stacer doesn’t offer a second tank on its options list like the Top Ender does. An important factor for some…
Now we come to the bows. Stacer Evo hulls are stretch formed into a variable deadrise between their chines and keel, while their topsides between the chines and gunwales are more or less flat. The Top Ender of course has the traditional Quinnie flared bow and a Millennium hull. Millennium hulls offer a steeper deadrise than Stacer’s Evo and as a result, ride noticeably softer. So Stacers don’t handle rough water as well as Quinnies do, and not having any bow flare also makes them wetter. However, on the other hand, not having any flare means the Stacer bows aren’t as narrowed down, and the positive side of this comes in a noticeably bigger bow casting deck.
Theoretically, heavily built folk might find the Stacer’s not as steep deadrise angle makes for more stability at rest. Moving my 60kg around inside didn’t produce any perceivable difference between the two though.
As for performance our test Nomad was powered by a 60hp Mercury Bigfoot 2-stroke outboard and a comparison between it and the 60hp Merc 4-stroke on the Top Ender was so interesting we decided to table the two side by side for comparison. Suffice to say here that the Nomad’s performance in effect lacked nothing compared to the Top Ender.
Your choices between these two boats certainly are an interesting exercise. I’d say we’re a bit spoilt for choice here, however the choices are there for your making.