STACER NOMAD FISHER 489 By Alex Julius Optioned up by Darwin’s Territory Marine for the mega Top End barra fishing market, the new Stacer Nomad Fisher 489 passed the test of three consecutive major fishing events during the 2013 belated Run-off.
Early in 2013, I had the opportunity to run around with a sweet little boat called the Stacer Nomad Fisher, loaned to me by Territory Marine. I had a play with it for a day in the Aurora Kakadu Klash where I wasn’t actually competing but only running up and down the South Alligator River trying to capture competitors hooked up to barra. As reported, it was a nightmare trying to catch a barra in this great event this year, and in fact I only came across one boat hooked up and landing a fish – a 70cm barra – and that was it. The following week it was off to Shady Camp for round one of the Top End Barra Series when I spent another day on the water. The Stacer Nomad Fisher measures 4.89m and this particular version was built to a design supplied by Territory Marine specifically for Top End applications. The most significant feature in that regard is the fully-self-draining deck. This boat has a side-console configuration which comes with a neat built-in rod rack at the front, an under-console shelf and a handy open glove box. It has a full raised transom and a pod built out to the side with extended platforms, one of which is fitted with a telescopic stainless-steel ladder. There is a wide live-bait tank come fish-well in front of the console just at the base of the step-up casting platform. Underneath the casting deck is a spacious storage area which is accessed by a large trap door and a much smaller one at the bow. The anchor well is imposing, constructed as it is of a large triangular plastic box…this works a treat. There are side pockets and additional side storage for life jackets, an unusual but certainly innovative feature. Underfloor fuel capacity is 77L but you can order with more. The Stacer Nomad Fisher is powered by an E-ETEC 75HP. Make no mistake about it: this is a sweet motor which is right at the apex of 2-stroke outboard engine technology. It literally purred as we hammered up the South Alligator in the Klash, and down the Mary in the Barra Series. Known for their outstanding fuel economy, this little E-TEC was a blow-away. With three big lads aboard, from the boat ramp just below the bridge, I drove it all the way to very top of the South – where the rope is – then ran tens of kilometres back and forth checking out boats before the final run home. There can’t have been too much change out of 100km for the day, which explains how surprised I was when I only put 33L into the tank when I filled up. I would have done more than 100km at the Mary the following week – running down to the mouth, then across Chambers Bay, much of the time at full noise; plus hours of fast-trolling big lures. Unbelievably, the little E-TEC only used 57 litres which is more than comparable with any 4-stroke I’ve taken over the same distance and same time lapse. However, what blew me away more than anything was how the Stacer Nomad handled the slop. We had to high-tail it out of Tommycut and back across the 7km to Sampan Creek, with a dark rain storm up our backside the whole way. The Nomad boasts the Stacer’s proclaimed Evo hull, and this was the first time I’ve ridden on one in testing conditions. Stuart Macdonald with me was equally as rapt as I was as the little boat skipped across the waves with hardly a bump and definitely not a drop of water over the side. For a boat that size, I can’t imagine a better and drier ride in those conditions. It’s a great big thumbs up for the Stacer Nomad Fisher 489 coupled to the lightweight E-TEC 75. POSTSCRIPT Since writing this, I also used the Stacer 489 across six days of fishing in the Barra Nationals down the Daly River. We really had a load on this time as I fitted temporarily a beaut Minn Kota I-Pilot 80 Thrust plus two additional 120 amp batteries as advised by Outback Batteries, each weighing 32kg. That was only part of the additional weight, yet the combination of the Evo Hull and the exceptional power-to-weight ratio of the E-TEC 75 got the boat on the plane without fuss everytime we took off, and achieved speeds of up to 62kmh. Fuel consumption varied from 32L to 67L depending on how much running around we did and how fast. To be honest, the 67L happened on the Orientation Day when we went full bore to the top of the fishable area and all the way to the bottom, checking out potential spots for the when the Nationals started properly. Considering how much gear three big blokes had on board, we always had plenty of room to move about, and it was a fun six days on the Stacer. The Stacer Nomad Fisher 489 is a sweet rig. SPECIFICATIONS Length 4.89m Length on trailer 6.6m Beam 2.2m Depth 1.08m Topsides 2.5mm Bottomsides 4mm Transom material 4mm Weight (boat only) 490kg Max horsepower 75hp